One of the worst notices or directives I am constantly coming across in the buses as I travel is “NO PREACHERS, NO HAWKERS…” I do not want to talk of the latter, but I am really distressed when I see the notice barring preachers from preaching about God. It is sad that some Word peddlers, who are after making money out of the gospel, may have led to this directive by bus operators hence affecting even genuine preachers who preach Christ.
As I was thinking on this, I was shocked by the news this week that the atheists’ society of Kenya was at it again. They want preachers stopped from preaching in all the buses. They argue that their rights are violated! They really don’t want to hear anything about God. They believe there is no God, and just as the Bible says in Psalms 14:1 for sure, “The fool says in his heart, there is no God”
It is just weeks ago when news broke out that a self-proclaimed god in western Kenya had died. Mikaili Jehovah Wanyonyi was leader of a religious sect commonly known as “Lost Israelites” and lived near Mt Elgon, which was said that he considered it Mt Zion. What kind of a god that dies? Though his followers stood their ground that he was out of the village to undisclosed hospital for treatment, the fact is that this god gets sick…or else he has gone to be with himself!
The big question that I want to pose to you is simple. I do not want to ask you if you believe in God. No, I want to know from you who is your God? Or to put it clear, what do you not like about your God?
It is sad that in most of our sermons and evangelism, we assume that we all believe in one God. This is a big lie for sure! Some people hold on to a god who is burden to them. Others believe in a god who is unreliable. The god of other people cannot save, Too sad!
For sure, no one can sufficiently define God. Dictionaries just give few words which are not satisfactory in understanding exactly who He is. One of the definitions that I have come across about God is that
God is Himself in Himself, by Himself and for Himself.
That sounds rather confusing, but in simpler terms, it means that He is a deity whose the reason for His existence is in Himself.
You know what, all other things exists because someone made them to exist. We live because we were created by God, and so are plants, natural features, man-made features…name them! The Bible says in Psalms 24:1 that “The earth is the LORD’S and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it… ” Then, who make God to exist? That must be He Himself! God exists by Himself, for Himself! A thought-provoking thing, isn’t it?
Every time I read Genesis 1:1, “In the beginning God created heavens and the earth…” I am always left wondering, and who created God? The Bible by telling us of creation story and what God did tells us more of God being self-existent. He has lived forever. Just pause and Praise Him for that!
To help us understand God more, this is the question that Isaiah poses,
“Who can fathom the Spirit of the Lord, or instruct the Lord as his counselor? Whom did the Lord consult to enlighten him, and who taught him the right way? Who was it that taught him knowledge, or showed him the path of understanding?”(Isaiah 40:13-14).
One of the chapters in the Bible that I have read, read and reread several times in the last one week is Isaiah 46 that talks of Gods of Babylon. Allow me as I conclude this article to point out several things about God from this text:
- God is never Burdensome
For other gods, they are burdensome! As evident in this text, Bel and Nebo are borne by beasts of burden. People give gold and silver, then hire goldsmith to make them to an idol, then carry them…isn’t this burdensome? An interesting thing about them, they cannot save themselves, they are taken into captivity together with their worshippers.
- God is ever reliable
Imagine of this, having a god who cannot save even himself. Other gods as Isaiah puts it, they themselves suffer and are taken to captivity. Too sad. I wonder what exactly I may hold too special than God!
How can they be reliable? Some of us may have relationships, business, riches, technology, families, knowledge, money…name them, as our gods. The big question here should be Is that your God reliable?
- Ever with His people
Note this here, God says that He upholds and sustains His people from childhood to old age. The gods that we may be holding too may fail to see us through in all ages! Many may be relevant today and irrelevant tomorrow. Our God knows the end, before the beginning! (46:10). To make us even fellowship with Him, Jesus our Immanuel (God with Us) through incarnation, – came to the world.
- Not made/created, He is self-existent
For the idols, people give gold and silver and thereafter hire goldsmith to make a god. Too much work, to unreliable god! After all this, the god can only be carried, it cannot walk by itself. Our God has lived for ages. Even long before creation, He was!
- He saves
The best thing about God, He saves! If you want to know this, look at Jesus. Jesus is God-sized and God is Jesus-shaped. Unlike other gods, God saves all those who believe Him. Let’s praise Him since even when we were sinners, Christ died for us!
Joseph Prince, a renowned televangelist, says that we all need Christ for salvation adding that many people these days are anti-Christ but not anti-God. The Bible in Acts 4:12 says, “There is salvation in no one else! God has given no other name under heaven by which we must be saved.”
In his commentary on Isaiah 46, Matthew Henry says,
The false gods will certainly fail their worshippers when they need them most!
Just as Dagon as seen in an interesting story in 1 Sam 5:1-5, other gods created by men are unreliable, cannot save even themselves and they are burdensome.
When Jehova Wanyonyi becomes sick and of old age, he becomes a burden to his followers! He can’t heal himself, he becomes unreliable. After dying, those of his followers cannot be with him in this present age. What kind of a god who cannot save himself?
May God help us to know Him more. My desire is that we will always Praise Him and Worship Him for who He is.
I know you can add more attributes of God…please do!
By: Kenneth Irungu
iServe Africa Apprentice