Spiritanity | The "Shema" is Not All
There are many gods.
In Western cultures these gods are now demanding equal attention. They're tired of and angry about being discriminated against. And their devotees are doing all they can to suppress if not expel the God of the Bible from his traditional place of honor in the West.
This is a good thing.
This throws us back into ancient times when people confronted the competing deities and made choices about which one was true or not — as when Elijah forced Israel to choose on Har Carmel (1 Kings 18).
People should choose their god, not worship him (or her) merely because he was mixed in with their baby food. Or because she's the goddess whom your fiancé worships, or the god who makes you feel good and gives you “blessings” (material stuff).
Ancient Israel was chosen by God. But in response they also had to choose Him — in every generation. They didn't have a platinum Chosen People card with no expiration date.
“Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve,” confronted Joshua (Jos 24:15). He meant: Choose between your parental and cultural gods and the LORD (YHVH), the God of our historical ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
We should choose today.
Culture-grown gods need to die: like the great Deity invoked in Western pop culture known as OMG (ohmygod). Or like the Gods of Science and Atheistic Materialism. Or the ethnic Gods of the indigenous peoples of Asia, Africa, Australia. Or even — if I may say — the mosque God, church God, or synagogue God who jealously protects the sacred halls of tradition and commercial religion.
A God who is merely assumed, unexamined, taken for granted is better expelled from the scene.
Let the God of the Bible compete among the other gods. Let's review their resumés, open their sales portfolios, check their personal references and see what they have to offer that's better than YHVH, the God of ancient Israel the God and Father of Yeshua of Nazareth.
The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob,
Scripture says God is a jealous God who wants full attention (Deut 5:9). If He doesn't get it, He will expose the gods we give attention to for what they are: frauds and thieves. Destroyers. He will force the issue on us, make us decide.
He often does this by letting the gods fail us miserably.
He allows them to lead our cultures or families or selves into horrific darkness. If we want them to lord it over us, He allows that — for a time — until we face Him.
Of course, we may hold that final Decision at bay, in spite of evils that befall us. Tragically (often for those near to us), exposing our gods make take years — if we don't want them dethroned from our lives.
When we read about God in the Bible, we're being confronted with ultimate choice. The biblical writers intended to do that.
It's why so many people hate the Bible — even in church and synagogue. But uncommitted neutrality — the great disease of Western consumer cafeteria culture — isn't acceptable to Him.
Neither is syncretistic adoration of other gods. He won't share the throne of deity with impostors.
In other words, the God of the Bible won't respond to invitations to come perform at inter-faith, Higher Power celebrations, even though invoked by a consortium of world religious leaders.
During the 2009 inaugural festivities for President Obama, the American Episcopal homosexual archbishop Gene Robinson publicly prayed to the “God of our many understandings.”
The true, Living God won't answer such prayers, or calls, emails, or textings, as though he's a hotline operator at a crisis counselling service or the 24/7 moderator of
The God of the ancient Hebrews wants us to respond to His invitations written in His words. And He wants every one of us to come, via his way.
He is the one and only God.
In Hebrew, the most used word for “God” is Elohim. It's a plural noun. In the Bible the same word can be used for the gods of the non-Hebrews.
When used for the God worshiped by the Hebrews the plural elohim takes on another nuance.
Plurality implies breadth, depth and complexity. God is Elohim because He is the complete definition of what “deity” is. He is GOD in the fullest sense of the word, in all capital letters. He, alone, is ELOHIM above all lower-case-elohim who pose and posture as deities.
In contrast, Deuteronomy 10:17 makes the distinction clear.
Not only is God supreme deity, he is also the “Lord of lords.” The word “Lord” here is also plural: Adonim. God is also the fullest definition of what it means to be Master, Sovereign, Lord. Thus the parallel affirmation reads:
ELOHIM of elohim, and ADONIM of adonim.”
That's the choice Israel was repeatedly commanded to make in ancient times. Their Book continues to repeat the command/offer and force the choice both upon modern Israel and upon the Goyim, the Nations, the non-Jews to this day and hour.
For our sake, Elohim wants to be the only and chosen One, not a profane OMG.
Spiritanity | The "Shema" is Not All