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Hath God Said?

Hath God Said

I have a three-year-old son who’s learned the authority that comes with citing a higher power. “Can I watch a show? Mommy said yes. Can I have candies? Mommy said yes. Can we go for a walk? Mommy said yes.” He tacks the magic words onto the end of his own ideas and hopes no one will ask, “Did Mommy really say that?”

We tend to handle the words of God the same way. Ripping them out of context, distorting them beyond recognition, or simply fabricating His endorsement for our own fears, whims, and prejudices.

Hath God said?

In Scripture, these are the first words attributed to the Devil. I’ve heard countless warnings against asking this question. Because it was used by the Serpent to tempt Eve, they say it’s dangerous for us to ask too.

But I’ve found that it’s been one of the most important questions on my journey of following Jesus.

Did God Say

Hath God said?

In a world of “God says it. I believe it. That settles it.”, it is essential that we return to ask “But did God really say that?”

Things aren’t as simple now as they were when the whole world was a garden.

Now we have preachers and Twitter accounts and church signs and they all claim to be the mouthpiece of the Almighty. Like those big black billboards that popped up everywhere a few years ago:

Have you read my #1 best seller? (There will be a test.) -God

Big Bang Theory, you’ve got to be kidding. -God

You think it’s hot here? -God

My way is the highway. -God

Keep using my name in vain, I’ll make rush hour longer. -God

One nation under me. -God

The real Supreme Court meets up here. -God

billboard

Though attributed to God, these signs mostly just leave me scratching my head confused. As often as not, the “God” behind them seems to be a strange, insecure egomaniac attempting to have a relationship with humanity by coercing, begging, and taunting us.

I feel that way about a lot of stuff that people claim God says, so I find myself opening the pages of the Bible (or at least the Bible app on my phone) to see what He actually said.

We’ve come a long way from the Garden. The good news is God has already revealed Himself to us, not through billboards but through Jesus.

Hath God said?

It’s a question I’ve been asking every day these past few years. Not to justify sin or to discredit God, but to find the truth. (He knows the difference.)

And often I find Him saying, “You have heard it said, but I say unto you…”

What about you? Have you been discouraged from asking “Hath God said…?” If you were allowed to, what would you question?

[ image: urbanartcore ]

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  • Sheep75

    Sorry, in my attempt to “star” this discussion (which I take to mean this blogpost) I managed to give you -3 stars :( The plan was to give you a couple of +stars. Such an important question, “Did God really say that?” I’m still thinking about what I would like to question.

  • Logan81

    I was just thinking the same thing about the “God of the Billboards” a while back. Whoever he is, he seems terribly insecure, and NOTHING like the God I’ve come to know and love.

    The funny thing is, when we put aside what the church tells us God says and actually listen to what he says ourselves, he starts to make a lot more sense. :)

  • Luke Underwood

    Great post. Our couples small group is about to start back up. We’re going through Vintage Jesus by Driscoll. I imagine I’ll be asking this a lot in the coming weeks.

  • http://beinggodstoddler.WordPress.com/ Paul Brownnutt

    You’re spot on with the importance of why we ask the question. Both Zechariah and Mary challenged Gabriel with “How?” One was the “how?” of disbelief. The other was the “how?” of longing to understand. Completely different outcomes ensued.

    The assumption that “did God really say?” is always the disbelief of the serpent, rather than a longing for understanding makes little sense!

  • sethhaines

    Great closing line.

  • http://www.faithmeetsworld.com/ Rob Grayson

    Thanks for posting this. After 28+ years as a Christian, it’s only in recent months that the revelation has hit me that God has said His full and final word in Jesus. I’m only just beginning to understand the implications of this momentous fact.

  • Ben

    And God comes back with the great “Who told you that you were naked?” after Adam and Eve sin. That “who told you” line always comes back to me. There are other voices speaking, too.

  • http://DavidHelmsBlog.com/ David Helms

    I’ve never heard this but I have heard the classic “God says, I believe it, that settles it” line. Using that basically means I don’t want to have a conversation with you, I want to talk at you.

    I’m more challenged by all the times people in the old Testament flat out argue with God. For sure we see Abraham and Moses do it. I’m sure there are other places where the central character says to God no and the response is “and God changed His mind.” WHAT?!

    So how much do I just go with the flow of what God says without even striking up conversation. Were they wrong or am I boring to be in relationship with?

  • gwally

    YES! My questions would be for the Apostle Paul, though..Did Paul really say women must be silent??? :)