God told Israel long ago:
“You shall have no other gods before Me. You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth. You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God…” (Exodus 20-3-4a).
Perhaps you’ve heard or read of people calling God a tyrant, or a self-aggrandizing, high-handed, despot. And they would be right – if He wasn’t God.
You wouldn’t call a human a despot for seeking to subdue his dog, would you? We must subdue the dog out of absolute necessity, both for its own good, and for the benefit of all. He must know that he is not the leader of the pack. If this is not established, there will be utter chaos in the human/dog relationship.
Humans are not power hungry when they train their dogs to submit, we are doing what must be done so both sides obtain the optimal benefit from the relationship.
Likewise, to assess God as a tyrant in His relationship with us is dreadfully shallow. These sentiments reflect an attitude that examines God as an equal, not a superior.
God by nature cannot be a tyrant. Men can be tyrannical. The gods that men have created can be tyrannical. But God cannot be a tyrant, and therefore He is not a tyrant, because He is God. It really is that simple.
In addition to being tyrannical, some accuse God of being fickle, erratic, because some of His revealed actions appear to us to be different than others. Some contain instant judgment, while He seems to allow other sins to perpetuate, for example. But this is because our focus is usually in the wrong place – on the effect, the circumstance, rather than the cause.
Humans have a difficult time perceiving Divine motive in most things – not because God is a fickle tyrant, but – ready for a profoundly simple statement? – because we aren’t God. It's the same reason Fido doesn't fully comprehend why we take away the anti-freeze when it tastes so good.
What we need to know, at least as a starting point (and this is the starting point God gave to Israel in the law) is that God is God, and we are not.
It is not only God’s right to expect absolute loyalty as the Creator of all things, but, just like with Fido, God is doing what must be done so both sides obtain the optimal benefit from the relationship.
To clarify: God does not ask humans for their absolute loyalty. Rather, He graciously reminds us in the Bible that our absolute loyalty is the bare minimum that can be accepted by the Divine Being. May we be as loyal to God as our canines are to us!
Dallas (here's a recent news story about Dallas and his original owner [before us], and once again owner),
Rusty (his story here),
Maximus (our now loyal companion),
all our friends whose hearts have been opened by these special creations of God,
and K-9 Jethro (E.O.W., 1-10-16).
|Maximus: Over whom I now reign supreme|
|Officer Ryan Davis, with family member|
and partner, K-9 Jethro.
First K-9 killed in the line of Duty,
Canton, OH PD