When I pick Buddy up I sometimes say, “It sucks being little, doesn’t it?” Because it doesn’t matter what he is doing, because I’m much larger than he is, I get to pick him up whenever I want to and there’s not much he can do about it. But because I love him, I don’t usually pick him up without a valid reason nor is my motive to do him harm.
My first Christian pastor was a big cowboy sporting a ten gallon hat and a red beard. I would attend church Sunday mornings before my job at the local racetrack. The pastor would preach to the employees on the backstretch, then give a second sermon to the front side employees. There was usually only about 6 to 8 of us, so I really appreciated that he would take the time and effort to speak to such a small congregation. (He later moved to Texas and the services ended. I think his name was John.)
The first time I attended, the pastor asked us, “Where does an 800 pound gorilla sit?”
We all sat there silent and wide-eyed, likely all thinking, “Why is he talking about gorillas?”
With a broad smile he answered, “Anywhere he wants to.”
One of my favorite verses in the Bible is Psalm 24:1:
“The earth is the Lord’s, and all it contains; The world, and those who dwell in it.”
This truth was stated earlier by Moses in Exodus 9:29: “…the earth is the Lord’s.”
When I pray, it’s comforting to know that God is sovereign: Nothing happens on our planet that He is not aware of, nor can anyone act without His divine permission. I know that “With God all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26b) and that He can answer any prayer request or meet any need that I have.
But there’s another truth that most people don’t want to admit: God through Jesus Christ is the boss. He is in control of human history and ultimately, our own destinies (Psalm 139:16). Most people, including myself, want what we want, when we want it and how we want it. We want God to rescue us now, fix it now, give it now, and change the world and people NOW.
But God sees the future, we don’t. He didn’t ask for our permission to create humanity, the world and all its creatures. When rebuking Job for demanding answers, God reminded Job that He didn’t need anyone’s permission to act nor require anyone’s advice. All of His gifts and help are an act of grace by an all powerful deity Who is working all things according to His will.
As the mightiest ancient ruler proclaimed, Nebuchadnezzar, after being humbled by God for pride and hubris:
“For His dominion is an everlasting dominion, and His kingdom endures from generation to generation. All the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, but He does according to His will in the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of earth; and no one can ward off His hand, or say to Him, “What have you done?””–Daniel 4:34-35
Years ago I stopped at the Bozeman Museum on a road trip through Montana and viewed the Hubble Telescope IMAX exhibit. The scope and beauty of the universe is awesome and very humbling. It’s vastness is truly unimaginable.
Our Great God’s power, imagination and intelligence is far beyond the ability of our finite minds to conceive. Pastor John was comparing God to a gorilla that Sunday morning: He does what He wants, when He wants and how He wants to do it. It was His idea to create and design the earth, humankind, animal and plant life and the universe. He didn’t require our permission or input. And He has a plan that He is working to bring human history to a close, as detailed in Revelation, Daniel, Isaiah and scattered throughout other books in the Bible.
So next time you’re tempted to grumble and complain about God’s timing, His will, His actions or His plan for your life, remember that:
He’s the big Gorilla–and you’re the little dog.
When Adam and Eve rebelled against His rule and authority, He could’ve wiped out humanity and just let the animals roam the earth. But He created humans in His image to be His friends.
So, instead of destroying us, He devised a plan to send Jesus to die for our sins to bring us back into relationship with Him. You see, a holy God cannot tolerate unholy people. Sin must be punished. He made this plan to redeem us before the first generation of humans was born:
God said to Satan, who tempted Adam and Eve to reject God’s authority:
“Because you have done this…I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed. He (Jesus) shall bruise you (Satan) on the head, and you shall bruise him in the heel.”–Genesis 3:14-15
God took the initiative at the beginning of human history to bring us back into fellowship with Him through faith in the Messiah, Jesus Christ. Jesus lived the perfect life no human could live. Being both perfect man and God, He was able to bear the punishment for the sins of all humanity so that God’s anger at sin could be appeased. Problem is, you have to accept His forgiveness. God wants us to love Him willingly and won’t force His friendship on us. He doesn’t want to be friends with robots. Please ask Him to forgive your sins and make Him the Lord of your life. He loves you and wants to be your best friend.