What great nation is there that has gods so close to it as the Lord, our God, is to us? (Deuteronomy 4:7)
When a well-known singer comes to town, a local radio station will often hold a contest in which the prize is the chance to meet the singer backstage. This can be thrilling for an avid fan. But it can also be rather impersonal. There’s no real interaction between the fan and the singer, just a handshake, a few words, and a photo opportunity.
Now imagine getting a backstage pass to meet God. Wouldn’t that be a whole different thing? He wouldn’t just shake your hand and smile for the camera. He’d embrace you warmly, look you deep in the eyes, and make sure you knew he was very glad to see you!
This comparison is a good way of looking at how Moses described the Israelites’ special status. They were about to enter the Promised Land, which was surrounded by nations who believed in many types of gods. But not one of these gods could compare with the one true God. Which of these false gods would love them? Which would move heaven and earth to redeem them from slavery? Which of them would be closer than a brother? Only the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob!
Likewise, we are surrounded by people and things that promise fulfillment. But none of them can give us what God offers. Who can compare with the One who fashioned you and continues to call you by name? Who can compare with a God who has laid down his life for you?
God has many rivals. Many forces compete for our attention and affections. But these rivals are like celebrities we might meet backstage. They aren’t committed to us, and they aren’t interested in us in any significant way.
Today in prayer, try to make a list of all the different ways God has been involved in your life. Think first about the truths of the faith: he created you, and he redeemed you. But think also about the ways he has shown himself to you personally. Write them down, and post them someplace prominent. Let these stories prove to you that your Father loves you deeply and completely.
“Lord God, thank you for being so close to me, so committed to me. Lord, I want to know you and your love today.”
Psalm 147:12-13, 15-16, 19-20
Father Ed Bakker
Anglican Catholic Church / Original Province
Mission of Saint Aidan of Lindisfarne