Sunday, May 26, 2013

What is Love?

A few days ago, I was reading someone's comments on a Facebook friend's wall. That person asserted that as an athiest, her highest aim in life was not some god, but LOVE. She lived her life knowing that she loved everyone. (I wanted to compliment her on her perfection, but I didn't want to start a fight. I also wanted to say something, but really didn't have time to "chat." Not to mention that I wasn't exactly sure how I wanted to say what I was thinking, because usually my thoughts are so disorganized that even I don't understand myself most of the time.)

This morning I read the following from Richard Wurmbrand's 100 Prison Meditations: Cries of Truth from Behind the Iron Curtain.  The part I wish I could have shared on my friend's FB wall is the highlighted portion.

Where and What is God? (Meditation 37)

As creatures of the earth, we think of God as being on high, declaring, “His glory [is] above the heavens” (Psalm 113:4), while the heavenly beings think of Him as being below, declaring, “Let Your glory be above all the earth” (Psalm 57:5).

   Both have limited vision. God is outside of space. The One who is all in all cannot have a certain place to dwell, to the exclusion of other places. Therefore Christ, who is God, says, “Foxes have holds and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of man has nowhere to lay His head” (Matthew 8:20). If He were limited to space, He would not belong to the Godhead.

   God occupies no place anywhere. As Creator of the Universe, He existed before there was such a thing as place. Space is required by material objects, but not by thoughts, ideals, and desires, which do not rest in a point fixed by geographical coordinates. God is Spirit, not a material object that must exist somewhere. When the Bible says that He is in heaven, it is to indicate His elevation. God dwells in Israel, in Zion, in His church: such things are said for the purpose of giving honor to an institution or a people. But these assertions in the Bible are never exclusive – they do not limit God. They do not mean that He is in Zion, but not in Britain; in church, but not in a factory.

   Nor can time be applied to God. The biblical Hebrew has no tenses to indicate time; you cannot say that things have been or are or will be. You enter the sphere of divinity, of timelessness. The Hebrew verb has only two fundamental categories, the perfect and the imperfect. Oseh means “in the process of being done.” Asah indicates completed action. Biblical Greek also has a verb form called Aorist, which literally translated means “without horizon.” God created the universe, which has time as one of its attributes, but He and His people are timeless. He was when there was no time. He will be when “there should be time no longer” (Revelation 10:6, KJV).

   God is called Father and King because we humans associate these titles with our concept of esteem. He did not procreate us a father did. He did not become king by inheritance or conquest as other kings do. He is above all that we can say in human words.

   When David Livingstone went to the cannibals in Africa, he wished to teach them “God is love,” but they did not have the word “love.” So he asked them what was the best thing they knew. They replied, “Unboi,” which is the smoked meat from the arm of a man. So Livingstone preached, “God is the best unboi.” He was criticized for this, but wrongly. God is not unboi, it is true, but neither is He love. Love is a sentiment shared by humans and superior animals. But is God merely a human sentiment? Because love was the highest thing the Greeks knew, John said, “God is love,” just as Livingstone said, “God is unboi,” for those who knew no better.

   There are no human words and categories to indicate how and where God is. Whenever attributes are applied to God, they are what are called “anthropomorphisms,” likenesses from human life that are used to tell something about Him. We are limited in our thoughts and words about God, but let us know that, beyond all our limitations, He is.