Earlier this year, when I was between studies, I asked the Lord to lead me to a new one. Well, He led me to three—which makes me thankful I wake up around four in the morning, or I’d never be able to keep up with them.
My favorite by far is this one, The Patriarchs: Encountering the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. The title explains what the study is about, but the subtitle explains it better: Encountering the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. My reference for it is even simpler: Encountering God. This study is primarily about the One True God revealed in His many titles that illustrate His attributes, characteristics, and personality.
In today’s study, revealing God’s title of El Elyon (Most High God, Creator/Possessor of Heaven and Earth), we encounter Melchizedek, who is one of the biggest mysteries in the Bible. Who was he? Where’d he come from? He wasn’t from the blessed lineage, so who sanctified him as a priest? Information about him throughout the Bible is sketchy, but we know through the author of the letter to the Hebrews that Jesus, born in the family of Judah (the royal branch), is not a priest according to the Levitical line, but of the Order of Melchizedek, Priest of El Elyon, making Him both separate from the law and the embodiment and fulfillment of the law.
What caught my attention and imagination was Beth’s comments on page 28 of the study guide, right after we’re introduced to the mysterious new character Melchizedek:
I am convinced that the totality of everything God has told us about Himself in His Word and in nature is little more than a hint. He is the master of surprise who exults in unveiling revelations.
. . . the most ingenious and creative thoughts of man are mere whispers of God’s abilities.
Man’s vast creativity and capability to spin a tale or unveil a mystery is just another part of how humans are created in the image of God. He is the master storyteller, weaving a thousand story lines together over the course of 66 books and many centuries.
As a writer, this just made my day. It confirmed my belief that creating worlds and people is God-like—just as God-like as healing the sick, judging the accused, ruling the nation. Just as God-like as loving the unloved and unloveable, having mercy, understanding the misunderstood.
We have these abilities because God has these abilities to a degree far higher than we can possibly imagine. Doctors know about the human body only a miniscule portion of what the Creator of that body knows, but God shared His knowledge with them in order that they may heal. Righteous judges can make righteous judgments based upon the wisdom the wisest Judge provides them. And so on throughout my examples: We can do what we do because He does them. He does in purity and perfection what we, in our humanness, tend to pervert, but still, we obtain our ability to do them at all because we are made in His image.
We can create and write and bring people to laughter or tears, joy or shame, because He gave us a tiny part of the creativity He possesses. Because we are made in His image, we are able to do to a tiny degree what He does in an infinite degree.
We are not gods and we certainly aren’t anywhere near God, but because we are created in His image, we have His qualities in us. Just think about it—the Creator/Possessor of Heaven and Earth gave His creative abilities to us.
Which brings me to another point:
If you measure your god by what you are able or not able to do—“the earth couldn’t have been created in 6 days! It’s impossible!” or “nobody can heal that infirmity. It’s impossible!”—then you have things backward. Don’t measure Him by your abilities, but measure Him by your inabilities. Face it: What you think is impossible, He’s already done.