Is God a Cosmic Nanny
“Nothing in all creation is hidden from God. Everything is naked and exposed before His eyes, and He is the one to whom we are accountable.” – Hebrews 4:13 (NLT)
It is common knowledge to us, even to unbelievers who only know of Him, that God is [i] the Creator of everything in existence, [ii] has ultimate authority and [iii] hates sin and therefore punishes sinners. The late Christopher Hitchens denounced this ultimate authority as ‘cosmic surveillance’ and this is where the unbeliever often rejects Him. Therefore their cynicism blinds them from seeing the complete picture. However despite their sincere zeal the church goes into damage control in reaction to this dumbing down of God’s justice, saying that God is not some cosmic kill-joy watching us all from afar ready to ‘lower the boom’ on any rank and file sinner who breaks any commandment out of ignorance or just having fun. Rather, they turn God Almighty into God ‘almatey’. A loving God who has kind of mellowed out in His old age. One who now just glosses over man’s sin. So they appeal to the masses with something like “Jesus is just knocking on the door of your heart just yearning for you to let him in so He can warm the cockles of your heart” with joy and inner peace (I think forgiveness of sin fits in there somewhere). This view puts man at the centre of God’s attention when the bible actually states that God manifests Himself to and rewards those who diligently seek Him [Hebrews 11:6, Proverbs 8:17, Isaiah 55:6 & John 14:21]. Making matters worse, too many so-called Christians even compromise on God’s justice by denying that God is too loving to send people to Hell.
So to set the record straight what does it require to have ultimate authority? The answer is omnipresence, omniscience and omnipotence. Psalm 139 details the first two so diligently. God’s presence transcends time, space and eternity. God’s power is also manifested throughout His creation. From the biosphere to the cosmos, God spoke all matter into existence in 6 days which to this day maintain their appointed order and function. Up to this point, everything that God saw was made good. This can only come from unfathomable wisdom and genius. God’s creation of man was His crowning accomplishment because he is made in God’s image and likeness, after which God saw that all he had made was very good [Gen 1:31]. So shouldn’t it occur to us that God would know what works and what doesn’t, what is creative and destructive and what is good and evil? God has also passed this knowledge on to us as stewards in limited quantities. But God is also the life giver so that we can enjoy all His benefits i.e. animals, pleasant weather and soothing music, good food and the sense of taste and smell to enjoy it and not just our bodily essentials for survival. Pretty generous God, huh!!
God has also given us our mind to think and discern with, a will to do or not to do, and our emotions to feel with. Therefore who better than God can know the thoughts and intents of our hearts and minds as well as how we are geared and what makes us tick, and therefore earn the right to be the Judge of the universe? Wouldn’t it be reasonable and just for us to have to give an account of our use of all these things that pertain to life and godliness, to the Giver of such abundance?
At the end of Psalm 139, King David in v.23 & 24 says “Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me and know my anxious thoughts; And see if there be any hurtful way in me, and lead me in the everlasting way”. While God is Judge, and desires all to repent and come to a knowledge of the truth. God is also the Restorer of man’s souls. For those who come to Him, Jesus sent the Holy Spirit, whom He also called ‘The Helper’. Since Jesus our Creator knows our sins and weaknesses, He sent the Holy Spirit to point us to the Word which helps us on our path to repentance and also convicts us when we sin. Not to destroy us but to correct and teach us obedience. Since He knows who’s sincere and who isn’t, the upright of heart who hate their sin will know that the Author and Perfecter of their faith will bear with them patiently to mature them to fruitfulness. Is there any truth in God being a Cosmic Nanny? To the rebellious and wilfully ignorant – yes! Jesus teaches that “For everyone who does evil hates the Light and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed”. “But he who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds will be manifested as having been wrought in God” [John 3:20 – 21]. But as far as God being readily poised with baton in hand against the wicked goes, at present he’s doing no such thing , for it is not the appointed day. I just ponder that verse “The wicked run away when no one is chasing them” [Proverbs 28:1a]. He is instead gracefully giving them time to repent or He’s allowing them to store up a longer rap sheet against themselves for judgement day.