What God Did Not Say

It is sacrilege to put words in God’s mouth. It is the height of hubris to speak for God, as if God did not make Himself clear. When it comes to religion, theologians cannot help themselves; they simply must speak for God. The theological fallout is lay Christians carry the heavy burden of attempting to justify how there are three in one and one in three when it comes to the “godhead.” What a curious and non- Biblical term that is. This becomes ever more complicated when fiddling with defining the divine and human natures of Jesus as a part of the three-in-one “godhead.”

God certainly did speak to His creation. There are many hundreds of Biblical references to God speaking to His people from Genesis to Revelation. In the first verse of Genesis, God created His creation. Then, in the first short chapter, He specifically spoke, proclaiming His work was good. Adam and Eve were spoken to, as was Moses. Throughout the Old Testament God spoke to His people and His Prophets. In the Gospels God and Jesus had some of the most intimate and compelling exchanges in the Bible. Finally, God spoke to the Apostles and the writers of the Bible. Recognize Scripture is not merely a collection of Bible stories. It IS the spoken word of God.

When God speaks, it is often an awesome event. “The Lord thundered from heaven” (2 Samuel 22:14). “The God of glory thundereth” and “the voice of the Lord shaketh the wilderness” (Psalms 29: 3-9). The longest conversation with God comes in the Book of Job. The tremendous tenor of it is made plain in Chapter 38 when God speaks from the whirlwind asking Job where he was when the foundations of the earth were laid, and if he could change the stars in the sky. All the way to Revelation God speaks with unequivocal authority: “I am the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending” (Revelation 1:8). Awesome, just awesome!

God does not always speak with the voice of intimidating and dramatic events or revelation. In the 18th and 19th chapters of First Kings, Elijah was pursued by Jezebel wanting to kill him but was thwarted by an earthquake and fire. God comforted the exhausted Elijah with “a still small voice.” God spoke to Jesus solemnly as in famous Luke 3:22: “Thou art My beloved son, in whom I am well pleased.”

God is succinctly summed up in the Shema of the Hebrew and Jewish tradition from Deuteronomy 6:4: “Hear O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord.” Notice the one. God specifically reiterates this with “I am the Lord thy God” no less than seven times: Exodus 20:2, Deuteronomy 5:6, Psalms 81:10, Isaiah 43:3, Isaiah 48:27, Isaiah 51:15, and Hosea 13:4. In Genesis and Exodus alone God spoke in the singular twenty-seven times about the covenants with Israel using “My covenant” and “I covenant.” And, when God spoke to Jesus, it was always in the singular. Of the many hundreds of times when God spoke, there is only one oddity.

“Let us make man in our image.” Genesis 1:26 is simple fodder for those who are compelled to make a sophomoric attempt at speaking for God. This “us” is in no way evidence of a trinity, but rather God and His attendant angels. God makes it clear He is a single God when He tells us, “I am the Lord, the Maker of all things, who stretches out the heavens, who spreads out the earth by Myself” (Isaiah 44:24). God reiterates this again with, “I am the Lord, and there is no other; apart from me there is no God” (Isaiah 45:5). These verses among hundreds of others tell us God is one God. But because one errant interpretation among the hundreds of other singular verses, theologians and indoctrinated lay Christians believe they can speak for God in the pluralistic three-in-one and the one-in-three.

It is a pretty big deal for God to be three persons in one being. In fact, this is the biggest deal of all in the Bible and the biggest deal to Christians. Lay Christians labor over this mystery, and theologians build entire careers on this conundrum. However, and this is a gigantic HOWEVER, not once did God ever say, “We, the three-in-one and the one-in-three, covenant with Israel.” God did not compel Job with, “We will demand of thee, and thou will answer Us” (Job 38:3). From the second verse of the Bible to the second to the last verse of the Bible, God did not say: “Surely We will come quickly” (Revelation 22:20).

Six times God tells us He is a jealous God. Tampering with His words and His being is the height of hubris. Christians needn’t speak for God. There is no need or reason to pick up the weight of a man- made mystery and turn God into an egg or water. All we need do is accept God the Father, His Son the Christ, and listen to the gift of our Paraclete in the Holy Spirit. Fortunately, Jeremiah 33 tells us He (not we) will forgive our inequities and remember our sin no longer. It is sacrilege to speak for God!