“The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.” This quote comes from the book “The God Delusion” (p.31) by Richard Dawkins the same man that admitted to Ben Stein in the movie “Expelled” that he could believe that life on this planet was seeded by Aliens (who of course would have evolved on their own planet) rather than created by God. The question this might raise is who is God and how do we know him?
God is the Blessed Holy Trinity Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; three divine persons in one divine being. There are no perfect ways of describing the Trinity in earthly terms. The best way of describing the Trinity is how the sainted Dr. Marquart taught us at the Seminary. The Trinity is like H2O: Ice, Water, and Steam. All are H2O but they are very much different. God is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit three distinct persons but one divine being.
Both the Jewish religion and Jehovah’s Witnesses deny the Trinity and claim that Christianity believes in more than one god how do we know that the Trinity is one God as we believe, teach, and proclaim? “As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting on him. And a voice from heaven said, "This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.” (Matthew 3:6-17) “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” (Matthew 28:19) “I and the Father are one." (John 10:30)
As you may notice these are all New Testament verses of which Jews do not accept. Thanks be to God that the Trinity is not just a New Testament idea or myth but is the fact of all of Scripture. From our Old Testament lesson “Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.” (Genesis 1:2) “Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” (Genesis 1:26-27) “The LORD says to my Lord: Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet.” (Psalm 110:1) “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one.” (Deuteronomy 6:4)
This final verse is quite astounding. To the Jews it is known as the great “shemah” [[m;ve] In the Hebrew this verse reads a little differently; it reads “Hear, O Israel: The LORDS our Gods, the LORDS is one.” What you have is plural Lords, Gods, Lords and singular one. On top of that the final word of this verse “echad” [$t(\a] which is translated “one” demonstrates compound unity. Another verse that uses this same exact word is “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one [echad] flesh.” (Genesis 2:24). As Scripture shows God is the Holy Trinity.
We know who God is by what God does for us. God most certainly is not “jealous, petty, unforgiving, controlling, vindicative, bloodthirsty, misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, or a bully” as Richard Dawkins believes and professes.
God is a creating, loving, forgiving, redeeming, serving, sanctifying and unfair God. God created the world and everything in all creation for us; for Adam, Eve, and all people. God created everything perfect. Unfortunately Adam, Eve, and thus all creation fell into sinfulness. Just because God punishes sinfulness does not make Him unjust, vindicative, bloodthirsty, petty, or the anything of the like. God did not want us to be condemned but wanted to forgive us all.
“When the time had fully come, God sent His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under law, that we might receive the full rights of sons.” (Galatians 4:4-5) “He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.” (1 John 2:2) “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring [a] and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.” (Genesis 3:15) Jesus crushed the head of Satan by defeating him through His death and resurrection while Satan struck Jesus’ heal by the suffering and death Jesus took upon himself.
Jesus redeemed us with His own body and blood…the same body and blood he gives to us in the Sacrament of the altar to forgive our sins and give us strength to overcome each day we live in this sinful world. Jesus continues to give us all we need in this world and the next including the gift of the Holy Spirit sent that first Pentecost to the Apostles; sent to us at our Baptism to create faith in us and to constantly battle our sinful nature for us to keep us in the faith.
Finally my brothers and sisters in Christ: God is unfair. These are shocking words for us to hear this morning and every morning. God is not fair. These are words that atheists and agnostics want to hear…but they do not understand. God is not fair because He loves us. God is not fair because He does everything He can to bring us closer to Himself. God is not fair because he forgives us. God is not fair because He cast His divine judgment on His very own Son. If God was fair each one of us would be condemned to everlasting damnation because of our own sinfulness. But God is not fair. God sent His Son to take our place; to be our scape-goat; to be our Savior.
“While we were still sinners [enemies of God] Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8b) Christ died for you because of His, the Father’s, and the Holy Spirit’s love for you. God loves you so much that He died for you. That is our God. That is the God who creates, redeems, and sanctifies you. In this world you may have trouble but Christ gives you His peace that where He is there you may also be.