Sometimes I think God exists only in our imagination. That humans, for as long as we’ve had cognitive abilities, have done the best we can to understand how the world works and we attribute the unknowable or, rather the not-yet-identified and known, to an entity we call God. So, God is understood thru the best of our abilities to imagine, identify and express. Only in these limited human ways can we speak about God. I get a little defensive when people start putting words in God’s mouth to claim what God wants or thinks. God, by definition is omnipotent and unknowable. Remember how God put Job in his place? I would hesitate to speak on behalf of such an entity as if my familiarity with God gave me permission to infer the mind of God.
Job chapter 38: “Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind:
2 “Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge?
3 Gird up your loins like a man,
I will question you, and you shall declare to me.
4 “Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?
Tell me, if you have understanding.
5 Who determined its measurements—surely you know! …
12 “Have you commanded the morning since your days began,
and caused the dawn to know its place,…
16 “Have you entered into the springs of the sea,
or walked in the recesses of the deep?
17 Have the gates of death been revealed to you,
or have you seen the gates of deep darkness?
18 Have you comprehended the expanse of the earth?
Declare, if you know all this.
19 “Where is the way to the dwelling of light,
and where is the place of darkness,
20 that you may take it to its territory
and that you may discern the paths to its home?
21 Surely you know, for you were born then,
and the number of your days is great!
22 “Have you entered the storehouses of the snow,
or have you seen the storehouses of the hail,
23 which I have reserved for the time of trouble,
for the day of battle and war?
24 What is the way to the place where the light is distributed,
or where the east wind is scattered upon the earth?
28 “Has the rain a father,
or who has begotten the drops of dew?
29 From whose womb did the ice come forth,
and who has given birth to the hoarfrost of heaven?
30 The waters become hard like stone,
and the face of the deep is frozen…
33 Do you know the ordinances of the heavens?
Can you establish their rule on the earth?…
35 Can you send forth lightnings, so that they may go
and say to you, ‘Here we are’?
36 Who has put wisdom in the inward parts,
or given understanding to the mind?
37 Who has the wisdom to number the clouds?…
41 Who provides for the raven its prey,
when its young ones cry to God,
and wander about for lack of food?
Therefore, it is only for me to speak my desires into the universe, it is not for me to speak of the universe’s desire, or God’s desire or your’s either – this c or . I do not presume to say our desires will be met by God. The psalmist wrote: “who is man that you are mindful of him?” Desires are part of the human existence and spoken aloud in prayer in hopes that they will be met.
When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars, which you have set in place,
what is man that you are mindful of him,
and the son of man that you care for him?