I’ve been reading through the Bible and realize anew why so many people think God is as unapproachable as King Kong. Just check out the story of Moses and the terrified Israelites at Mt. Sinai when God revealed himself with, “thunder and lightning flashes, and a thick cloud upon the mountain and a very loud trumpet sound, so that all the people in the camp trembled” (Exodus 19:16). The God who creates and controls such powerful physical forces as thunder, lightning and clouds doesn’t seem too welcoming.
On another occasion the oxen carrying the ark of God stumbled and a man irreverently reached out to stabilize the ark. Immediately, God struck him dead (2 Samuel 6:6-7). Such a violent punishment leveled against an unintentional act of disrespect makes it seem like reaching out to God is about as smart as placing your hand on the face of a red-hot iron.
Apart from those stories people have also gotten the mistaken idea that all sorts of religious hoops have to be jumped through to get to God.
As I consider such a seemingly ruthless and vicious God, I remember something that puts it all in perspective … something that lays to rest the idea that God is unapproachable. Normally, this is the kind of thought I’d have in December, not July. But here it is July as I contemplate God resting in a manger, in a stable, in Bethlehem some 2,000 years ago. Who could be more approachable than an infant? Who could be less of a threat than a swaddled child with his hands secured at his side? Who invites affection and love more than a newborn child?
You see, don’t you? God could have entered the world in the body of a creature like King Kong. But he visited us as a baby because he wanted us to know he is approachable.