AS GOD THINKETH SO IS HE

By: Tiago Hirayama

Years ago I developed an unfortunate habit: looking at Facebook — reading posts of persons whom raging opinions sound more like illogical creatures. As Jude have said, “But these men revile the things which they do not understand; and the things which they know by instinct, like unreasoning animals, by these things they are destroyed,” (Jude 1:10). A certain day I found myself eyeballing the timeline — as everybody does — and the phrase “Let us dream the dreams of God because to Him nothing is impossible,” popped up. This phrase sounds like a transliteration of Luke 1:37 with wish-wash thinking. I believe what that person wanted to articulate was related to God’s plans, will, and desire, which is not far from being true. However, though dream can be synonymous with those words, it carries good and bad connotations, therefore, should be avoided. First, the Bible says humans cannot conceive the Eternal’s thoughts. Second, although there are similarities between the Creator and the creature, differences are crystal clear. Lastly, since dream is a human unconsciously action, God is not affected by it.

Isaiah speaking authoritatively on the All Powerful’s behalf says, “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways And My thoughts than your thoughts,” (Isaiah 55:8-9). Apostle Paul also states:  For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who became His counselor?  Or who has first given to Him that it might be paid back to him again? (Romans 11:34-35). Complementary, scholars have suggested that the Apostle’s words are an exposition of Isaiah 40:12-14 and Job 3,[1] which leads to the implication that the new testament, prophetic, and poetry books of the Bible rejects the idea of humans dreaming as God. The Divine leaves no possibility of a creature thinking the same thoughts of Him, let alone dream. The Immortal instead has definite plans and purposes, not “dreams,” (Isaiah 46:10; Numbers 23:19).

But perhaps the similarities are such that the assumption “God dreams” could stand up and not collapse before the most fundamental assertion in Christianity: God is the creator of man. Even though the Divinity fashioned Man, theologians accede that both still share some things in common such as language, creativity, love, holiness, immortality, and freedom are the usual resemblances agreed upon.[2] The most explicit distinction comes from what theologians call the incommunicable attributes. Dr. Wayne Grudem elucidates that such characteristics include God’s eternity (God has existed for all eternity, but we have not), unchangeableness (God does not change, but we do), or omnipresence (God is everywhere present, but we are present only in one place at one time).[3] Conversely, dream is far from being listed with those similitudes spoke above; it comes from the Latin somnium which means: A set of ideas and images that present themselves to the spirit during sleep. Or figuratively, utopia; unfounded imagination; fantasy; daydream; illusion; happiness; which lasts little; vain hopes; chimeric ideas.[4]

Since a dream is received by an unconscious individual, the Giver of life is not affected by it. God does not sleep (Psalm 121:2-4), and if He does not sleep, He does not dream either. The Sovereign does not have a set of ideas and images that could present themselves to the spirit during sleep. The only “god” who sleeps and dreams may be the one whose prophet Elijah scoffed while his worshipers cut themselves (1 Kings 18:27). Moreover, the Almighty does not have fantasies or illusions, anything that lasts little, or something that He needs desperately to achieve. Jehovah has planned everything in the Holy Scriptures and will undoubtedly happen (Mt 24:35, Mk 13:31, Lk 21:33). If one affirms that God dreams positively about a particular human being, at its most basic level, it generates a sense of arrogance and pride within the sinner, leading him to think much of himself, instead of thinking much of Christ. Furthermore, when a person rejects the so-called dreams, unintentionally he has turned God into a frustrated being; it overshadows the complete control of God over the universe. Therefore, The Lord of lords can never be frustrated, this is absolute nonsense, not to say unthinkable!

Looking from a worldview perspective, the wish-wash mentality has infiltrated many circles of believers disguised as materialistic and humanistic hope. To combat such influences within the church, Dr. Francis Schaeffer has advised that “as christians we are not only to know the right worldview, the worldview that tells us the truth of what is, but consciously to act upon that worldview so as to influence society in all its parts and facets across the whole spectrum of life, as much as we can to the extent of our individual and collective ability.”[5]

As this article concludes, the word dream cannot be exchanged with its assumed synonyms; the Bible opposes it because of the distinction Creator/creature. Since God is not affected by any dream, He is free to do whatever pleases Him according to the counsel of His will, (Romans 9: 13-21). As God thinketh so is He!

[1] Christopher W. Morgan, “From Typology to Doxology: Paul’s Use of Isaiah and Job in Romans 11:34–35,” Themelios, accessed March 14, 2018, http://themelios.thegospelcoalition.org/review/from-typology-to-doxology-pauls-use-of-isaiah-and-job-in-romans-113435.

[2] John Rendle Short, “Man: The Image of God,” Answers in Genesis, March 1, 1981, accessed March 14, 2018, https://answersingenesis.org/who-is-god/creator-god/man-the-image-of-god/

[3] Wayne Grudem, Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine. (Nottingham, UK: Inter-Varsity Press., 1994), 156.

[4] This definition was extracted from Portuguese Online Dictionary Priberan, accessed on March 15, 2018, https://www.priberam.pt/dlpo/sonho

[5] Francis A. Schaeffer, How Should We Then Live? The Rise and Decline of Western Thought and Culture, L’Abri 50th Anniversary Ed (Wheaton, IL: Crossway 2005), 256.

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