In his article One God, Two Worlds, Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein has described a wonderful description about One God as against many.
There is a story told about a rabbi fighting for religious freedom in communist Russia. One morning as the rabbi prayed in synagogue, three men rushed in and arrested the rabbi for his actions. Facing a council of determined men, the rabbi reaffirmed that he would not give up his religious activities. One of the agents pointed a gun at his head and said, “This little toy has made many a man change his mind!” The rabbi replied, “That little toy can only intimidate men with many gods and one world. But I have only one God and two worlds, so I am not impressed by your little toy.”
What an incredible display of courage and faith!
As the rabbi explained, some people have many gods. They are beholden to many things – people, jobs, money, passions, and so forth. In addition, for many people, this is the only world that matters. Some deny the existence of life after death; some acknowledge it but are far too focused on the comforts of this world to value the reality of the next one. However, this rabbi was beholden to no one and nothing other than God. His faith was unshakable since he believed with all his heart that he would live beyond death and be judged by his Creator. His only worry was what God might think of him.
In Psalms 123, the psalmist writes: “As the eyes of slaves look to the hand of their master, as the eyes of a female slave look to the hand of her mistress, so our eyes look to the LORD our God …” With these words, the psalmist expresses his complete dependence on God – and only God. Like a slave looks to his master as the only person in the world who can provide for him, protect him, and determine his fate, so too, do we look upon God. Only God can help us, only He can save us, and our destiny – both in this world and in the next – lies in His hands.
It has been said that, “He who fears One, fears none, but he who fears many, fears any.” When we are slaves to God and fear only Him, we have nothing to fear – not even an entire army of men. But when we are slaves to many people and things, we will fear even the smallest threat from a lowly individual.
Henry Ford once said, “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t – you’re right.” What we believe to be true about ourselves often becomes our reality.
How we see ourselves will ultimately determine our abilities. Do you know that you are created in the image of God? Do you know that you are capable of amazing things? Or are you stuck in the grasshopper mindset? Do you see yourself as small, irrelevant, and inconsequential?
He also knows there will be times when the enemy will tempt you to feel fearful and out of control. When this happens, you need to remember that you serve a sovereign God who has good things in mind for your life.
After all, we live in a world that is filled with distractions: iPads, iPods, TV, Internet, movies... there are so many things demanding our time and attention, often at the expense of our time with Christ. The world is filled with so much noise, so much distraction, how often do we really get the chance to listen to God? I don’t know about you, but this is something I struggle with on a daily basis. Don’t allow the toys of this world to distract you from your Heavenly Father. Instead, the next time you pray, turn off your cell phone and find a place far away from your computer. Pray to God in the silence and listen to his reply.
Even when troubles come, we may begin to wonder if we will ever realize the hopes and dreams that God has given us. Joseph, Daniel, Moses, David, and the disciples probably faced the same temptation to doubt God’s blessing and goodness. However, these men of faith remained steadfast in their belief in the Lord’s ability. They had to come to a point of faith where they boldly confronted their fears—and we do, too.
Only once we see our own greatness will we be able to achieve great things for God.