Being identified with something or someone can bring a lot of good publicity and not only that it can bring in the bucks.
Being identified with someone or something can also spell disaster as well.
Now God it seems likes to find identification with our humanistic terms and understanding. And in him doing so sometimes causes a lot of unnecessary controversies. I mean if he is God, he would have known all this right?
But he does not seem to mind.
God is known in the bible (the NT) as Father. Jesus addressed YHWH as father. But the word ‘father’ has different expressions in terms of how each human being experiences the meaning of this word. Some have good relationships with father and so God depicted as father is most welcomed. But at points some experience ‘father’ in a negative way. They may have had abusive fathers, irresponsible fathers, fathers who have cheated and so on and so forth. But this understanding, of God as Father still stands.
God embracing humanity by being a human being is another one of those controversial statements out there. But again God doesn’t mind. The bible states that in Jesus ‘God’s fullness was pleased to dwell.’ The divine and infinite crammed up inside human flesh. The Word that was with God in the beginning tabernacle with humanity in their flesh. Why would God stoop down and be identified with this let alone the term as well. But again God doesn’t seem to mind.
In embracing and identifying himself (God) with things finite, in the form of Jesus, God identified with human tendencies. In Jesus, God was hungry, God was thirsty, God was tired, God slept, God even wept. We’d be comfortable with a God who was all powerful but to have God being all human conjures some uncomfortable positions that Christians have. To emphatically display God’s relentless embrace of humanities’ down to earthiness, this God of the bible died. In Jesus he was flogged, commanded to carry his cross all the way to his impending crucifixion and later on humiliating death among rebels at his right and left hand side. It seems embarrassing as well that when he was hanging on the cross he cried out ‘My God, My God why have you forsaken me?’ God here doubted.
Sometimes when I think of all this, and try to grapple the ironies of the bible; like God advocating killing in the OT (where he commanded Israel to wipe out some other nations), why God did not intervene Adam and Eve’s failure so that they would not have eaten the fruit and many more hard things to handle; it just makes me scratch my head. How should we take all these things in?
Although I am not proposing any easy answers to this, it seems reading all these ironic things in the bible and God’s identification with these sometimes difficult statements or stories, it pleased God to be able to stoop low and communicate himself in human language and understanding. God was willing to forgo easy safe measures to make his way to help us understand him. The God of the bible, although following him are a lot of ironies, it is also because he is not ashamed to be able to communicate sense to us.