Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Some Thoughts on the Authority of Words

My son has finally reached the age that he is showing himself to be my son indeed, as well as one of Adam's sons; that is, his depravity has begun to bloom exponentially, if I may mix a few metaphors. Though he learned "Ma" and "Da" early on, as well as "Da" with a slightly different inflection that means "yes" (when you become a parent you do learn things like how to distinguish between "Da" and "Da" - it's kinda scary but largely intuitive). Yet, the first word he's really mastered, with regards to using it accurately in most situations, is "No". And he even sounds darn cute when he says it. Sometimes.

His accurate use of "no" likely stems from the fact that he hears us say it often when he's doing something we don't want him to do. He's put 2 and 2 together and determined that you say "no" when people either do something you don't want, or ask you to do something you don't want to do. And he says it just like we do. I was thinking about it the other day and was fascinated by the fact that he understands what it means and how to use it, yet there's still something missing. He doesn't quite get why when we say "no" it IS "no", while when he says "no" if WE say "yes" then his "no" get's overridden. I realized that it all boils down to power and authority. Without getting all metaphysical here, he just doesn't have the authority nor power to bring to pass what he demands; we do, at least in most things pertaining to him. We have God granted authority as his parents and power, because we're just plain bigger, faster and more coordinated (though he is pretty quick and strong for his age).

Of course the parallel here is blatantly obvioius. It is the same with God and that's why in so many ways our view of our God (be it right or wrong) often stems from our view of our parents. And though it's true of the "no"s that He may prohibit, it delightful to think that it is also true of His promises:

I bow before your holy Temple as I worship. I praise your name for your unfailing love and faithfulness; for your promises are backed by all the honor of your name. NLT Psalm 138:2

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