It’s time to save the world again! With all the superhero movies in theaters, it makes me think that Hollywood is looking for a Savior.
It shouldn’t surprise us that somewhere in us, we are always looking for a Savior, someone who will go to bat for us, defend us, and deliver us. It sounds like the people of Israel in 1 Samuel, “No! But there shall be a king over us, that we also may be like all the nations, and that our king may judge us and go out before us and fight our battles.” (1Sa 8:19-20) Throngs will attend the massive cineplexes to find a savior on Friday night, and never think to look at their local church on Sunday morning.
Then I began to wonder about the superheroes of the Bible, you know, men of great strength like Samson, or great speed like Elijah. It reminds me of those who faced great challenges, like Noah, who was charged with building the first boat, for the first flood, to save all animals, and all mankind from the end of the world. Sounds like a super hero job to me.
But all of these heroes were ordinary men and women like you and me. What happened to them to change them to heroes? The answer lies in Hebrews 11:1, “Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets”. Every single one of these ordinary people were dramatically changed by the voice of God. But there is one hero who outmatches them all.
Still looking for a Savior?
Everyone has a favorite hero, and I think there’s a lot to be said for the comparison of our modern superheroes and the pantheon of gods and goddesses of the ancient world. For every Superman today, there was a Zeus in the days of the Bible. For every Thor, there was a Baal. People then worshipped these superheroes as gods, with real control over their destinies. Sadly, just like modern superheroes, these ancient heroes had a problem. They could not be everywhere at once. They were godlike in their powers, but they could never be God, because they couldn’t be here and there at the same time.
In Superman II, the world is in need of Superman, because the arch-villains of Krypton have made their way to earth. But Superman was occupied with Lois Lane in the fortress of solitude, and didn’t know the earth was in trouble. He couldn’t save the world until after many lives were lost.
In 1 Kings 17, Elijah challenges the priests of Baal. They work and worship in vain to get Baal to light the offering on the altar. Elijah mocks them suggesting that Baal is away on vacation, or perhaps indisposed, unaware of their plight. But Elijah’s God, the God of Israel is always near. “For what great nation is there that has a god so near to it as the LORD our God is to us, whenever we call upon him?” (Deuteronomy 4:7) In no time, God lit the altar of Israel, and proved once again that He is God, and there is no other.
Listen to what he says in Isaiah: “Turn to me and be saved, all the ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is no other.” (Isa 45:22)There are many heroes, and many superheroes that may call for attention, devotion, even worship, but only one God. The people of the ancient world had a tough time figuring this out. What about you?
Who your superhero?