“Come let us sing for joy to the Lord; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extoll him with music and song. For the Lord is the great God, the great King above all gods. In his hand are the depths of the earth, and the mountain peaks belong to him. The sea is his, for he made it, and his hands formed the dry land. Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker; for he is our God and we are the people of his pasture, the flock under his care.” – Psalm 95:1-7
“The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully”; so harangues Richard Dawkins, the crusty old atheist hater of God. One wonders if we will hear this quote again, recited aloud at the Great White Throne Judgment of Almighty God, or if it will be buried in the depths of the sea with the other sins of an unlikely, lately redeemed Dawkins, because the Spirit of God finally brings him to fall on his knees and cry out for God’s mercy and forgiveness. If this never happens, he will experience an eternity of utter misery. But Dawkins is not so heinously evil that he cannot receive mercy upon the very moment of miraculous belief in the Lamb who was slain.
Megalomania is certainly an apt description for anyone as a mere man who commands such worship and adoration as requested in the Bible. Dawkins’ great error is he equates the God of the Bible with a mere fellow creature like himself, since he is completely ignorant and in denial of the existence of any supernatural being like the one true Trinitarian God. The evidence for such a being is overwhelming, but Dawkins is a total fool who denies his existence. “The fool says in his heart, there is no God,” says the Psalmist (14:1).
Perhaps you have wondered why God in his word commands his people to give him such complete worship and adoration, that you are to hang on his every word, obey every request he makes. Isn’t this a bit much? Why should he be the complete center of attention, the one who receives all the adulation? Is this necessary? Will he miss anything if you do not? Well, no; God does not NEED any of it. He is in need of nothing! But you do! You desperately do. Your worship of him benefits you; it satisfies everything in you and about you; it fulfills who you are and who you were made to be. Without it you will be a miserable creature. This is why those who refuse to worship the One who made them continue to be miserable. This is the nature of hell: existing, but miserable.
The very nature of being a successful living creature is to be a lover of the One who gave you being. To deny and not live out your purpose for being is to be ever unsatisfied, unfulfilled, incomplete; always desiring and never able to be satisfied. There is no other alternate nature of what it means to be human. Even the animals and plants worship their Creator by doing what they were created to do. “The trees of the forest clap their hands (Isaiah 55:12).
You differ from the non-human creation in that sin is an element which clouds the thinking and perceptual vision of humans who were created in God’s image, something foreign to animals and plants. The only means of restoring clear thinking and accurate vision is faith; a belief that God is, and that he rewards those who seek him. Otherwise, you cannot see or believe what is true. You live under false illusions.
Yes, God is megalomaniacal if you believe he is no different than you, that he isn’t a God at all. If this is your thinking you will always live as a blind man “groping along the wall, feeling your way like people without eyes” (Isaiah 59:10). It is a terrible thing to go through your whole life with no ability to see clearly, or recognize truth; but this is exactly the state of so many. It produces the Richard Dawkins’ of the world or those who simply do not care enough to even articulate their unbelief except in the way they live, or utterly fail to live well.
The only real joy in life is found in the genuine pursuit of the God who made you and his Son who died that you might live. Understand what it is to see him rightly as the God who is, and all that entails. It changes your perspective on everything the Bible reveals of his being and character, and all his actions. It makes the charge of megalomania completely ludicrous. What is more it makes your humble submission to the providence of God the only sensible behavior you can wholeheartedly pursue; indeed, a behavior which will fully captivate your heart. God is love.
“Frail children of dust, and feeble as frail, in you do we trust, nor find you to fail; your mercies how tender, how firm to the end, our Maker, Defender, Redeemer, and Friend!”
(5th verse of Sir Robert Grant’s hymn, “O Worship the King,” 1833)