It is fashionable and politically correct in our society to enter into a campaign or struggle to gain or assert your rights. And nobody can dispute that there are certain rights that should be available to us as citizens; there is a legitimate claim to freedom we should have. But here’s what has happened: we start out with a principle that is valid but there is the temptation to get carried away! We get our hands on some value, principle or observation that is correct and undisputed. But there seems to be a tendency to take that truth and exaggerate and overstate it, and then go wild with all the ramifications. So today, it seems like every group, sub-culture or cult or people with some eccentric lifestyle or distinction can be heard making a lot of noise about their rights!
Man seems driven to try to pilot his own course to happiness — without God. There is this tendency toward personal autonomy. We want to claim our rights and live in some sort of fantasy world, without restrains or requirements. And sometimes we get so entangled in this self-centered way of life, that how we want to live determines our view of religion and God … instead of the other way around. So we insist upon our rights.
What I want to say is very simple: God has rights too! In the news or in conversations this past week, I suspect you have heard about somebody’s rights, but I bet you did not hear much about God’s rights. Genesis 1:1 tells us that God is our Creator. Did you know the word “created” in Genesis 1:1 is a Hebrew word that never applies to man; it is a verb beyond human action. Only God can create! He brought everything into existence. Once we acknowledge God as Creator, a corollary to that confession is that God has rights (Romans 9:21)!
Sometimes, we get all mixed up. We think, imagine, or desire something, then we leap to the conclusion that God certainly must agree with us. We make our thoughts His thoughts (Isaiah 55:8-9). So, if we are going to talk about rights, here is a legitimate right, possessed by the Creator because He is the Creator of life: God has the right to make the laws that should govern us, and we should be thankful and happy. He has revealed His will to us. I can use God’s law to know how to think, speak. and live. God has the fundamental right to make the laws that govern us day to day!
Warren E. Berkley