The question before us, therefore, is about authority. When we know how God exercises His authority and power, we will be better able to recognize Satan’s counterfeit. What does God want of us? Has He ever said to His children, “You either love me or I’ll have to kill you!” Did He ever say that? What about Satan’s charges that God is arbitrary, vengeful, and severe? Has God convincingly answered those accusations? How do we know if we are being told the truth? How does God seek to convince us of the rightness of His cause? In comparison, how does Satan seek to convince us of the rightness of his cause? Which method do we prefer? Which method do we find more convincing and more trustworthy? Under whose government would we rather live?
How do we settle these questions? Should we pick up our Bibles and begin to read God’s claims about Himself? If we do that, we will find, almost on page one, God’s statement, “Don’t do that! It isn’t safe. Anyone can make mere claims” (based on Gen 3:11 and the lessons found in the whole story). When God himself warns me not to accept mere claims, my trust in Him is immediately increased. In Deuteronomy 13 and 1 Kings 13 there were prophets who claimed to be prophets but who were lying. There were people who performed miracles, but at the same time they were not telling the truth. There are many other warnings in the Bible—remember the four hundred and fifty lying prophets of King Ahab (1 Kings 18:19, 22), and the lying prophets in the days of Jeremiah (particularly chapters 26-29). God has been very candid in warning us, “Don’t accept mere claims.” What we need is evidence and demonstration.
So when God was accused of being unworthy of the trust of His family, He humbly took his case into court (Rom 3:4). This is amazing! He’s the Infinite One. Yet He invites His children to investigate and to discover to their own satisfaction whether God is worthy of their trust. Imagine the Infinite One submitting His character and government to the scrutiny of His own creatures. Does that say something to us about God? Paul says in Romans, “God may you win your case when you take it into court” (based on Romans 3:4).
Has God already won his case? Of course! Throughout the rest of the universe. It is only down here that some of us are not too sure. He didn’t win His case by bribing the judge, or by intimidating the jury, or by hiding some of the evidence. He won His case because the evidence was on His side. He proved to the satisfaction of the whole onlooking universe that what He said about Himself was true. What evidence did He offer? The most costly and convincing evidence the universe will ever see or ever need. That will be the subject of the next chapter.