“A Step in the Right Direction”

Nilsson says, “Another step in the development of polytheism was thinking of the great forces of nature (such as sky and seasons) and of human life (such as love and death) as gods.”

Yes, and the same story applies there.  It is quite apt, and not incompatible with understanding a single divine reality behind them all.  In fact, seeing them as gods—as personal beings with desires, plans, loves, and so forth—is a step in the right direction, of acknowledging that God is a Person and one with whom one can interact.

“Lord, did the polytheistic response affect You in any way?”

Oh yes, in many ways.  When someone sensed My presence in a place and responded respectfully, it increased My awareness of My presence there, and of what it was about Me that evoked and deserved respect.

Then I was given an analogy.

Sometimes someone might be the pillar of a particular institution and not realize their distinctive role until a crisis.  And they notice that everyone rallies around them or sees them as their savior or seeks their advice or expects them to get them through it.  In a sense, they were the pillar all along, but it was almost latent and not fully actualized until the occasion arose and they saw it reflected in the eyes of others.

I gather that God’s experience was something like that.

“I Came to All Peoples”

I have told you that there are many gods but only one God and I am He.

“What do You mean by many gods?”

In a sense, the wind and seas are gods.  The elemental forces of nature are gods.

“Why gods rather than impersonal forces?”

They are not impersonal.  They are agents of Me.  They help direct the world toward its goal.

“What is Your relation to the God of Israel?”

The God of Israel is one face of Me.  It is really Me, and I really did undergo the development recorded pretty accurately in the Hebrew Bible.

“You have other ‘faces’?”

Of course.  I came to all peoples, but arrived in different guises.  I came to the American Indians as the Great Spirit, to the Muslems as Allah, and so on.  I came to the Hindus in many different forms, and hence their many stories.