God is Not Perfect (Because He is Perfect)


God is Not Perfect (Because He is Perfect)

Perfect: (from Merriam-Webster.com)

1) a: being entirely without fault or defect: Flawless

b: satisfying all requirements: Accurate

c: corresponding to an ideal standard or abstract concept

d: faithfully reproducing the original specifically: Letter-Perfect

e: legally valid

2) Expert, Proficient

3)a: Pure, Total

b: lacking in no essential detail: Complete

c: obsolete: Sane

d: Absolute, Unequivocal

e: of an extreme kind: Unmitigated

4) obsolete: Mature

5) of, relating to, or constituting a verb form or verbal that expresses an action or state completed at the time of speaking or at a time spoken of

6) obsolete

a: Certain, Sure

b: Contented, Satisfied

7) of a musical interval: belonging to the consonances unison, fourth, fifth, and octave which become augmented or diminished when raised or lowered by a half step

8) a: sexually mature and fully differentiated

b: having both stamens and pistils in the same flower

The modern definition of perfect is to be flawless; an ideal that cannot be improved upon. If we think of a perfect circle we think of a circle drawn with a compass or some mechanical means that will not introduce any mark outside of the exact radius given. If I think of a pentagonal shape, a perfect one will exist of five sides of equal length spread by five angles all exactly the same. Then I can think of something in nature, God’s creation, that we would think of as circular, say, an apple viewed from above or below – its cross-section. If we slice that apple in half at its thickest, roundest point and then lay it on a piece of paper on which is drawn a “perfect circle of the same radius as the apple, they will not match: there will be some wobbles on the apple. We can also notice on that apple, where we sliced it, that the seeds make up a star pattern – five points. If we were to take those five points and draw lines from one to the next, so as to form a pentagon, we would also notice that they would not be equal lengths, and thus that angles would also not match. 

In every instance of nature, we would notice the same thing. Crystal structures, which we think of as God’s use of symmetry, are not “perfectly” patterned out. Each crystal grown in a cluster will vary slightly, and sometimes greatly, from its neighbor in angle and size. The pattern of seeds in a sunflower, held up often as the ideal use of a Fibonacci sequence in nature, will stray from mathematically computed and drawn versions of the same form. Even a “perfectly” straight line cannot be found in God’s creation. The line of the horizon, no matter how flat the landscape, is broken up by subtle hills and punctuations of rocks or vegetation. The surface of a body of water, no matter how calm and undisturbed it is, will be corrupted by ripples from the breeze or the jumping of a fish or a water-skipper. Every upright growing tree or plant fails to match the perfection of a metal flagpole. 

How else are we to conclude, then, other than man is more perfect than God? Man can take a widget and figure out how to replicate it a billion times with each replication identical in every way to the others. But looking in my jar of cashews which is sitting on the table, each nut is similar to the others, but nowhere near perfectly alike. Some are more curled or twisted or textured or darker colored; in fact every one is completely unique, like snowflakes and fingerprints. We know that every human is also unique. How could it be seen as perfect if we were all the same? Isn’t God’s perfection within us individually? Because we are fearfully and wonderfully made, right? But He cannot even make us symmetrical! If you take a frontal photo of someone’s face who you know, split it down the middle and duplicate and flip it so that it is a perfectly symmetrical picture, you can hardly recognize them; that’s how asymmetrical we are! 

Is perfection in our hearts, then? But we are all sinners! We aren’t perfect in any way! The deeper you look, the more flawed we become! We are all weak, prone to illness and injury, full of spots and wrinkles, thinning hair, body odor and crooked teeth. We lie, cheat and steal, we hurt the ones we love most, and are selfish and stiff-necked!

Yet Moses was inspired to write, “He is the Rock, His work is perfect.” How could he say that? Nature screams imperfection from its core! It is unruly and unordered! Plants sprout up wherever they may, one here another there, with weeds between everything, plants growing on plants, fighting with each other for light and water. Animals kill each other to survive, picking on the weak. 

Our definition of perfection must be skewed if God is perfect. Moses continues in his song, to say, “for all His ways are justice, a God of truth, and without injustice. They have corrupted themselves; They are not His children, because of their blemish; A perverse and crooked generation.” So He defines His perfection as justice and truth. And if we look at older definitions of perfection, we see that indeed, its meaning has changed; its meaning is no longer “perfect.”

Webster’s 1828 dictionary defined “perfect” as:

Per’fect, a.[l. Perfectus, perfico, to complete; per and facio, to do or make through, to carry to the end.]

1) Finished; complete; consummate; not defective; having all that is requisite to it’s nature and kind; as a perfect statue; a perfect likeness; a perfect work; a perfect system.

2) Fully informed; completely skilled; as men perfect in the use of arms; perfect in discipline.

3) Complete in moral excellencies.

Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father who is in heaven is perfect. Mat.5

4) Manifesting perfection

-My strength is made perfect in weakness. 2 Cor. 12

-Perfect chord in music, a concord or union of sounds which is perfectly coalescent and agreeable to the ear, as the fifth and the octave; a perfect consonance. 

-A perfect flower, in botany, has both stamen and pistil, or at least another and stigma.

-Perfect tense, in grammar, the preterit tense; a tense which expresses and act as completed. 

Then we can go back to the meaning of the word in Hebrew. The main word used in Hebrew is H8552, “Tamiym.” 

Strong’s says, “entire (literally, figuratively or morally); also (as noun) integrity, truth; – without blemish, complete, full, perfect, sincerely (-ity), sound, without spot, undefined, upright (-ly), whole.”

Brown Driver Briggs definition is mostly the same, but adds, “what is complete or entirely in accord with truth and fact.”

The Ancient Hebrew Lexicon of the Bible says, “Whole; KJV; without blemish, perfect, upright, without spot, uprightly, whole, sincere, complete, full.” From the root word “Tam: Fill: Whole: Someone or something that is whole, complete or full. One who is mature and upright as one who is whole.”

Distilling these definitions a bit will allow us to see the contrast of our modern thought vs. what was originally meant to be conveyed. Today the stress of the meaning is on “Flawless, without defect, and corresponding to an ideal standard or abstract concept,” whereas the original concept was, “whole, full, complete, and mature; in accord with truth, fact and integrity.” This difference is made real to me when I put myself into it. If God is asking me to be perfect, even as He is perfect, I am faced with the sheer impossibility of the modern concept: There is no way that I can be Flawless, or become an ideal standard for others to measure up to. But can I be mature in my faith, or be whole and complete, living entirely in accord with truth and fact? It still sounds daunting, but maybe possible, especially when part of that complete knowledge and maturity is knowing that I don’t do it alone: I am filled with the Holy Spirit and made whole by the forgiveness of my sins. I am made mature not through my flawlessness, but through the growth and humility that comes from having made mistake after mistake. Something full was once empty. Something complete was started and in process in prior times. Something mature was at one point in its infancy. This wholeness and maturity is what makes us able to act righteously, with justice and based firmly in truth, which is what Moses wrote in the song he sang to commemorate finishing the writing of the book of the law. Deuteronomy 32: 4-5:

He is the rock, His work is perfect [how do we know that?]; For all His ways are justice, A God of truth and without injustice; Righteous and upright is He. [so how would God describe someone who is not perfect? Verse 5] They have corrupted themselves; they are not His sons; it is their blemish; they are a crooked and perverse generation.

This is all finally in line with what nature told us at the beginning. God’s perfection is not the flawless ideal: It is the completed whole that has matured from its infancy. It is not perfect because it is incapable of error, but because it has recognized its insufficiency with all humility and so grasped on to the only thing in the universe that can make it complete; Yeshua the Messiah!

The creation was made intentionally “imperfect” so that we could see our need for help. With that help, we are made complete. And since the time of creation, Satan has been putting it in people’s minds that there is a better, more perfect way that we can attain on our own. And we have worked tirelessly to attain it, building perfectly square boxes that can be stacked one upon another, filled with unvarying mass produced widgets, and lived in with a sense of complete isolation from God’s own imperfect creation. Satan measures his perfection in tolerances of ten-thousandths of an inch. Yahweh measures His in the ripeness and nutrition packed into the tomato. It may be ribbed, warped and have haphazardly placed seeds, but it is a whole food, complete in nutrition and full to bursting with flavor, having matured that way from a flower to a small, hard, green fruit and finally into one that a has seed that can reproduce itself. But you know what? That isn’t enough. That plant still cannot bear fruit without outside help. It is insufficient on its own. It needs pollination brought to it from a bee or other insect, or perhaps the wind, to start the process that leads to mature fruit. A woman is the same; she cannot bear fruit without a husband, can she? And aren’t we, the church, called a woman, a bride? We can also do nothing without Yeshua our husband. 

Satan tells us that the perfect wife has soft, smooth skin, is unreasonably thin (except in the breasts) is always young and willing to satisfy all our desires, and if she doesn’t, then go ahead and trade her in for a new one who does. God says to look only at her heart and to love and cherish her in good times and bad and that her love and devotion to you and God will make her worth far above rubies.

The further in time we get, the greater the difference between God’s and Satan’s perfections. Satan has created perfectly smooth roads upon which to roll perfectly round tires at 70 mph so we can get to work faster, to the grocery store to buy food that is perfectly presented, chemical-filled and preserved into eternity, and when the car fumes and pesticides make us sick, to the stark white, perfectly sanitized hospital with all urgency. God gave us our own two dirty feet to walk slowly on the lumpy ground, upon which we labor the day long, tending our gardens and herds, the result of which is healthy, nutritious food, bodies fit and muscular, and sound sleep every night, which will keep us away from illness and disease, and says he only requires us to bathe once in our lifetime and to wash our feet only once per year. 

God writes His music with harmonies made up of divisions of fifths and thirds that are different in every key, but Satan takes those keys and makes them all have the same intervals, perfectly spaced, but with harmony rendered away from beauty and into the realm of the mechanical. He does the same with the rhythm, quantizing all the notes into a robotic procession of energetic “perfection” but no sense of emotion, spirit or life to it. 

Satan builds with corners, especially squares, a human contrivance. When you divide up land by drawing a line from here to there, there are now corners that weren’t there before. That is a human thing to do. God did not make nature in that way. If you take a stone and put a chisel to it, breaking off a chunk, you are left with a sharp edge, or corner that did not initially exist before the human interaction. This is why God said not to touch a rock with a chisel when building an altar for Him. Humans build houses in square shapes to live in and we put things in square boxes to ship them because square is a very convenient shape for these types of human activities. It is a useful shape, but it is not natural in any way. You can hunt high and low in nature and not find a cube or square. You may find a leaf, flower, or fruit with four lobes, but they will always be set in a rounded form without sharp corners. Crystalline structures can have some semblance of squareness, but they never create a larger form of a true square or cube, but always an irregular mass of imperfect angular crystals. Also, look at the cross. It is two perpendicular lines creating 4 corners, and what was it used for? Death.

Satan cannot improve upon God’s perfection, because God’s perfection is imperfect by design! God’s version brings eternal life while Satan’s version brings death. Satan’s mistake was to think that his own value was in his perfect beauty. But that is the perfection that breeds pride, the pride he has sought so hard to pawn off on all of us. We should have no part in it! Indeed, let us accept our imperfections with all humility, so that we can also accept Christ, letting him perfect us!

I have thought long and hard about where the idea of a Savior, or Messiah, is found nature. It evaded me for a long time, and I don’t think I am alone, but He is there, all over the place. Let me explain.

There are many, many people out there who can readily accept that God exists. They can see that a world such as ours cannot exist without a Creator. They may not understand that the Creator wants a personal relationship, but they at least know that God must exist in some form. Yet if you start talking about Jesus to them, they will immediately turn you away, offended that you are now starting to sound too “religious.” This is why 1 Corinthians 1:23 says, “but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness.” He is a stumbling block, because they cannot see the need for Him. Their idea of God is that a Creator God must have created things perfectly by default. It makes no sense for a perfect God to need to send a son to clean up the mess that He made. Of course that is not exactly the way it went, but when we start to confuse the two versions of perfection, that is how we start to think. That is where questions like, “why does God let bad things happen?” start to creep in, and if left unanswered for too long the very existence of God is then denied, which is a tragedy. 

The answer is that God did not create things perfectly on purpose, and for a very good reason. Things are not Satan’s version of perfect because it is not beautiful. There can be no soul in monotonous repetition. Things are not God’s version of perfect (bad things can still happen) because they are not Complete. We see Jesus, Yeshua the Messiah in nature every time we see something that needs help. He created man in need of a helper and had to give him woman saying, “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him.” He created plants that need to be pollinated with outside help to continue the species. He created the moon in need of the sun in order to make it visible, and the sun in need of the moon so that the suns light can shine even when it isn’t present. He created every living thing in need of food and water for survival, otherwise it would all perish in short order. Everything is incomplete on its own, in need all the time; and that is the story of Messiah in nature. “Man cannot live on bread alone.” Jesus is the bread of life. He is the Bridegroom coming for His Bride, which is us. He lived a perfect sin-free life, but apparently even He was incomplete in that His Bride was not yet ready for Him. But He is perfecting her (allowing her to mature) and will come back for her soon. This will be the new Heaven and new Earth because all will be completed, finally back in the Garden of Eden, but no snake, no pride and no Satanic version of perfection, because God is not that kind of perfect.

This is the extent of His love for us; to create us imperfect, sinful and full of shame, then find a way to complete us in order to make us part of His family, one with His son, “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” This will be true perfection. You see, He is not perfect because He is perfect.


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By Jeff Weitzel

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