And God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” And He said, “Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.'” Exodus 3:14
By Brother John L. Cash, “Country Preacher Dad”
Children ask preachers a lot of good questions. I’ll bet you know the one I’m asked most often: “Who made God?” I’m pretty sure that most of the time I’m asked this question, it’s actually a referral—the kid has already asked his parents, and they said, “Why don’t you ask Brother John on Sunday because he knows about these things.”
“Who made God?” Truth be told, I don’t know the answer to that one, either. People forget that I’m in sales, not management. But when I’m asked I always share some thoughts, and I always strive to do my best. Today I’ll tell you a story in an attempt to prime your thinking so you’ll have a bit to say when this question (inevitably) is asked of you by your little one.
When my son was a little tiny boy, he caught a frog. He put it in a shoebox and brought the shoebox into the house. He played with the frog all day. When it got dark outside, I asked him if he wanted me to put the little frog in a plastic dishpan outside (with some water and food) so he could play with the frog the next day.
He gave a very interesting answer. He said that he wanted to let the frog go. When I asked him why, he told me that it was night time and that, when the frogs got ready to go to bed, the mama frog would look for the little frog, and the little frog would look for his mama.
Now, this does not represent a realistic understanding of frogs, since frogs don’t live with their mamas. (The last contact a frog has with his mother is when the egg is laid, before he becomes a tadpole.) Frogs families don’t look for each other before they turn in for the night. But I understand my son’s logic. Little boys have homes and mamas and bedtimes, so it only stands to reason that frogs would have the same. My son’s desire to set the frog free was based upon his knowledge of how a little boy would feel if kept captive at bedtime. His answer told us very little about frogs but a lot about little boys.
Now, I think that when we ask the question, “Who made God?” we’re not saying too much about God but an awful lot about ourselves. In reality, what we are confessing is that we know we are creatures—that we were designed and created by a wonderful Maker. We are using “frog logic”—somebody made me, so somebody has to make God, too.
The apostle Paul says in the Epistle of Romans that everybody (and he means everybody) knows that there is a God. He says that God has imprinted this knowledge on the fabric of our being. I have had conversations when an atheist told me, “Tell me. Who made God?” Oh my goodness! He doesn’t realize it, but the unbeliever has fallen into the trap of frog logic. The “atheist” is confessing that he knows that he has a Maker, and that God must have a maker, too.
Would I say all this to an inquiring five-year-old? Certainly not. My short answer runs something like this (which I simplify for children): “Who made God? We ask that question because someone made us. God made us, and we are used to everything having to be created by a Creator. But God is not a creature like us. He has always been. The answer lies in what God said when Moses wanted to know His name. God said that His name is I AM. We can’t say that our name is I AM, because there was a time before we were alive. But God’s name is I AM. He is now, He always has been, and He always will be. God is the natural state of things.”
Sorry I didn’t answer the question this week, but I’ve tried my best. That’s my story, and I’m sticking with it. Dear mama, spend a little time today thinking about the Loving Creator who made you. Tell your babies about Him, too. Have a great week. Grace, Peace—and Ribbit, Ribbit.
Dr. John L. Cash is the “Country Preacher Dad” *Sing that title to the tune of “Secret Agent Man” He was raised in Stuttgart, Arkansas, and is beginning his third decade of being a country preacher in the piney woods five miles south of the little town of Hickory, Mississippi. He and his lovely wife, Susan, and his sons, Spencer (age 17) and Seth (age 14) live in the parsonage next door to the Antioch Christian Church (where if you want to play with a frog, you can step out the back door and step directly into the forest). You should write him at firstname.lastname@example.org.