Is Man God?
There are 3 parts to the triptych of our misadventures on Earth. The first is the Fall of man in Eden. Man was cast out into the world where he began fending for himself, toiling for bread, and building great cities. That central panel, the world, is plainly painted in Psalm 82. There God warns us that we live in suspense. If we (especially the powerful) do not judge righteously for the afflicted then we will fall again despite whatever power has been accrued.
Psalm 82 describes a council of mighty judges, also literally called “gods”, who rule the Earth unjustly and harm the poor. If God would call people gods this references the first panel, in which God agrees with Satan that man becomes “like God” by eating the fruit of knowledge.
“Then the LORD God said,
‘Behold, the man has become like one of Us,
to know good and evil. And now,
lest he put out his hand
and take also of the tree of life,
and eat and live forever…’”
– Genesis 3:22
And like Genesis 3:22, Psalm 82 also declares man’s lack of immortality. Thus Psalm 82: 6,7 says that for the wickedness of these powerful judges (or perhaps by extension all the wicked) their position will not save them.
“I said, ‘You are gods, and all of you are children of the Most High. But you shall die like men, and fall like one of the princes.’”
– Psalm 82:6,7
Thus in answering the question “is man God?” or “are humans gods?” it appears that God has said yes, in a sense, but we will see that it is so qualified as to be a derisive reversal of some people’s expectations.
In the third part of the triptych Jesus comes to redeem man and reconcile with him. Jesus quotes Psalm 82 to prove His right to claim He is the Son of God, since the perfect scripture says that the judges are gods and Jesus has after all been specially sanctified to do His great work as the Son of God.
Then in what sense are men and women gods/Gods? Is Mary or Moses a god? No, they are not divine; they did not create the world, they’re not omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent. They are only creatures. They do not have life in themselves, none of us do, without the miracle of God giving us breath. Consider there are several scriptures which teach us that there is one God. For example,
1 Corinthians 8:4-6 As concerning therefore the eating of those things that are offered in sacrifice unto idols, we know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is none other God but one. For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth, (as there be gods many, and lords many,) But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.
Deuteronomy 4:35 Unto thee it was shewed, that thou mightest know that the LORD he is God; there is none else beside him.
The quote from Corinthians directly addresses the paradox that the Bible calls things “gods” which have no equality with God and no divinity. They may be creatures or blocks of wood. God is actually extremely competitive and jealous at times with these idols in order to claim in possessive, rapturous love, His creatures and the glory He desires from them. When God calls wicked people/judges “gods” in Psalm 82, people educated in scriptures should have their ears pick up because that is like God drawing a bulls’ eye around you – so beware.
The verse “ye are gods” has quotes around it. It is a critical thought, not a thought which will stand still. They picked up stones at that moment to stone Him but the sharp sword of His mouth was too quick for them.
When Jesus repeats these words, He has come and said “I am God” not in the garden of Eden but in the city, where they are rebellious, hypocritical and ungodly. When He says He is God they say ‘we will kill you’. They don’t care how many holy miracles He works or how gracious His words are. Therefore He quotes scripture, “I have said ye are gods.” This is not an encouragement. It refers to how man tried to claim a place with God through the Fall but they will die the death like mere men because they persist in unrighteousness.