He had horns going out from His hand . . . (Habakkuk 3:4).
Ouch! That is a frightening idea. Imagine if one were to shake hands with God, or worse, be hugged by God. An individual would be left with severe puncture wounds—in spite of God’s infinite love and goodness.
The description of God as having horns sticking out of His hands sounds a bit too reptilian for me. It is also poor organic design. How could God create the universe and form humankind from the clay of the earth with such troublesome “growths”? Surely creation demands delicate dexterity.
Biblical passages like the one above tend to make some people suspicious of its Divine authority and inerrancy.
However, believers and atheists alike entirely miss the deeper meaning of this biblical passage. Even very religious people have complained on my blog that God would not hide deeper meanings within the narratives of Sacred Scripture, but would communicate to humans in a most simple way.
If the meanings of Scripture were so obvious, the Lord, while on earth, would not have belittled His disciples’ cognitive abilities. For instance:
Jesus said to the disciples, “Do ye not yet perceive, neither understand? Have ye your heart yet hardened? having eyes see ye not? and having ears hear ye not?” (Mark 8:17,18)
The Lord spoke to his disciples and the multitudes in parable only—that is, in a symbolic language. What is not known is that this symbolism is used throughout the entire Scriptures! How else can we interpret God as having horns growing out of His hands in a plausible (and relevant) way?
“Horns” going out from God’s hands symbolize the power of God’s truth to persuade. (In nature, animals can focus all their power to their horns, which make them quite persuasive.) The symbolic language of Scripture makes use of physical objects and events to communicate deeper spiritual truths (which is what a parable does).
Furthermore, if the meanings of the words in Scripture were so obvious, there would not be so many church denominations—all who claim to build their doctrines and systematic theologies directly from the Holy Word. Hmmm?
The irony is that both fundamental religious traditions and non-believers alike react strongly against such a possibility that the Holy Word is a multi-leveled document. In fact, they are personally offended by such a notion (because they would have picked up on it from their own mental powers).
Having knowledge of these deeper layers of meaning has enormous benefit. It will allow us to recognize the Lord God’s glory in two directions—one that provides us with a more adequate and inclusive theology for the most-modern world, and, another that will offer keys to unifying science with theology.
This knowledge comes from God and represents the descent of the Holy City, the New Jerusalem, from heaven and into the minds of men and women on earth. This is how all things will be made “anew!”
The New Jerusalem symbolizes a paradigm shift—a new habitation for the human heart and mind. Darwinian theory does not address humankind’s possible adaptation to such a noble habitation.