What does the Bible mean, ‘You are gods’?
One of the pet phrases in scripture that world religions use to support their doctrine is ‘you are gods’. This is found several places in scripture and in context the intent is clear. However, this can and often is twisted into unbiblical meanings and used to confuse those who value the Bible as authoritative. This is used to persuade people that the Bible supports their ‘you are god’ theory. The first passage we will examine is Exodus 7:
1 So the LORD said to Moses: "See, I have made you as God to Pharaoh, and Aaron your brother shall be your prophet.
I won’t spend much time on this passage because the intent is quite obvious. The KJV words it, “I have made thee a god to Pharaoh”. Pharaoh was the highest god in ancient Egypt’s pagan religious world. They had gods for everything. Some gods had higher powers than others. The Egyptians believed that it was necessary to appease all the gods so that their wives could be fertile, their crops would yield harvest, the rains would come in season, and so on. Many of the plagues God sent were specifically targeted against the gods of Egypt. Pharaoh went down to greet the Nile floods each year and honor this god. God sent Moses to meet him and to turn the water to blood. This was a direct assault against this false god. One of their gods was a frog, so God sent a plague of millions of frogs. Because Pharaoh thought he was a god, Moses was like a rivaling god against Pharaoh. To yield to Moses was to admit before his people that Pharaoh wasn’t the strongest god. God said in Exodus 9:14 that the plagues against Pharaoh’s gods were meant to show that there was none like God. It was not to show that Moses was a god. Moses was not a god. However, to the pagan worshipping Pharaoh he was a god. It was only in Pharaoh’s eyes that Moses was considered divine.
Gods will die like men?
Now look at Psalm 82:
1 God stands in the congregation of the mighty; He judges among the gods.
2 How long will you judge unjustly, And show partiality to the wicked? Selah
3 Defend the poor and fatherless; Do justice to the afflicted and needy.
4 Deliver the poor and needy; Free them from the hand of the wicked.
5 They do not know, nor do they understand; They walk about in darkness; All the foundations of the earth are unstable.
6 I said, "You are gods, And all of you are children of the Most High.
7 But you shall die like men, And fall like one of the princes."
This passage requires a little more thought, but it is still quite clear. In the context of this passage it is clear that the ‘gods’ are not called so because they are divine, but because they are set up to be judges. God established His leadership to judge and do justice among the people. This has nothing to do with divinity. We know this because God follows up by saying, “You are gods and children of the Most High, but you shall die like men”. Look at the entire context of this passage. God is judging the judges He has ordained because they became arrogant and unjust. In stead of using the power God had given them to defend the helpless and needy, they used it for greed and gain. They afflicted the needy and gave favor to the wicked. Jesus used this same passage against the Pharisees. They thought they were above the people. The passage declares that these ‘gods’ are wicked, without understanding, walking in darkness, have an unstable foundation, and they will die like all men do. This doesn’t sound much like the claims of divinity the Word-Faith and other religions proclaim it to be.