The Movie Clip – The Avengers (2012)
The Avengers is the story of superheroes fighting off an alien invasion in an effort to save the world. Two of the main characters in the movie are brothers, Thor and Loki. These two brothers are based on Norse Mythology and represent the God of Thunder (Thor) and the God of Mischief (Loki). In this particular movie, Loki is the chief villain and is leading the invasion of earth.
The battle comes to a climax in the clip attached to this lesson as Loki is knocked to the ground and must face off with the Incredible Hulk. While Loki’s ‘godship’ makes him incredibly strong and relatively indestructible, the Hulk is one of the most powerful beings in this fictional universe. As the two face off, Loki tells the Hulk to leave him alone because, “You are, all of you, beneath me. I am a god you dull creature.”
The Hulk proceeds to grab Loki by the ankles and swing him around like a stuffed animal. He walks away mumbling a profound truth: “Puny god.”
The Bible Connection – Idols and God’s Dominion
Scripture is clear on the issue of idolatry. Only Yahweh (the name of the God of the Bible) is really God. Idolatry is forbidden, and worship is to be reserved for Yahweh alone. Some of the best passages on idolatry are found in the prophetic books of the Old Testament when the prophets compare their God to the false ‘puny’ gods of the neighboring nations. Take for example Jeremiah 10:6-16.
In this passage, Jeremiah contrasts the living God (Yahweh) with false gods. Jeremiah’s God is living and active. He created the universe and controls the weather. There is evidence of his power all around us. On the other hand, the idols are made out of gold, have no breath, and no power. They are puny gods.
We find a pattern repeated in scripture and in our lives. We try to put our hope and trust in something other than God. We trust in idols. We trust in ourselves. We hope in our finances. We seek joy in physical pleasure. None of these things are able to truly satisfy or fulfill us. All of our idols are incapable of meeting our needs. They are all puny gods.
Scriptures to Use – Idolatry and God’s Power
Isaiah’s mockery of the false gods pokes fun at that fact that false gods are often made out of wood. He wonders why people burn one end of a log and carve the other end into an idol for worship.
Jeremiah contrasts the weakness of false gods (puny gods) with the power and majesty of Yahweh.
Paul is speaking to the Athenian people about how many gods they have. He presents them with the God who made heaven and earth and gives breath to all creatures. This contrasts with the puny idols they normally worship.