Wouldn’t it be easier if God came down and spoke His words to an unbelieving world Himself?  Or at least sent an angel?  Why send a human with divine words?  Humans are frail, weak, imperfect, and easily intimidated.

This is precisely what the unbelievers of Muhammad’s time said, as we see in today’s reading.

Those who do not fear to meet Us say, “Why are the angels not sent down to us?” or “Why can we not see our Lord?” (25:21)

The answer given is interesting.

No messenger have We sent before you [Muhammad] who did not eat food and walk about in the marketplaces.  But We have made some of you a means of testing others — will you stand fast? (25:20)

Simply put, this is how God works.  God has always used everyday humans as messengers.  Look at Moses, Noah, ‘Ad, Thamud, and Al-Rass (25:35-38).

From today’s reading it would appear that God’s primary reason for appointing human messengers is to create a test for those who hear the message.  The sending of human messengers honors human free will.  How overwhelming would it be to be visited by God Himself in all His glory?  How could one help but believe?  Would that be faith, though?  And would it be choice?  Instead, God has created a situation in which people can deny and even oppose His message.  And the adversity and adversaries have been many down through history (25:31ff).

The test is one of faith.  Will you believe?  This is just another human, just like you.  You weren’t on the mountain with the Prophet.  Will you believe that the God of the Universe is speaking through this bag of flesh and bones?

The last question in the first ayah of today’s reading is what strikes me most.  “Will you stand fast?”  That is the question.  When it comes time to bear God’s message to our neighbors, will we do it?

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