You Have to Earn God

December, 2022 Barak Lurie

Today I want to talk to you about the value of earning. We all seem to appreciate how great it feels to earn anything. For example, maybe you worked really hard and now you have tens of thousands of dollars to be able to buy that car — or put a deposit on the house. There are many great feelings that that engenders, right? Likewise, for a child: He makes the Varsity team. He really worked hard, he trained, and now he’s on the Varsity team.

Science for example, Thomas Edison worked very, very hard to make the first light bulb. After thousands and thousands of tries, finally was able to do it — made the light bulb and earned a hell of a lot of money in the process. And he earned it. It must have felt fantastic.

In many ways, we need to also have that same earning feeling when we think about God. It’s one thing to believe in God from the moment that you’re born because your parents tell you to. And you go to church or synagogue and your parents tell you there’s a God. “Isn’t that wonderful? Believe. Thank you very much. Have a nice day.” It’s another thing when you discover God on your own. When you work hard to figure out that there is a God and what this God wants from you. You earn God.

People often talk about God — that they just want him to enter their hearts and show himself and that there will be some booming voice from the skies saying, “I am here!”. It doesn’t work that way. No more so than a light bulb will suddenly appear in the lap of Thomas Edison. You have to work for it — and a lot of people would ask, “Well wouldn’t it be better if God just did reveal himself and put himself on your lap? Now you discovered that God is there.” Well you might as well say, “Well I’ll just dump a bunch of money on my kid. Millions of dollars and then he’ll be happy, right?” But we all know what will happen if you do that. Is it going to be a good life or a bad life? It will be a meaningless life.

For some reason, we humans need to strive. One of the mitzvot in the Torah is that you should know that there’s a God. What does that mean? It means that you need to work hard to appreciate and bring God into your life. I’ve always said this you need to figure out that there is a God and that’s incumbent upon you. In the same way that the child cannot expect to be on the varsity team just because. Or that Thomas Edison should just be able to create a light bulb on his first try. It’s just not the same thing. You need to earn God — and you appreciate God all the more when you discover Him yourself. When you work hard to figure out all the possibilities and probabilities in the universe as to how wildly improbable it would be that this universe, this Earth, life on the planet for that matter — and the intelligence on Earth would somehow come about all randomly.

You understand after a while that there is such a thing as free will and you ask questions. Why do we even seek the good in the first place? Why do we seek progress? Why are we interested in science? These are things that eventually, as you piece them together, you realize that all of this can be explained by way of God. And nothing else makes sense without God. You have no purpose without God. You have to, however, strive to find God. And when you do earn God and realize that God is real and you bring him into your life, you enjoy that process, that earning, so much more. I’m Barak Lurie. Thanks for watching and we’ll talk with you again real soon.