Dragon Ball Super: The Fear of God

I can say that my Father in Heaven is nothing like Zen-Oh.

Who would believe that 33 years after the Dragon Ball manga first started, the most recent incarnation, Dragon Ball Super (DBS), is still one of the hottest anime out there. I would dare say that if you speak to anyone who is a Dragon Ball fan, they are watching this show (which means all those many people who don’t watch anime but will watch this one). One character that got my attention, and is something new that DBS is exploring, would be Zen-Oh. He is basically the creator of the whole Dragon Ball universe, along with all the other universes that were revealed to exist in the series (12 in total so far). I will be mentioning a few details of the new arc that just started, so be warned—there are a few spoilers, but nothing too important.

So far, very little is known of Zen-Oh except that he’s the blue, short, and happy (sort of), ruler of all that exists. Everyone that knows him is deathly afraid that he will wipe them from existence. Surprisingly, most of those that weren’t deities or angels in the DB universes weren’t aware of him at all. They did not know he existed nor the extent of his power, (even Beerus bowed in fear of him). Goku, of course, became friends with him and accidentally gave him the idea for the universes to have a battle among themselves. This caused a lot of anger among the contestants because the loser would have their entire universe wiped out by Zen-Oh! Being convinced this would be a fun way to see some fights, Zen-Oh agreed to the Ultimate Power Tournament, which is underway in this current arc.

It’s obvious to see that just about every character, regardless of their power, fears this small blue guy. He looks so innocent, but in a moment could destroy a universe. This would bring about terror in anyone that cares for their life (and world!). I can’t help but compare Zen-Oh to the One who rules our universe and all of reality. There’s such a big difference. I’m not very familiar with Japanese religions like Shinto, Buddhism, and others, which must have influenced Zen-Oh’s character, so I am not going to get into comparing them, but I can say that my Father in Heaven is nothing like him. It would be impossible to have a relationship with a god who may destroy you at any moment. You never know if you might catch Him on a bad day, or say the wrong thing and get him upset! Yet at the same time, God is fully capable of ending all of existence just as quickly.

Just playing a nice game that destroys planets. No big deal.

2 Peter 3:9-13
The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare.

Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells.

When I read the above verses, I see my Father as someone who does not want anyone to perish but does ask us to live holy lives because it will happen one day. What difference is there, though, between God and Zen-Oh if they both are capable of destroying all the universe? Well, God remakes the Heavens and the Earth, but without sin or darkness. In other words, it’s like universe 2.0. He is restarting everything, but this time those that accepted His Son and His forgiveness live with Him as a family. Zen-Oh enjoys smashing planets together because it’s fun for him! There’s no care for life on that planet, nor care for how much misery and death this causes. It’s just a game of marbles in his eyes.

One Zen-Oh is from the future, to make a long story short. They were bored, so they smashed a universe. FUN!

God cares about every living person, to the point that in Luke 12:7 it says, “Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered.” I personally have never counted all the hairs on my head, nor will I ever bother to, but to know that my Heavenly Father knows this shows how much I mean to Him. We are worth more to Him than anything, which is why He gave His Son’s life for us. Zen-Oh wouldn’t give up a single Zenny (money in Dragon Ball) for a life, because it’s all just entertainment for him.

It may seem unfair that God would actually get rid of the world, but it is a matter of justice. If there was a criminal who did something unjust to you, wouldn’t you seek retribution for what was done to you? Imagine if that happened every day (and it does!), yet God does nothing about it. He just lets everyone go crazy and kill, rape, steal, and destroy. I would complain to Him about not doing anything about it, because it’s unfair that a loving God would allow those things to occur. That’s why the earth will one day undergo what’s described in Luke, because of justice. His people are spared, but not those that deny His name.

“Longsuffering” means to have patience, and God is often very patient with us. Imagine if every time we made a mistake something bad would happen to us—we would be in a lot of trouble. I’m grateful for His mercy, grace, and love in my life every day.

Even Beerus, whom Goku couldn’t defeat, is terrified of Zen-Oh! I loved seeing him sweat bullets…

In the anime, it’s shown that all the characters (even the most powerful in each universe) are terrified of Zen-Oh. For this reason, they are careful as to how they act or what they say, in case he gets upset and makes them disappear in that moment. With God, however, we can pray to Him without fear of reprimand. Prayer is direct communication with our Father, and He speaks right back to us. Sure, you probably won’t hear an audible voice, but I can guarantee you will understand His voice when you seek Him. It might be some instruction, correction, or peace that you’ve been needing for a while. The Bible says that His sheep know His voice (John 10:27), so we can have that daily access to Him.

Zen-Oh may seem like a nice guy, but the fact that he doesn’t care about anything except being entertained by his creation isn’t fun. To be made a tool of enjoyment is not my idea of a loving god. As I continue to watch Dragon Ball Super, I’m thankful that my God isn’t like this one at all. I understand that it’s just a fictional character, but there are many people who think that our Creator acts like Zen-Oh. Millions see Him as someone who doesn’t care about their circumstances and is the cause of all evil in the world. When something bad happens, we are quick to question, “Where was God when this happened?” Life is not as simple or put together as we would all like, but I do know that His plans are better than mine. His love protects me, comforts me and forgives me. All I have to do is spend time seeking Him and I have peace.

Michael is a teacher who is a life long gamer. When not conquering distant world's via console, he can be found reading, watching anime or Netflix, writing, or just enjoying life as a geek in the city. He aspires to travel to Japan and possibly...never leave.
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