Vol. 12 No. 2 February 2010
The Bible is punctuated repeatedly with who God is and how He deals with us. God has been revealing Himself to His creation and making His expectations vividly clear since the Garden of Eden.
Moses was the first to have the question about God’s actual identity answered. God was quick to tell him. Exodus 3:13-14 says, “Then Moses said to God, ‘Indeed, when I come to the children of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they say to me, ‘What is His name?’ What shall I say to them?’ And God said to Moses, ‘I AM WHO I AM.’ And He said, ‘Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’”
Exodus 5:1-2 reads, “Afterward Moses and Aaron went in and told Pharaoh, ‘Thus says the LORD God of Israel: ‘Let my people go, that they may hold a feast to Me in the wilderness.’ And Pharaoh said, ‘Who is the LORD, that I should obey His voice to let Israel go? I do not know the LORD, nor will I let Israel go.”
On the surface, Pharaoh’s response seems irreverent. God being God allows Pharaoh the benefit of his ignorance. God then proceeds through Moses and Aaron to enlighten Pharaoh of precisely who He was. Sadly in Pharaoh’s case, he was not a willing learner of who God is and how He deals with us. Pharaoh’s elevated opinion of his status, power and importance cost him his life and the lives of many others!
Jeremiah 9:23-24 tells us explicitly that we are not to glory in our wisdom, might or riches. Then, he tells us that God said, “But let him who glories glory in this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the LORD, exercising lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth. For in these I delight, says the Lord.”
The reason above all others for Bible study is for us to get to know God and how He deals with us. Second Peter 1:2-3 says, “Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue.”
“Know Your Bible” is a book written by Frank J. Dunn. He wrote regarding our knowledge of God, “The proper relationship of us to God is to know Him personally and fully. We must come to know God in the most intimate experience that is humanly possible. Jesus came to make God fully known to man and to bring the truth that makes men free (John 8:32). This He summarized in His mission: ‘And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent’” (John 17:3). Our understanding and knowledge of God as revealed in Scripture is paramount!
Hebrews 12:5-11 speaks very pointedly of who God is, how He deals with us and why. Verse 7 in particular tells us the reason for God’s chastening. “If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten?” Discipline is a part of God’s love for us. We have got to come to understand and know that aspect of His character! God deals with us according to our ways and according to our deeds. The prophet Zechariah was calling God’s people to repentance. He proclaimed if the people would return to God, He would return to them. “So they returned and said: ‘Just as the LORD of hosts determined to do to us, according to our ways and according to our deeds, so He has dealt with us’” (Zechariah 1:6b).
Job was one who learned how God dealt with him, and he never knew why! God just pointed out to Job which one of them was God! The lesson for us to learn is God works in our lives to further His plan and purpose. When we reach that level of spiritual understanding, all of our “why” questions will be engulfed in submissive, trusting, obedient faith. Romans 8:28 shouts this eternal promise: “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.”
Through the eyes of faith, we can and will live our lives in acceptance of what happens to us because of our understanding and knowledge of who God is and how He deals with us. This acceptance will bring submission, humility, thanksgiving and continued service to Him. Psalm 119:124 reads, “Deal with Your servant according to Your mercy, and teach me Your statutes.”
God shows us and teaches us through His Word. In Philippians 3:13-15 Paul says, “Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Therefore let us, as many as are mature, have this mind; and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal even this to you.”
Too often, we want to leave the classroom of understanding and knowing who God is and how He deals with us before the lessons are completed. What we must understand and accept is that God will be revealing Himself to us and dealing with us until we die! The experiences in our lives are all designed to bring us into and keep us in a covenant relationship with God.
Paul speaks of that peace that surpasses understanding in Philippians 4:7. This peace is based on understanding and knowing who God is and how He deals with us.