February 01, 2017 | Articles by Rev. David Bodanza
Each one of us has joys and pains, hopes and hurts, needs and temptations. We have dreams and goals, likes and loves. There are things we are praying about. Some of our prayers have been made known to others, while other cries of our hearts are kept secret, maybe known only to a spouse or a closest friend. Other cries we have only shared with God.
Throughout the Biblical record of redemption history is this divine refrain: "they will be my people and I will be their God." (Jeremiah 32:38) As we turn our eyes from ourselves to God, we remember who God is. What do we know of Him? What is He like? As we meditate on His attributes, the things of this world that we have dwelt upon become gloriously dim.
The only way we can truly know the nature of God is through the Bible, for this is the primary way God has chosen to disclose Himself to humanity. It has been well-said that God created man in His own image and human beings have been trying to return the favor ever since! That is, many people have a god of their own imagination. Tragically, many do not worship the God of the Bible. They worship something they or someone else has created. It is called idolatry. Idolatry is by far the most frequently discussed sin in the Scriptures. The human tendency is to desire a god other than the God revealed in the Bible. Idolatry is a sin that begins in the mind, in our thoughts, beliefs and desires. Ezekiel 14 speaks about people setting up idols in their hearts. In our imaginations, God becomes what we want rather than us becoming what He wants. In the futility of our thinking, we remake Him into our image. A safe god makes no demands. Many imagine a controllable god or a god that can be shaped by their own opinions. Many imagine a god who exists to pander to their own desires. Yet, what does the Bible say about who God truly is? Here is a sampling.
God is self-existent. His being is grounded only in Himself. God's being is in no way dependent on anything else. "The Father has life in himself." (John 5:26a) "The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man, nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything. (Acts 17:24-25)
"God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” (John 4:24) He "is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone has immortality, who dwells in unapproachable light, whom no one has ever seen or can see." (1 Timothy 6:15-16)
God is unchanging in the perfection of his character, nature, purpose and promises."You are the same, and your years have no end." (Psalm 102:27) "The counsel of the LORD stands forever, the plans of his heart to all generations."(Psalm 33:11)
God is eternal. Moses wrote "Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God." (Psalm 90:2)
God is one. He is not composite and is not susceptible of division. “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one." (Deuteronomy 6:4) Yet, God exists in three persons. The 1689 London Baptist Confession of Faith does a remarkable job of summarizing the Biblical teaching on the Trinity: "In this divine and infinite Being there are three subsistences, the Father, the Word or Son, and Holy Spirit, of one substance, power, and eternity, each having the whole divine essence, yet the essence undivided: the Father is of none, neither begotten nor proceeding; the Son is eternally begotten of the Father; the Holy Spirit proceeding from the Father and the Son; all infinite, without beginning, therefore but one God, who is not to be divided in nature and being, but distinguished by several peculiar relative properties and personal relations; which doctrine of the Trinity is the foundation of all our communion with God, and comfortable dependence on him."
God is omnipresent. “Am I a God at hand, declares the LORD, and not a God far away? Can a man hide himself in secret places so that I cannot see him? declares the LORD. Do I not fill heaven and earth? declares the LORD." (Jeremiah 23:23-24)
God is omnipotent. Jehosophat prayed: “O LORD, God of our fathers, are you not God in heaven? You rule over all the kingdoms of the nations. In your hand are power and might, so that none is able to withstand you." (2 Chronicles 20:6)
God is omniscient. David wrote " O LORD, you have searched me and known me! You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar. You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways. Even before a word is on my tongue,
behold, O LORD, you know it altogether." (Psalm 139:1-4)
God is infinitely holy. Around His throne in heaven "four living creatures, each of them with six wings, are full of eyes all around and within, and day and night they never cease to say, “Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come!” (Revelation 4:8)
God is infinitely wise. "Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! (Romans 11:33)
God is infinitely good. "The LORD is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. The LORD is good to all, and his mercy is over all that he has made."
God is infinitely true. "For the word of the LORD is upright, and all his work is done in faithfulness." (Psalm 33:4) "The sum of your word is truth, and every one of your righteous rules endures forever." (Psalm 119:160)
God is infinitely just. “The Rock, his work is perfect, for all his ways are justice. A God of faithfulness and without iniquity, just and upright is he." (Deuteronomy 32:4) "Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne; steadfast love and faithfulness go before you." (Psalm 89:14)
God is love. (1 John 4:8) "God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." (Romans 5:8)
God is gracious and merciful. He is "a God ready to forgive, gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love." (Nehemiah 9:17) "God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus."
God is always faithful. "I will sing of the steadfast love of the LORD, forever; with my mouth I will make known your faithfulness to all generations. For I said, “Steadfast love will be built up forever; in the heavens you will establish your faithfulness.” (Psalm 89:1-2) O LORD God of hosts, who is mighty as you are, O LORD, with your faithfulness all around you?" (Psalm 89:8)
The great Puritan Thomas Brooks said, "There is infinitely more in God than the tongues of men or angels can express." We know God but what we know is little. Thomas Manton adds, "Indeed we can never search Him out to perfection; a finite creature can never fully comprehend that which is infinite."
We all have troubles in this life. God can heal your cancer and pay your heating oil bill in a nanosecond. And if He does not, that does not mean He has changed. Just that He desires to change you...for your eternal good. God says "they will be my people and I will be their God." Our sin, which we all have, separates us from the one true and living God. The Bible says, "there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all" (1 Timothy 2:5-6). Come to God the Father through the Christ the Son. There is no other way to God. Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." (John 14:6)