How well do you know God? Although the question may seem presumptuous, only one of two possibilities can be true. Either God is a creation of the human imagination–in which case it isn’t important to know Him because we’re in the realm of make-believe, and if we don’t like this particular fictional deity we can merely invent a new one to suit us. The second possibility is that He does exist–totally apart from anything we believe about Him–and if this is the case, it it is of upmost importance that we get it right!
“…I am the LORD…and there is no other.” (Isaiah 45:18 NLT)
The God of the Bible is not a figment of fanciful human creation. Eternity will forever seal our fate, but He has revealed Himself to us now and it is our sacred duty to get to know Him. Imagine getting an email from someone important–an employer you’ve interviewed with, a school you want to attend, your rich great-uncle’s estate lawyer–and obstinately refusing to open it to find out what it says! It doesn’t take a lot of imagination to comprehend the missed opportunities. The opportunity we miss if we refuse to read the Bible is of far greater significance!
At the risk of sounding redundant, let it be repeated that the God of Scripture is not a concoction of human imagination. It was written during a period of thousands of years and the individuals God chose to pen its content are as diverse as the world He created–poor and rich, shepherd and scholar. Notwithstanding this fact, it is not a eclectic mix of ancient writings but the focused the story of mankind’s corruption and redemption by Jesus Christ, the Word made flesh. In this Book God tells us what He wants us to know about Himself and our world, and how to live in a right relationship with Him.
So who is God? What is He like? We all know the famous passage, “God is love,” but there is so much more to His character than just love. The true God is not the Pillsbury dough-boy and He is not a genie granting wishes; He is so much more than anything the human mind could concoct! He reveals Himself to us throughout the entire Bible, sbut for today, let’s take a look at a more obscure passage–directed to Cyrus, a pagan ancient Babylonian ruler–which tells us quite a bit about who God is:
“…I’ve singled you out, called you by name, and given you this privileged work. And you don’t even know me! I am GOD, the only God there is. Besides me there are no real gods. I’m the one who armed you for this work, though you don’t even know me, so that everyone, from east to west, will know that I have no god-rivals. I am GOD, the only God there is. I form light and create darkness, I make harmonies and create discords. I, GOD, do all these things.
“Open up, heavens, and rain. Clouds, pour out buckets of my goodness! Loosen up, earth, and bloom salvation; sprout right living. I, GOD, generate all this. But doom to you who fight your Maker—you’re a pot at odds with the potter! Does clay talk back to the potter: ‘What are you doing? What clumsy fingers!’ Would a sperm say to a father, ‘Who gave you permission to use me to make a baby?’ Or a fetus to a mother, ‘Why have you cooped me up in this belly?’”
Thus GOD, The Holy of Israel, Israel’s Maker, says: “Do you question who or what I’m making? Are you telling me what I can or cannot do? I made earth, and I created man and woman to live on it. I handcrafted the skies and direct all the constellations in their turnings. And now I’ve got Cyrus on the move. I’ve rolled out the red carpet before him. He will build my city. He will bring home my exiles. I didn’t hire him to do this. I told him. I, GOD-of-the-Angel-Armies.”…
GOD, Creator of the heavens—He is, remember, God. Maker of earth—He put it on its foundations, built it from scratch. He didn’t go to all that trouble to just leave it empty, nothing in it. He made it to be lived in. This GOD says: “I am GOD, the one and only. I don’t just talk to myself or mumble under my breath. I never told Jacob, ‘Seek me in emptiness, in dark nothingness.’ I am GOD. I work out in the open, saying what’s right, setting things right. So gather around, come on in, all you refugees and castoffs. They don’t seem to know much, do they—those who carry around their no-god blocks of wood, praying for help to a dead stick? So tell me what you think. Look at the evidence. Put your heads together. Make your case. Who told you, and a long time ago, what’s going on here? Who made sense of things for you? Wasn’t I the one? GOD? It had to be me. I’m the only God there is—the only God who does things right and knows how to help. So turn to me and be helped—saved!— everyone, whoever and wherever you are. I am GOD, the only God there is, the one and only. I promise in my own name: Every word out of my mouth does what it says. I never take back what I say. Everyone is going to end up kneeling before me. Everyone is going to end up saying of me, ‘Yes! Salvation and strength are in GOD!’” All who have raged against Him will be brought before Him, disgraced by their unbelief. And all who are connected with Israel will have a robust, praising, good life in GOD!” (Isaiah 45:1-25 MSG)
Thank You that You are the only true God.
Thank You that You know the end from the beginning.
Thank You that You form light and create darkness, that You make harmonies and create discords.
Thank You that You made the earth, that You created man and woman to live on it, that You handcrafted the skies and direct the constellations.
Thank You that every word out of Your mouth does what You say.
Thank You that You are the only one who does things right and knows how to help.
Thank You that You never have to take back what You say.
Thank You that You work out in the open, saying what is right and setting things right.