“What is God?” inquired a new friend at a Bible study that I began hosting a few years back. I looked down at my notes on the topic of friendship and immediately deemed them useless. How could I possibly begin teaching about anything in the Christian faith without answering this foundational question?
Did I even know how to answer this question?
Honestly, I don’t remember how I answered her that day. The good news is that she kept coming back to the study. Little by little, we began to uncover pieces of our great God.
The Westminster Shorter Catechism describes God with the following:
“God is a Spirit, infinite, eternal, and unchangeable, in his being, wisdom, power, holiness, justice, goodness, and truth.”
Okay, so God is a Spirit who created well, everything. What is He like? Did He just create the world as an experiment to see how well we could do life? Or is He actually hands-on in His creation, caring about the each of the little puzzle pieces and how they all fit together?
The way to know God is through the Bible, His Word.
What Is God Like?
In our holy writ, God is described
in so many different ways.
To name a few, He is:
-our Creator (Isaiah 40:28)
-our Comforter (2 Corinthians 1:3-5)
-our Father (Psalm 68:5)
-just (Deuteronomy 32:4)
-always there (Psalm 139:7-10)
-A forgiver (Jeremiah 31:33-34)
-redeems His people from their sins (Isaiah 43:1)
-perfectly loving (Zephaniah 3:17)
*When making the above list, the trait that sticks out to me the most is God’s jealousy. At best, it looks like a typo. At worst, being jealous can be perceived as sinful, and we all know that God, the Creator of the rules, cannot break His own commands.
God’s jealousy is actually beautiful. You see, we get a better picture of where God is coming from when we look at Exodus 34:13-15:
“You shall tear down their altars and break their pillars and cut down their Asherim (for you shall worship no other god, for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God), lest you make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land, and when they whore after their gods and sacrifice to their gods...”
In just these few short verses, we see that God is telling His people that only HE is worth worshiping. There is nothing or no one who is worthy of our worship. He is jealous because He cannot bear the thought of seeing His people worshiping anything else. His people are worth far more to Him.
Think of it this way. If you are married and a guy hits on you in front of your spouse, what is the most loving reaction that your husband can have in his heart? It would not be loving for your husband to ignore the situation, or worse - if he did notice but didn’t think twice about it. The more loving thing would be for his heart to burn with a territorial flame, thinking, “No, she is my wife. She and I are one. You cannot have her.”
This is the same way that God feels about His people. He loves His people so much that He does not want anything to take our focus away from Him. He does not allow for His people to be content with things that do not satisfy. True satisfaction can only be found in Him.
Unlike a romantic earthy relationship, when we do set our sights on other loves, He does not panic. He pursues.
Through His Word, we see that God loves His people so much that He pursued us straight down to earth. Jesus, God in the flesh, came to rescue us from these idols that steal our affections. He lived a life marked by undivided devotion to and affection for God the Father. He died a death meant for people who put their hope in created things. He rose from the grave, showing that He has power over all else and is the only One worthy of our worship.
Just as the Israelites continually found themselves drawn to idols, believers today struggle daily to keep their eyes on the one true God. I thank God that He continues to pursue His people so that we return to Him.
When in your life has God pursued you?
What are ways that you have seen God embody the qualities mentioned above?
See You In The Round!
“Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved."