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Posts Tagged ‘Knowing God’

The LORD promises that with His love He will quiet us.  In Zephaniah 3:17, the prophet tells us, “The LORD your God in your midst, The Mighty One, will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.”

The picture is perhaps of the child who buries her face in the bosom of a parent; the small body shaking with sobs.  The parent speaks soft words, sings gentle songs of reassurance until the sobbing subsides.

This is a picture of our Heavenly Father.  He will hold you to His bosom as you pour out your sorrow, your fear, your loss, your frustration, or whatever is stealing your “quiet.”  In that moment, He whispers to you of His great love for you.  Knowing of His love, being reminded again of how much He loves you, all His promises to you, you become quiet.  He has quieted you with His love.

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Hosea, a prophet of the Lord, was told by God to marry a prostitute.  The exact words are (in the New King James version), “Go, take yourself a wife of harlotry and children of harlotry.”  It is the weirdest thing.  Here is a man who is in God’s service, held to follow God’s law and speaking with God’s voice, but God wants him to marry a woman who would have been seen as “unclean” and certainly not what his mother and father were hoping for.  It must have caused quite a stir, a nice Jewish boy raised in the temple, marrying a whore.

Nevertheless, desiring to please God more than men, Hosea marries a harlot and his wife has children that the Bible says are not Hosea’s.  She even leaves him at one point and returns to prostitution.  It seemingly turns from bad to worse when God sends Hosea after his unfaithful wife, after she betrays him and returns to a life of prostitution.  Hosea, at God’s command, goes to find his wife who is “loved by a lover and is committing adultery”.  Hosea buys her back for fifteen shekels of silver.  He purchases the woman who betrayed him at a slave auction.

What is God saying in this story?   God said that He so loved the world that He gave His son that whoever believed in Him would not perish but have everlasting life.  Hosea tells the story of what God means by “whoever”.  “Whoever” is not limited to those who read their Bible or who make it to church on Sunday.  “Whoever” is not limited to those who have managed to stay out of trouble or  . . . insert what you like.  “Whoever” is Gomer, Hosea’s wife, the harlot who marries a Godly man, leaves him and commits adultery and ends up a slave, sold on the block for fifteen shekels.  This is a picture of God’s heart:  He comes after us to where we are lost in sin and bondage, even sin and bondage of our own choosing.  He seeks us out as we are being sold on the block as slaves.  He will pay the price for us and take us home with Him and make us His children, His heirs.

In fact, He has paid the price.  That is His amazing love!

No matter where you are, no matter what you have done, no matter how low you feel, Your heavenly Father is nearby.  He is looking for you.  His arms are open.

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In part 1 of this series, we looked at the amazing love of God as we see it in the New Testament.  In this post, we will consider how God speaks of His love for us in the Old Testament.

  • God’s love for us is individual and designed to help me – – I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with My eye. Psalm 32:8  Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10
  • God’s love for us is protective –  For in the time of trouble He shall hide me in His pavilion; In the secret place of His tabernacle He shall hide me; He shall set me high upon a rock. Psalm 27:5   The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; My God, my strength, in whom I will trust; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. Psalm 18:2
  • God’s love for us is comforting – Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. Psalm 23:4
  • God’s love for us is sympathetic and compassionate – You number my wanderings; Put my tears into Your bottle; Are they not in Your book? Psalm 56:8
  • God’s love for us is one of abundant provision – They are abundantly satisfied with the fullness of Your house, And You give them drink from the river of Your pleasures.  For with You is the fountain of life; In Your light we see light. Psalm 36:8-9
  • God’s love for us gives us hope – For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11
  • God’s love for us is everlasting (eternal) – The LORD has appeared of old to me, saying: “Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; Therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you.  Jeremiah 31:3

So much remains to be said about God’s love.  It is truly amazing.  It is His love for us that draws us to Him.  Read of Him in the pages of your Bible, the One who loved you, loves you and will love you!

In our next post, we will consider some of the word pictures and stories that the Bible provides of God’s love.

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As we continue in our endeavor to know God more, consider Deuteronomy 31:8:  “[The LORD] is the one who goes before you.  He will be with you.  He will not leave or forsake you; do not fear nor be dismayed.”

I find the following attributes of God described in this verse:

  • God as Leader (“goes before you)
  • God as faithful companion (He will not leave or forsake you)

God goes before me to lead me.  He shows me the way not by pointing to it on some map or instruction manual.  He leads me Himself.  This speaks of His personal and intimate involvement in my life.

God asks the rhetorical question (the answer is obvious)  through the Prophet Jeremiah, “Am I a God near at hand, . . . And not a God afar off?”  Jer. 23:23

In addition to leading me and going before me, God is a faithful companion along the way.  He will not leave me or forsake (abandon, desert, or give up on) me.  Because He wants to make sure that I know He is near, He repeats the promise “I will never leave or forsake you”  many times in the Bible.  He knows that I am afraid of this.

  • Deuteronomy 31:6 “Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the LORD your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.”
  • Deuteronomy 31:8 “And the LORD, He is the one who goes before you. He will be with you, He will not leave you nor forsake you; do not fear nor be dismayed.”
  • Joshua 1:5 “No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life; as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you nor forsake you.
  • 1Chronicles 28:20 And David said to his son Solomon, “Be strong and of good courage, and do it; do not fear nor be dismayed, for the LORD God-my God-will be with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you, until you have finished all the work for the service of the house of the LORD.
  • Heb 13:5 Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.

No person can make this promise and ever hope to be able to keep it.  Having lost my father at age 3, I learned early that people leave and forsake us despite the best intentions.  Only God can make the promise to always be with me and really carry it out.  He alone is God.

To the only true God, my leader and ever faithful companion, be honor and glory forever!

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In the last post, I looked at the attribute of God as Elohim, the creator.  This time, I will explore God as the Light of the World and having the power to speak light into circumstances and lives.

Genesis 1:2-3 tells us “the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep.  And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.  Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light.” The amazing truth of this verse is that God merely spoke and light entered where no light had been before.

I have experienced God’s power to speak light personally.  My life without God was without form, void, and darkness enveloped me.  God, however, was not far from me.  You might say He was hovering close to me.  One day, God said, “Let there be light” in my life, and there was light – the Light of the World.   That light now shines forth through my life (not unlike light  from a candle placed in a cracked pot), illuminating the darkness in my heart and the darkness of the world in which I live.

Jesus came to “give light to those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.”  Luke 1:79 Without a relationship with God, we are all sitting in darkness and the shadow of death (spiritual death).  When God speaks light into a life and converts a soul, He dispels the darkness and light floods that life, that heart, that soul.

Jesus said of Himself,  “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”  John 8:12  Sadly, not everyone loves the light.  According to Jesus,  men are condemned because “light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil [and] everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed.”  John 3:19-20  It is no wonder that bars, nightclubs and similar places are all dimly lit.

Take heart, because for the overcomer, the one who lives and dies for Christ, John tells us the following about our future with God, “There shall be no night there: They need no lamp nor light of the sun, for the Lord God gives them light. And they shall reign forever and ever.”  Rev. 22:5

May the Light of the World shine forth His light in your life.  May He chase the darkness away permanently and use you to bring light to a dying world submerged in darkness.

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Thanks for all the comments you posted regarding the “One Thing”.   In thinking over the one thing I would want to convey to others to help them in their growth as a believer or simply to hang on in tough times, I have concluded that I would want them to understand who God is and how He works.  The knowledge that I have gained about God, both informational and experiential (through my experience with Him), has changed my life.  Knowing that God will never leave, has made me more able to stay when relationships get difficult.  Knowing He promises to deal with my enemies has allowed me to let go of worrying about them.  Knowing that God created everything and is sovereign over everything has helped me to trust Him with the really big issues in my life.

Within the idea of understanding God is knowing His nature and character, His past conduct, His promises for the believer and for others, His fulfilled promises,  His likes and dislike, what He has done, and what He thinks and feels about each of us, individually.

The upcoming posts will address the issue of knowing God.  I welcome your comments and input as we look at God, who He is and what He is all about.

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