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The God of the Bible

Dr. L.M. Murry

 

Our God is not one God out of many gods. It is about what the Bible says about God. Across the pages of the Bible, march the armies of the kingdoms of long ago, beginning from the Hettite Empire to a span of two and half thousand years, ending in the book of Revelation with a vision of the fall of Babylon. Within this framework, there is detailed chronicle of a particular people used by God as special instrument for the World. In the Centre of this, is a unique event described about the entry of God Himself in to this history of man. Jesus Christ, the Son of God was born when Augustus Caesar, the Emperor of Rome decreed of taking a census of his Empire. He was numbered among men. We must therefore trace the movement of this history of God’s purpose in the World to its final goal.

 

With this introduction, let us try to see what the Bible says about God. According to the Bible, there is only one God. He stands alone, He has a Personality, a God who will not share His position with any other. He is Holy- in Greek (Hagios) Hebrew-quadesh) which mean separate or different. There is nothing that can be compared with God. The Prophet Isaiah said: To whom then will you liken God? Or what likeness will you compare with Him. Isa.40:18. God cannot be proved with scientific analysis or mathematical formula. Through the Ages, man had sought to prove the existence of God. They begin with something they know which they believe leads to God, the Creator. We may read casually the scripture of all the other religion, the Quran, the Vedas, the mythologies, legends and philosophy of religious writings. They argue that there is a plan in the world; therefore, there is a planner. There is a moral law; therefore there is a giver of that law. But the Bible begins with God. Gen. 1:1; St.Jn.1:1. God is, therefore, the World. God is, therefore, there is purpose in life. God is, therefore there is Law and order. The Bible does not arrive at God as the conclusion of an argument.

 

It begins with God. He is the beginning.  This primary affirmation of God is what we call “FAITH”. (Not blind faith but faith based on the inspired word of God). This affirmation came first, by men who knew the bitterness of Exile. There, in far away Babylon, it was inevitable for them to ask, why is there a World? Why there is sin, strivings with sorrows, pain and joys? These people had experienced the glory of their kingdom depart and their kingdom destroyed.  God made the world, they cried and made it good. How did they know it? They knew it because their fathers had tasted God’s goodness. They might be in exile, but they were a people, only because they had been delivered from the slavery in Egypt. They might question God, about their destiny but their father Abraham met God and had marked out his destiny. God was their beginning because He is God. He is the beginning of everything.

 

Our minds are full of ideas about God. Our conception of God is merely an opinion in our minds about God and not the God of the Bible. God is God, whatever we may try to imagine Him to be. Remember, the story of seven blind men trying to describe what the elephant is like. Even if they agreed to come to a common conclusion about the elephant, they can never arrive at what the elephant is like unless their eyes were opened and they see it for themselves.

 

The Bible is not a book of what we think about God. It is a book about God’s meeting with man. It is about the ceaseless action of God, seeking to prevent men from perishing. “For God so loved the World that He gave His only begotten Son …” ( Jn.3:16). Every page of the Bible tells about God’s love seeking to redeem men. God is always the one who speaks and man must answer.

 

The dialogue between God and man is introduced in the Bible about the conversation in the Garden of Eden. Adam, Adam, where are you? Adam in Hebrew means men. With their eyes opened by sin, they were a shame and afraid to meet God.  The same situation is with us today. We are indeed men and women with open eyes, stand before God and contend with the Almighty. God has the right to ask and it is the duty of man to respond.  We have no right to ask God. (Rom.9:20.) When, we claim such right against God, we have already ceased to deal with God. We have already hidden ourselves from God and what we think of God from our hiding place has nothing to do with the truth of the matter.

 

Job tried to justify himself by much speaking. God came crashing in, destroying his hiding place. The Lord answered out of the whirlwind  and said: “who is this that darkens council without knowledge? Gird up your loins like a man. I will question you and you shall declare to me.” Job 38:2-3. God asked Job, where were you when I laid the foundation of the World? Asked him about the constellation, the Pleiades, the Orion, (the great hunter), the Bear (Cassiopeia) and on and on. Will the fault finder contend with the Almighty? The questions covers 4 Chapters). Let him who reproves God answer it (Job 40:2). The popular idea about the book of Job is about pain and suffering of men. But in reality it is about, men contenting with God. Job at last discovered that he was in the wrong. Then, he answered and said, “I had heard of thee by the hearing of the ear, but now mine eyes see thee, therefore, I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes”. Job 42:5-6. It is God, Who has the right to ask and not men. Rom.9:20.

 

We all know from Book of Genesis about the forbidden fruit. Gen3:2-3. God alone has the right to declare what is good and evil. Our duty is to accept and obey. The whole Garden was for Adam and Eve to enjoy but only as God wills. We always try to use the gifts of God without accepting the limits which God has put upon them. We want to use them for our own purpose and for our own satisfaction without any reference to God’s purpose. The limit set by God is necessary for a World in which God is at work.

 

God’s gifts are not available to us without pain. “In pain you shall bring forth. In toil you shall eat.” Gen.3:16-17. “The whole Creation groans and suffers pain of childbirth together until now.”Rom.8:22. The prophet Habakkuk complained about why in-justice is unpunished! Why evil flourished? God told him, “though it tarries, wait for it; for it will certainly come, it will not delay” Hab.2:3. He then understood. “Though the fig tree should not blossom and there is no fruit on the vines, though the yield of the olive should fail… and there be no cattle in the stalls. Yet I will exult in the Lord, I will rejoice in the Lord of my salvation. The Lord is my strength and He has made my feet like hind feet and makes me walk on my high places.” Hab.3:17-19  It does not depend on anything else. God is known and affirmed directly and that is Faith. God is, whatever is or is not.  God is, when prayers are answered. God is, when prayers seem unanswered.  God answers all our prayer, big or small. But He answers us in His own way according to His own wisdom and not as we desire or wish. (Story of Aurora and Tithonus)

 

Beginning from the Book of Genesis to Revelation, there is this great movement of developing events and the great affirmation that God is the author of this movement. And under His hand and His rule, every event takes place. The purpose of giving us God’s Word is to affirm God’s faithfulness. It is nourishment for the life of faith. He has given us His Word to demonstrate to men that God has entered into conversation with men. And that God has become available and accessible to men. It is to prove that God has become Immanuel- God with us. The climax of God’s speech is when God’s Word became flesh and came to dwell among men. Jn.1:14. Finally, there is this affirmation that He who started restoration of His creation will also bring to perfection and that He who began, will also fulfil, because, “God is faithful.”  He keeps faith with all that He has made. Phil.1:6.



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