We are finishing up a three month study of God. Yes, I realize that studying God is something we always do because we spend lots of time studying His Word – the Bible. But, when we study the Bible, are we really seeking an understanding of God? Are we really looking for any possible insight into who and what he is? Here is what I have been challenged with the most as we have focused on just learning about God. There is nothing in the Bible that wasn’t put there for the express purpose of telling us something about God. There is no character, no story, no quotable quote, or any powerful memory verse that was put there for any other reason than to tell us something about God. We get excited about Bible people and Bible stories – as we should, but often fail to realize that they are recorded because they give us insight into who God is, how he works, and why we should love and trust him. But all to often we’re not looking for him – so we miss it.
Maybe that explains why we struggle with being so disconnected with God. Our first mental pictures of him are of a super judge who watches and condemns us for being so lousy at living good lives. Or maybe we see him as Zeus playing with us and looking for a reason to mess up our lives and send bolts of lightening down on us. Or maybe he’s just too big to know, understand, and love. We don’t know him because we haven’t been looking for him – at least correctly. Isn’t it amazing that David – yes the conniving, sexually harassing, adulterous, murderous, friend betraying, warrior king – who had no access to anything resembling the Bible, saw God as a caring and loving shepherd? No one knows God better than Jesus, and Jesus wanted us to see his father as a loving, forgiving and patient father longing for his wondering child to come home. What did our parents, teachers, and leaders do to make us visualize God as distant, damning, and detached? Maybe we did it to ourselves, but I think it’s been that way for many generations. Part of the problem is our tendency to read his Word as a legal document rather than a love letter. We’re so busy looking for rules, laws, and self-righteous works that we don’t see the embodiment of love in our Father. A love that is greater than all our doubts, sin, and weaknesses. A love that not only covers a multitude of sins between brethren, but between Father and children!
I remember so many times when our children were trying to learn and understand something, I’d be hoping and cheering for them – sometimes out loud and some times quietly, knowing they needed to get it on there own – and when they got it, I was so proud and so gushing with joy that I couldn’t contain myself. That must be how God feels when we finally begin to see his nature and character. When we realize how much he cares for us and how he planned before creation to have a relationship with us. I wonder if he gushes with joy that we finally “got it”? What does it mean to “get it”? I think John said it best when he wrote, “See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!” (1 Jn.3:1) That’s John looking at our Father and saying, “WOW!”