Do YOU KNOW who GOD IS?
How do we get to know anyone? Is it possible to know someone you have never met? For example, can you get to know an artist just by studying his or her artistic work? Starting with these questions, Anna Hart explores how we can get to know God, who we have not met.
You may get some clues about the type of scenery an artist likes, by studying his portfolio. But what can the paintings tell you about his moral standards, his likes or dislikes? It is unlikely that you would be able to deduce much useful information.
Or think about a musical composition. Some composers have set scriptural words to pieces of music which are so moving that a listener can be reduced to tears. We might imagine that a composer able to do this would have a strong religious faith. However, this is certainly not always the case, and some very popular religious music has been composed by self-declared atheists.
So a person’s body of work does not, of itself, help you to know the individual. Even people we have met and think we know can react differently from how we expect, for people are unpredictable by nature. It is only when they tell us about themselves that we can start to understand them.
It follows that whilst we can learn something about God by studying His creative handiwork, we cannot conclude that we know what He is like just because we are keen students of nature. We need something more if we are to get to know the God who made the universe. The Bible says this:
The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows His handiwork (Psalm 19:1).
When we look at nature we certainly see beauty, and many people would argue that there is clear evidence of design. There is majesty in high mountains, peace in a babbling brook, glory in a fiery sunset and excitement in a roaring sea. But what does this tell you about the character of God? Nature also gives us earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanoes, storms, hurricanes, beasts of prey, suffering and death.
What do these things tell us about God?
We often hear people say things like ‘I can’t imagine a God who would disapprove of …’ or ‘I am sure that God would not mind…’ or ‘God would like that’. Read more