Knowing God

By Scott Brown

In the Autumn issue of the Compass, Mike Johnson clearly laid out a few simple and crucial rules to follow when reading and studying the Bible in order to interpret it accurately. If you haven’t read that article on How to Read the Bible Better, I recommend you give it a read here. Having considered and grown in the “how” of reading the Bible, I believe it is valuable to consider the “why” of reading the Bible.

Upon delving into the Scriptures, it is easy to see that a critical value of the Word is its ability to transform the reader – to make wise the simple and to equip us for every good work as we apply the teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness to our lives (Psalm 19:7, 2 Timothy 3:16-17, James 1:22). There are so many verses which extol the transformational and instructional value of the Word that it would be difficult to list them all here.

It may be for this reason that some people view the Bible primarily as a regulatory list that defines the parameters of appropriate behaviour. In other words, no more valuable or meaningful than a “policy manual” that conveys the rules of acceptable conduct, which directly impacts their eagerness and interest in reading it. But that perspective misses the greatest and most valuable purpose of the Word, which is to know God Himself.

Throughout the Scriptures, it is evident that God speaks so that
we might know Him – personally.

Throughout the Scriptures, it is evident that God speaks so that we might know Him – personally. The revelation of His name to Moses, the expounding of His unmatched greatness to Job, the resounding of His character throughout the Psalms – and especiallythe arrival of the Word made flesh who was the exact representation of God and who was spoken of throughout the entire Old Testament (Luke 24:27,44).

This is the real and lasting beauty of the Word – that it is not merely “a manual” filled with wise sayings and useful directions for how we ought to live (while those are certainly included). But it represents “Emmanuel” – so that we might know, love and find life in the name of the God who reveals Himself and resides with us.

It is not merely a manual filled with wise sayings …
but represents “Emmanuel…”

Amazingly, the Bible is an aspect of God initiating toward us. It is one long autobiography and all about Him. It is shared with us in order that we would rightly know the only Sovereign Lord and King of all creation as He describes Himself and as He truly is, rather than simply how we perceive or imagine Him to be.

Without the clarity of God’s Word to us, it is easy to see Him as a more improved version of us, assigning human traits, motivations and comparisons presuming that He thinks, reasons and feels as we do. But God is not simply a “better version” of mankind, He is completely other – indescribable and majestic in all His ways. He marks off the heavens with the breadth of His hand (Isaiah 40:12), He is the only Sovereign who alone has immortality and eternal dominion (1 Timothy 6:15-16), He is perfectly Holy (Isaiah 6:3), righteous (John 17:25), good (Psalm 25:7), faithful (Deuteronomy 7:9), unchanging (James 1:17) and much, much more!

All of this detailed in great lengths through the testimony of His own mouth from Genesis to Revelation, to give us a right and accurate view of who He is and what He is like. This is crucial to fostering a real and deepening relationship with Him, exactly as He desires.

In his infinite love … for us, God gave us … what we need to deepen our love … for Him. Photo: Emmanuel Phaeton from Unsplash.

…a true and genuine love for God
hinges on a right view of God.

When asked about the greatest of all commandments, Jesus first quoted from Deuteronomy 6:5 saying, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” So, the primary pursuit of all mankind, and especially of those who have been redeemed by His Son, should be to love God completely, with everything in us. This would be improbable, if not impossible, without the Scriptures because a true and genuine love for God hinges on a right view of God. Which makes it all the more remarkable that in His infinite love and desire for us, God gave us exactly what we need to deepen our love, devotion and affection for Him – His reliable, true and revealing Word that points directly back to Him.

…in His infinite love and desire for us,
God gave us exactly what we need to
deepen our love, devotion and affection for Him.

What a rich and inspiring reason to read the Bible!


Scott Brown, leads our Sydney City Labouring Community with his wife, Tami.

We are praying for more labourers to join our team. If you are interested or would like to know more, please contact us at info@navigators.org.au.

 

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