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Friday, August 28, 2009

Who is God?

Who is God, and what is He like? Some might argue that these are questions that we cannot really ever find answers to. Yet, as Christians, we know we have in the Bible God’s own narrative of his activities, with significant information about his nature and attributes. As with anyone, we should expect that one’s own description of oneself would be perhaps a most revealing indicator – especially for God, who does not lie. In other words, when in the Bible God tells us who He is, we can rely on that.

Moses needed to know who God was, and what He was like. God had told Moses (Exodus 33) to lead the Israelites to the Promised Land. Moses didn’t even want to go unless God was going to come along, and God assured Moses that He would. But Moses needed a personal experience of understanding who this God was. He asked God, “Now show me your glory” (33:18). In response, God passed in front of Moses, while Moses hid in a cleft in the rock, and told Moses exactly who He is and what He is like:

“The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin.” (Exodus 34:6-7)(NIV).

Aren’t we glad that this is what God is like? The very first thing He says about himself is that he is “compassionate” -- he is a loving God! And it is a good thing that He is “slow to anger,” because I think we probably would provoke Him to anger a lot if he weren’t. He is faithful, and forgiveness is His preferred response to our sin.

That is who God is, and what He is like. From his own mouth.

~ Dean Doug Cook, Regent University School of Law

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