What Can You Know, About God?
In the Book of Job, Zophar the Naamatite, rebuked Job by, saying,
7 "Can you fathom the mysteries of God?
Can you probe the limits of the Almighty?
8 They are higher than the heavens-what can you do?
They are deeper than the depths of the grave -what can you know?
It appears that Zophar is asking some sarcastic questions of Job and certainly when you have a God who is infinite and transcendent (magnificent) beyond our abilities to comprehend you face the question…
Verse 8 ends with the Words, “What can you know?”
The reality is that God wants you to have a true and tremendous amount of knowledge about Him. You will never have a complete knowledge of God, but God ultimately wants us to know Him.
God reveals Himself to us in many ways…
Clouds and Ants …
How many have laid on a grass lawn or blanket and just watched to clouds roll by?
Remember when you would take the time to look for random shapes in the clouds?
Later, I learned God had other purposes for the clouds…
Proverbs 16:15 When a king’s face brightens, it means life; his favor is like a rain cloud in spring.
10 As the rain and the snow come down from heaven,
and do not return to it without watering the earth
and making it bud and flourish,
so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,
11 so is my word that goes out from my mouth:
It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. (Hydrology)
Isaiah was written about 700 BC, but according to an apologetic book I read years ago Hydrology wasn’t discovered until 1600 AD. God told us in His word where rain and snow come from and where it goes back to, 2300 years before science figured it out.
Henry M. Morris, President of Institute for Creation Research said, “With so many references in the Bible to water in all its aspects, it is significant that there are none that conflict with modern hydrologic science.”
In addition to what Isaiah said,
We also have the words of Elihu in…
27 "He draws up the drops of water,
which distill as rain to the streams;
28 the clouds pour down their moisture
and abundant showers fall on mankind.
29 Who can understand how he spreads out the clouds,
how he thunders from his pavilion?
And then some of us got too old to get up once we got down and quit doing that. I didn’t fully realize it at the time but I was learning knowledge about God.
My younger years were spent in Michigan and I enjoyed playing in the yard, searching for four leaf clovers and watching the ants at work. And never did I know I was learning knowledge that God wanted me to know.
Proverbs 6:6 Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise!
Proverbs 30:25 Ants are creatures of little strength, yet they store up their food in the summer;
God makes Himself known to us in a variety of ways that fall into two main categories:
General Revelation is available to all (Christian and non-Christian alike)! Clouds, ants would be examples of General Revelation.
This type of revelation will only give you a general knowledge of God!
Everyday in the world around us we can see the Glory and Power of our Creator.
Psalm 19:1 The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
And it continues…
2 Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. 3 There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard. 4 Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world.
Paul and Barnabas tell the idolaters in Lystra that they should have known God.
Acts 14:17 Yet he has not left himself without testimony: He has shown kindness by giving you rain from heaven and crops in their seasons; he provides you with plenty of food and fills your hearts with joy."
We read in Romans 1:18 The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19 since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities--his eternal power and divine nature--have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.
We not only observe general revelation, but there is also an aspect of general revelation in the heart of every man,
Romans 2:14(Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law, 15since they show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts now accusing, now even defending them.)
We by virtue of the fact that we are created in the image of God instinctively know something’s are right and other things are wrong.
From General Revelation we as adults should be able to come to certain revelations about God…
That the World and the Universe had a Creator…
That God left a witness(testimony) behind for us (Acts 14:17) with on going things such as rain and produce (fruits and vegetables) …
That He is a lawgiver and has rules-(requirements written on their hearts)
We should instinctively get some things right if we wanted to…
Since General Revelation is always non-verbal, it is less precise then specific revelation that comes from words…
For example it tells of the Creator, but doesn’t tell of God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. There is nothing about salvation, the grace of God and what we must do to be redeemed. The greatest sacrifice the world will ever know is not revealed in General Revelation.
With a better understanding of the limits of General Revelation, we should have a better comprehension of the importance of missionary work. You should also better understand the importance of your personal evangelistic efforts.
Special Revelation of God is given in many ways.
Hebrews 1:1 In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, 2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe.
We receive revelation about God in three main forms;
First, God reveals Himself (non-verbally).
Nebuchadnezzar’s Dream - Daniel 2:25-36
Casting Lots –Jonah was in a boat going from Joppa to Tarshish, and all in the boat were perishing in a storm…
Jonah 1:7 Then the sailors said to each other, "Come, let us cast lots to find out who is responsible for this calamity." They cast lots and the lot fell on Jonah.
Acts 1:24 Then they prayed, "Lord, you know everyone’s heart. Show us which of these two you have chosen 25to take over this apostolic ministry, which Judas left to go where he belongs." 26Then they cast lots, and the lot fell to Matthias; so he was added to the eleven apostles.
The Second form of Special Revelation is God revealing Himself in words.
God has spoken…!!!!!!!
Matthew 3:17And a voice from heaven said, "This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased."
Ten Commandments (Moses)- Deuteronomy 4:10 Remember the day you stood before the LORD your God at Horeb, when he said to me, "Assemble the people before me to hear my words so that they may learn to revere me as long as they live in the land and may teach them to their children." 11 You came near and stood at the foot of the mountain while it blazed with fire to the very heavens, with black clouds and deep darkness. 12 Then the LORD spoke to you out of the fire. You heard the sound of words but saw no form; there was only a voice. 13 He declared to you his covenant, the Ten Commandments, which he commanded you to follow and then wrote them on two stone tablets.
The third way in which God gives special revelation is through His personal visible presence, which has occurred two ways.
In the form of a theophany, this is where God manifest Himself visibly,
clothing Himself with the form of a creature.
A temporary human form in the Garden of Eden - Genesis 3:8 Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden.
Dined and talked with Abraham in Genesis 18:1-33
Or it may involve a more permanent humanlike form – God seated in on a throne in Revelation 4 and 5.
A Theophany may take a nonhuman form such as a pillar of fire (Exodus 24:9-10; 19:18-20). A cloud,
The Glory of the Lord
Exodus 40:34 Then the cloud covered the Tent of Meeting, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. 35 Moses could not enter the Tent of Meeting because the cloud had settled upon it, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle.
36 In all the travels of the Israelites, whenever the cloud lifted from above the tabernacle, they would set out; 37 but if the cloud did not lift, they did not set out-until the day it lifted. 38 So the cloud of the LORD was over the tabernacle by day, and fire was in the cloud by night, in the sight of all the house of Israel during all their travels.
Matthew 17:5While he was still speaking, a bright cloud enveloped them, and a voice from the cloud said, "This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!”
Or like a dove…
Matthew 3:16As soon as Jesus was baptized; he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting on him.
The second form of God’s visible presence is in the incarnation.
This is where the Logos (God the Son) became present in the world as the person Jesus of Nazareth.
John 1:1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
John 1:14The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
Revelation by Example and Story’s – What is the Moral of the Story?
Sodom and Gomorrah in Genesis Chapter 19
The two Angels urged Lot to take his wife and two daughters out of Sodom to safety.
Genesis 19:17 As soon as they had brought them out, one of them said, "Flee for your lives! Don’t look back, and don’t stop anywhere in the plain! Flee to the mountains or you will be swept away!"
Genesis 19:26 But Lot’s wife looked back, and she became a pillar of salt.
What is the Moral to the Story?
Please turn in your Bible to 1st Kings Chapter 13…
“The Unknown Prophet” aka “A Man of God” Does anyone know his name?
A man of God came from Judah to Bethel; he declared prophecy’s that king Jeroboam didn’t want to hear. The king stretched out his hand and ordered the man of God to be seized. "Seize him!" But the hand he stretched out toward the man shriveled up, so that he could not pull it back. The prophecy did come true and King Jeroboam asks the “Man of God” to intercede and pray to the Lord that his hand would be restored. The “Man of God” honored the kings’ request, interceded with the Lord and the kings’ hand was restored.
Please read along; 1 Kings 13:7 The king said to the man of God, "Come home with me and have something to eat, and I will give you a gift."
8 But the man of God answered the king, "Even if you were to give me half your possessions, I would not go with you, nor would I eat bread or drink water here. 9 For I was commanded by the word of the LORD: ’You must not eat bread or drink water or return by the way you came.’ “10 So he took another road and did not return by the way he had come to Bethel.
11 Now there was a certain old prophet living in Bethel, whose sons came and told him all that the man of God had done there that day. They also told their father what he had said to the king. 12 Their father asked them, "Which way did he go?" And his sons showed him which road the man of God from Judah had taken. 13 So he said to his sons, "Saddle the donkey for me." And when they had saddled the donkey for him, he mounted it 14 and rode after the man of God. He found him sitting under an oak tree and asked, "Are you the man of God who came from Judah?"
"I am," he replied.
15 So the prophet said to him, "Come home with me and eat."
16 The man of God said, "I cannot turn back and go with you, nor can I eat bread or drink water with you in this place. 17 I have been told by the word of the LORD: ’You must not eat bread or drink water there or return by the way you came.’ “
18 The old prophet answered, "I too am a prophet, as you are. And an angel said to me by the word of the LORD: ’Bring him back with you to your house so that he may eat bread and drink water.’ “(But he was lying to him.) 19 So the man of God returned with him and ate and drank in his house.
20 While they were sitting at the table, the word of the LORD came to the old prophet who had brought him back. 21 He cried out to the man of God who had come from Judah, "This is what the LORD says: ’You have defied the word of the LORD and have not kept the command the LORD your God gave you. 22 You came back and ate bread and drank water in the place where he told you not to eat or drink. Therefore your body will not be buried in the tomb of your fathers.’ “
23 When the man of God had finished eating and drinking, the prophet who had brought him back saddled his donkey for him. 24 As he went on his way, a lion met him on the road and killed him, and his body was thrown down on the road, with both the donkey and the lion standing beside it. 25 Some people who passed by saw the body thrown down there, with the lion standing beside the body, and they went and reported it in the city where the old prophet lived.
26 When the prophet who had brought him back from his journey heard of it, he said, "It is the man of God who defied the word of the LORD. The LORD has given him over to the lion, which has mauled him and killed him, as the word of the LORD had warned him."
What did God reveal in the verse’s we just read? Explain!
We have a prophet of God and he fails to do exactly what God wanted him to do. What was the result?
We have a prophet of God that is lied to and deceived and yet God holds him accountable. If you are lied to and deceived shouldn’t you also expect to be held accountable?
It doesn’t matter what an organization, crowd or person tells you, God’s way is the only way. The truth is still the truth even if nobody believes it.
Major Point: The eternity of our souls is directly related to our understanding of God’s revelation.
Minor Point A: At the very least, we need understand what God has revealed about salvation.
Minor Point B: We should feel compelled to take God’s specific revelation to the uttermost parts of the earth.
What Can You Know, About God?
Reveals Himself in Jesus
God wants you to know Him; He also wants you to share what you know. For those who have never acted on what you know to be true about God you need to act today. There is no reason to wait, today is the day, do not delay.