Do You have a God?

Posted: February 15, 2008 in Abraham, Daniel, god, Isaiah, Power of God, Prayer, Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , , ,

Isaiah asks the question: “How can we describe God? With what can we compare him?” (Isa 40:18 Living Bible). He of course, assumes that everyone knows Jehovah of the Scriptures. Today, most people don’t ask such a question, they just assume they know. After all, God is everywhere in the media. He is spoken of in television shows and movies. Politicians proclaim Him. God seems to be everywhere now. Still, the question that Isaiah asked centuries ago, must be answered. I paraphrase the original to this phrase: “How do you describe God?’

Most people let you know what they think of God when they are faced with some hardship, calamity, disease, or a sudden loss of a loved one. I have been with people in the past few weeks that have faced death, cancer, hardship, loss of loved ones-very difficult situations. I have heard questions ranging from “How could God do this?” to “God is sovereign over all”. Yet what puzzles me most is “how do they describe God in the normal humdrum of life?”

God?

The way we view God when life is boring and dull determines how we relate to God when life is tough.

Abraham made a very interesting comment when speaking to the King of Sodom. Abraham and his band of men had just conjured five kings and their armies, rescued Lot and recovered all the goods complete with quite a spoil of riches. The King of Sodom was more interested in the people Abram had rescued (was he that perverse or that caring?), than the spoil. The account goes like this:

The king of Sodom said to Abram, “Give me the people and keep the goods for yourself.” 22 But Abram said to the king of Sodom, “I have raised my hand to the LORD, God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth, and have taken an oath 23 that I will accept nothing belonging to you, not even a thread or the thong of a sandal, so that you will never be able to say, ‘I made Abram rich.’ 24 I will accept nothing but what my men have eaten and the share that belongs to the men who went with me–to Aner, Eshcol and Mamre. Let them have their share.” Genesis 14:21-24 (NIV)

Abraham Views God

The way Abram responded was determined by a commitment Abram had made earlier, during the normal boredom of life. Abram saw God as “El Elyon”, God most High, creator and therefore Possessor of Heaven and Earth. His view of God determined his reaction to a test that would influence the rest of his life. Sure enough, if Abram was having any regrets about his decision, God assured him: ‘After this, the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision: “Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your very great reward.” Genesis 15:1 (NIV)”.

Whatever Abram had, he considered it owned by God Most High, the Possessor of heaven and Earth. That was why, when God said to sacrifice his son Isaac, Abraham didn’t flinch, he didn’t winch, he did it, because Isaac belonged to God Most High.

Daniel was another person who let the vision of God formed in the humdrum of life determine how he viewed Him in the pressures of life.

Daniel Views GodWhen Daniel was captured and taken to a strange land, he was a young man, probably in his teens. He was put into a special program and ordered to eat the Kings food and wine in preparation to being in the King’s court. However, Daniel had made a decision to view God a certain way earlier on. That view of God framed his reaction to this program:

But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s meat, nor with the wine which he drank: therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself. Daniel 1:8 (KJV)

Daniel and his companions proposed a test, and they succeeded. Therefore they gained entrance into the King’s court, as an adviser. When another challenge faced them, one which would have meant their death, they turned once more to the God whom they had met in the boring humdrum of life.

Then Daniel went to his house and made the matter known to Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, his companions, and told them to seek mercy from the God of heaven concerning this mystery, so that Daniel and his companions might not be destroyed with the rest of the wise men of Babylon. Then the mystery was revealed to Daniel in a vision of the night. Then Daniel blessed the God of heaven. Daniel answered and said: “Blessed be the name of God forever and ever, to whom belong wisdom and might. He changes times and seasons; he removes kings and sets up kings; he gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding; he reveals deep and hidden things; he knows what is in the darkness, and the light dwells with him. To you, O God of my fathers, I give thanks and praise, for you have given me wisdom and might, and have now made known to me what we asked of you, for you have made known to us the king’s matter.” Daniel 2:17-23 (ESV)

Daniel met this “God of the Heavens” as a young man. He had decided to follow Him as such in the normal “humdrum” of life, not in some foxhole of combat. This Vision of God that had become a possessor of his will and emotions now met him when the pressures of life overwhelmed him. His God had gone before him into the Lion’s den and shut their mouths, preserving Daniel’s life and causing the King to praise Daniel’s God.Daniel

Daniel continued to pray to the God he had met as a youth. He continued to honor Him through the reigns of three Kings. We see him lifting God up in the following prayer recorded in Daniel 9:

Then I turned my face to the Lord God, seeking him by prayer and pleas for mercy with fasting and sackcloth and ashes. I prayed to the Lord my God and made confession, saying, “O Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, we have sinned and done wrong and acted wickedly and rebelled, turning aside from your commandments and rules. We have not listened to your servants the prophets, who spoke in your name to our kings, our princes, and our fathers, and to all the people of the land. To you, O Lord, belongs righteousness, but to us open shame, as at this day, to the men of Judah, to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and to all Israel, those who are near and those who are far away, in all the lands to which you have driven them, because of the treachery that they have committed against you. To us, O Lord, belongs open shame, to our kings, to our princes, and to our fathers, because we have sinned against you. To the Lord our God belong mercy and forgiveness, for we have rebelled against him and have not obeyed the voice of the Lord our God by walking in his laws, which he set before us by his servants the prophets. Daniel 9:3-10 (ESV)

Daniel set his heart to know this God of Heaven. He met this God in the normal course of growing up. He believed He had power over all things, even dreams. Once more, when faced with a dream that had frightened him, he called out to the God of his youth. God knew his heart. God knew of his decision. It is recorded in this verse:

Then he said to me, “Fear not, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart to understand and humbled yourself before your God, your words have been heard, and I have come because of your words. Daniel 10:12 (ESV)

Daniel serves as an example to all those who face pressures of life, the moments when we are faced with faith-challenging situations.

When we hear we are to die; or we look up and find ourselves in a horrible wreck, or worse yet we lose a beloved wife or young child. Perhaps we are losing our home, struggling with debt, have lost a job, a marriage, a treasured possession. Who will you see when you turn your eyes to heaven? Will you humble yourself before the God of Heaven, creator and possessor of everything on earth? Or will you shake your fist at God and curse His name?

Reactions to the pressures of Life result in four possible views of God:

  1. If there is a God, he is weak and passive, leaving everything to chance. Therefore it is up to me to make my way in life, to overcome or be overcome.
  2. The God of heaven is vengeful and hurls forth His judgments without purpose or love. The pressures of my life are happenstance and I have every right to shake my fist at God and say “What are You Doing?”
  3. The God of heaven is watching as events unfold, but is actually in a battle with Satan and has no power to control events. Therefore I need to view events from the basis of whether Satan is behind it or God. I walk on eggshells, never really knowing who is trying to get at me.
  4. The God of Heaven is “El Elyon”, God Most High, the one whom even Satan must get permission from to do anything to those whom He protects. (see Job 1). He is in control of my life and is actively at work to bring about His Will and Purpose in everything that happens in my life.

Job viewed God as Number Four. That is why, when messenger after messenger delivered crushing news of one loss after another, Scripture records:

Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head and fell on the ground and worshiped. And he said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.” In all this Job did not sin or charge God with wrong. Job 1:20-22 (ESV)

job get the newsJob had met this God early on in his life, when there were no pressures, no problems. He made a commitment in the boredom of life to worship as God Most High. That is why, when life struck him down, he worshipped this God! God truly was in control. God is worthy of our worship, especially in the hard times of life! Isaiah records God’s Word:

To whom then will you compare me, that I should be like him? says the Holy One. Lift up your eyes on high and see: who created these? He who brings out their host by number, calling them all by name, by the greatness of his might, and because he is strong in power not one is missing. Why do you say, O Jacob, and speak, O Israel, “My way is hidden from the Lord, and my right is disregarded by my God”? Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:25-31 (ESV)

Have you determined that there is a God Most High? Do you see Him creating and possessing the entire creation? Do you know that not one star travels outside the path that He sets. He knows each and every star by name. He does not faint or grow weary. Jesus said that he knows when a sparrow falls to the ground. He knows how many hairs are on your head. Don’t wait to meet God in the horrors of life. Meet Him now, when life is routine, even boring. For the God you worship in the humdrum, will be the God you raise your fist to when life gets tough. Or He will be the God you bow down to and worship. Who is God to you?

Behold, the Lord God comes with might, and his arm rules for him; behold, his reward is with him, and his recompense before him. He will tend his flock like a shepherd; he will gather the lambs in his arms; he will carry them in his bosom, and gently lead those that are with young. Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand and marked off the heavens with a span, enclosed the dust of the earth in a measure and weighed the mountains in scales and the hills in a balance? Who has measured the Spirit of the Lord, or what man shows him his counsel? Whom did he consult, and who made him understand? Who taught him the path of justice, and taught him knowledge, and showed him the way of understanding? 15 Behold, the nations are like a drop from a bucket, and are accounted as the dust on the scales; behold, he takes up the coastlands like fine dust. Lebanon would not suffice for fuel, nor are its beasts enough for a burnt offering. All the nations are as nothing before him, they are accounted by him as less than nothing and emptiness. To whom then will you liken God, or what likeness compare with him? Isaiah 40:10-18 (ESV)

…The people who know their God shall stand firm and take action. Daniel 11:32 (ESV)

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Comments
  1. chandu says:

    I want church of jehovah

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