I heard it again today, as I have so many times before; someone giving voice to this belief so pervasive, that I hear it almost daily; “if God does exist, then He is most certainly silent, mysterious, impersonal and unknowable.” While this has not been my experience personally, this way of thinking about God seems pretty prevalent right now and actually has been the way many people have perceived God almost from the beginning of time. This surprises me because of all the evidence to the contrary. The God I know speaks continuously, is very personal and desires that those He has created come to know Him. Can you believe that? (apparently most people don’t) God wants us to know Him and He has gone to great lengths throughout human history to accomplish just that end. God has been speaking, perhaps we have not been listening?
God is not a silent God. He spoke the universe into existence (“And God said, ‘Let there be light,’ . . . And God said, . . . And God said, . . . Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, in our likeness’ . . .” (Genesis 1:3-26)) and God has been speaking into the lives of humankind ever since. God spoke with Adam and Eve in the garden, He told Noah to build an ark and told him exactly how He wanted it done. God spoke to Abraham, calling him to move to a new, promised land and to become the father of many descendants. God spoke to Moses from the burning bush and on many other occasions as Moses led God’s people through the desert to their promised land.
God spoke to His prophet, Samuel, calling him by name as he lay on his bed in the temple. God spoke to Joshua, He spoke to Gideon; God spoke to His judges and to His prophets such as Isaiah, Jeremiah, Daniel, Jonah and so many more, throughout the history of the Old Testament. God gave His law to Moses at Mt. Sinai in written form. And indeed, the books of the Bible were then and are now, the written record of God’s words to us, the people He created in His own image. The bible is a record of God’s participation in the daily lives of our ancestors. It is a record of God’s participation in human history and it is a reminder of God’s ever-present participation in our daily lives even now.
God has not been silent. Through both His spoken and His written word, God has made Himself known and continues to make Himself known today. Even creation has from the beginning spoken loudly and continuously of the Creator. “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard. Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world.” (Psalm 19:1-4)
God is speaking. Am I listening? God is speaking to me personally because He is a personal God. He is the God of all and of each one. “He who brings out the starry host one by one, and calls them each by name. Because of His great power and mighty strength, not one of them is missing.” (Isaiah 40:26)
“Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.” (Matthew 10:29-31)
“O Lord, You have searched me and You know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; You perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; You are familiar with all my ways.” (Psalm 139:1-3)
“the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.” (Psalm 121:8) “But He knows the way that I take; . . . ” (Job 23:10)
These words from the Bible describe God as knowing me better than I know myself. And indeed He does! Psalm 139, verses 4 & 5 says, “Before a word is on my tongue You know it completely, O Lord. You hem me in – behind and before; You have laid Your hand upon me.”
It couldn’t get any more personal than that! The God of creation didn’t just bring us into being and then remove His presence from us forever. Just the opposite is true! It is God’s life-giving, all sustaining presence that fills all of His creation and sustains it. “for You created all things, and by Your will they were created and have their being.” (Revelation 4:11b)
“He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.” (Colossians 1:17) This is an infinitely personal God. So much so that in His word to us, He says we can call Him our Heavenly Father when we pray to Him. God cares for all He has created. He knows when each sparrow falls. He calls every star by name. God calls me by name as well and He knows my every thought.
“The Lord is good to all; He has compassion on all He has made.” (Psalm 145:9) I experience His goodness and His mercy every day along with His promise that He will never leave me nor forsake me. God designed you and me to desire a personal relationship with Him because He is a personal God.
Because God desires us to know Him, He reveals Himself to us. He is not unknowable as some would say. In Jeremiah 33:3 He tells us, “Call to Me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.” God also tells us in Jeremiah 29:13-14, ” ‘You will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with all your heart. I will be found by you,’ declares the Lord, . . . “.
“I sought the Lord, and He answered me; He delivered me from all my fears.” (Psalm 34:4) Peter tells us in 1Peter 5:7, “Cast all your anxiety on Him (God) because He cares for you.” God knows us and wants us to know Him.
So much so that, “The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us.” Who was this Word? “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through Him all things were made; without Him nothing was made that has been made. In Him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.” (John 1:14, 1-5)
Jesus had come to earth. “The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call Him Immanuel – which means ‘God with us.’ ” (Matthew 1:23)
The God who had been speaking to His people for centuries, now took on human form and came to live with us here on earth for a time. That’s how determined God was to reveal Himself to us so that we could know Him personally. The ultimate revelation of Himself to mankind, He walked in our shoes so to speak and then died in our place so that we could be reconciled to Him for eternity. Our sin had separated us from our Creator, but Jesus’s death and resurrection now made reconciliation with God possible for anyone who would believe and accept Jesus’s sacrifice on our behalf.
Furthermore, God so desires a relationship with each one of us, that He makes available His Holy Spirit to live in each of us who would believe in Jesus and accept this gift of God. “Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, set His seal of ownership on us, and put His Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.” (2 Corinthians 1:21-22) This is as personal as it can get. ” . . . Christ in you, the hope of glory.” (Colossians 1:27)
Jan Van Ruysbroeck, a 14th century Augustinian said that, “God is immeasurable and incomprehensible, unattainable and unfathomable.” Because God is infinite and immortal in His being, He certainly can’t be measured or completely comprehended by me (or by anyone else) from our position as finite, mortal human beings. We can never fathom all the facets of God’s being or attain to the knowledge of all that He is or of all that He has done.
But Romans 1:20 tells us, “For 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.”
God is not silent. He speaks through His creation, through His Word, through His Holy Spirit, through His Living word who walked among us for a while. God is personal. He knows everything about each one of us and calls us each by name. God wants us to know Him. God revealed Himself to us yet again when Jesus died on the cross, showing us His love and making a way for us to know God and be in relationship with Him for eternity through His resurrection.
“Yet to all who received Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God – ” (John 1:12)
“For now we see through a glass darkly; but then face to face: now we know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.” (1 Corinthians 13:12)
sincerely, Grace Day