"Know the Lord"
This command may sound strange to many who are Christians, especially those who have walked faithfully after the Lord's Way for so many years; however, this command was not unusual for those Jews, who were born into God's chosen nation of the Israelites. Today God's chosen people receive a heritage not through birthright, but through choice and adoption (Psalm 110:3; Ephesians 1:3-5 ). Even during the days of the Old Covenant, the Lord prophesied of a coming day that would bring many changes. One of which was the absent need to command the fellow members of the kingdom to know the Lord (Jeremiah 31:31-34). Why was the command not required? The members of this kingdom would already know the Lord, because it was going to be a spiritual kingdom (Luke 17:20-21).
Unfortunately, this is not true of the world. Those who do not know the Lord are those who are spiritual Gentiles, outside the body of God's chosen spiritual people (II Thessalonians 1:8). Even more unfortunately, this condition can sometimes be found among those who either claim, or who have at one time claimed to have known the Lord (Titus 1:16; Galatians 4:8-11).
This condition should never be true among the Lord's people, since it was the intent of the New Covenant that God's people know Him in a true, deep, and profound sense. They were not just to know His name, but they were to know and understand His character, His wisdom, His nature, and His love, as expressed through Jesus, the Living Word (John 1:1-14; 14:4-9; II Peter 1:2-4).
Since many do not know the Lord, and others have walked with Jesus so long, but still do not yet know the Lord (John 14:8-9), the following list of attributes of God's revealed character has been provided, as way of instruction and reminder:
- Just, Fair, and Equitable - Romans 3:4-6, 19-31; Genesis 18:25; Psalm 98:9
- Impartial, Not prejudiced - Acts 10:34-35; I Peter 1:17
- Gracious, Merciful, and Compassionate - II Peter 3:9; II Chronicles 30:8-9; Nehemiah 9:17
- Patient - Romans 2:4; Luke 13:6-9; Psalm 103:8-14; Hebrews 2:16; II Peter 3:9
- Truthful, Cannot Lie - Titus 1:2; Hebrews 6:16-19
- Faithful - I Thessalonians 5:23-24; Deuteronomy 7:9; I Corinthians 10:13
- Recompenses Actions - Psalm 18:20-27; James 4:6-8; I Peter 10:17; II Corinthians 5:10
- Loving - John 3:16; I John 4:8-10; Romans 5:6-9; I Corinthians 13:4-7
- Teaches - John 6:45; Psalm 119:102; I Thessalonians 4:9; Psalm 94:10-12
- Omnipotent (All-powerful) - Revelation 19:6; Psalm 62:11; Psalm 103:19; II Chronicles 20:6
- Omniscient (All-knowing) - Romans 11:33-36; Psalm 139:1-6; Psalm 94:7-10; Proverbs 3:19-20; 8:22-36
- Omnipresent (Everywhere) - Psalm 139:7-11; Amos 9:2-4
- Eternal (Transcends and Exists Outside of Time) - I Timothy 1:17; Deuteronomy 33:27; Psalm 103:15-17
- Spirit - John 4:24; Luke 24:39
- Judges and Rules over Nations - Daniel 4:17; Jeremiah 18:1-12
- Judges and Rules over Individual Men - Romans 14:10-12; Revelation 20:12-13; Ecclesiastes 12:14
- Judges and Rules over Angels - II Peter 2:4; Jude 1:6
- Independent (Does not need man's worship or help) - Psalm 50:7-13; Acts 17:24-31 ; Luke 19:37-40
Although many more characteristics of God could be noted, these may help us remember the nature of the God we serve. Also, they may help us teach others who claim to know God, but follow a god who cannot be the same God. If your god is capricious, uncaring, uninterested, arbitrary, unfair, prideful, pessimistic, hasty, prejudiced, limited, weak, powerless, or takes delight in the destruction of the wicked, then he is not the God of the Bible.
It is essential that we know and understand God. How can we teach others, if we do not understand Him ourselves? Now, that is not to say that we will understand everything about God, but that which is revealed has been given for our understanding (Deuteronomy 29:29; Ephesians 3:4-5). This is the mystery revealed, "Christ in you, the hope of glory" (Colossians 1:26-28). Is Christ in you?
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