To know God

STREETLIFE - Nigel Paul Villarete - The Freeman

Many of us do not particularly talk about “knowing” God for the simple reason that we do acknowledge and respect his supreme eminence in all things. We feel it is too presumptive to “really” know God…that we could never really do that to the fullest extent. But it is surprising that God has specifically intended for us to know him. Jeremiah 9:23-24 says, “Thus says the Lord, “Let not a wise man boast of his wisdom, and let not the mighty man boast of his might, let not a rich man boast of his riches; but let him who boasts boast of this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the Lord who exercises loving kindness, justice and righteousness on earth; for I delight in these things,” declares the Lord.”

I am sure most, if not all, of us would really and sincerely want to know God as he wanted. But maybe we have differences in believing what that entails. The difficulty with the English language is that a word may have so many different meanings. Like the verb “to know.” To say, “I know Benjamin Franklin” is different from saying, “I know Mr. Ponteras, he was my high school teacher.” And it’s different from “I know Dan, he’s my best friend,” or even, “I know my father.” Oftentimes we miss the difference between “knowing” and “knowing about”. And the many degrees of difference in-between.

God wants us to know him in an intimate way, more like knowing our parents or siblings than knowing popular people we read on the news. Knowing God as described by Jeremiah borders on intimacy --a knowledge that what the other party feels, and knows, and believes. Jeremiah describes it as knowing the very heart of God, what he likes and dislikes, and understanding his heart. And knowing from our lifetime of existence, we know we can’t do this by simply reading books or news in the newspapers.

Knowing God is not automatic but draws out of intention --we need to know him if we want to know him, which means we have to seek him. God reveals himself through us through creation, through our conscience, through the Bible, and through the person of Jesus Christ. Of course, our main line to those would really be through reading his Word, the Bible, for it is only through Scriptures that we can understand the creation, listen to God in our conscience and not the devil, and know about Jesus.

So, if it is really our heart’s desire to know and understand God personally and intimately, we need to read the Bible more. The reality of the matter is, we can’t know God or know him more, if we don’t. Many times, when asked certain questions, Jesus always asked back, “Haven’t you read…?” (meaning the Scriptures). And at that time, there was no New Testament yet, only the Hebrew Tanakh (the Old Testament). Jesus always points us back to the Scriptures. All Scriptures come from God and are of God. “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,” (2 Timothy 3:16-17). To know God, we need to read our Bible.

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