If ‘God’ is truly Almighty, the creator, the reason for existence, the first cause of all things – as would be the nature of anyone who would claim to be ‘god’, then how do we know that? How does he make himself known?
One way to ‘see’ God is to look around – examine what you see. The world around has to be a source of information about God if he is the source of all life.
Naturally, the good things that we see – you could attribute to him. And interestingly, the bad things that we see – you should also attribute to him.
The reality is that because good things don’t cause pain and suffering, then it is often those things that we overlook. Yet when it comes to the bad things, and the things that affect us and limit our experience or existence, then we pay much more attention.
Don’t be surprised when people say that they don’t want to follow a ‘god’ who would allow suffering – because it is abundantly clear that there is much suffering in the world.
Be that as it may – let us for a moment consider some of the wonderful things that we see in the world. There are many things that are completely beyond our ability to even fathom. Consider the expanse of the universe in which we live, with the billions of stars the size of our sun. Reflect for a moment on the beauty of our land with it mountains and valleys, and forests, and rivers, and landscapes which work together to sustain life and at times take life. Bring to mind the vastness of the oceans and the lakes, and the depths of the seas that hide creatures that continue to amaze us (like the great blue whale) or terrify us (like the white pointer shark). Marvel at the wonder of the wildlife with its kangaroos and its eagles and its elephants and its lions – not to mention the awkwardness of the giraffe or the emu, or the snake, or hippopotamus! And cherish the gift of people from newborn to old age – each different from one another and varied in look, colour, language, size, temperament and ability.
There are wonderful things that are on display in this world and they come from somewhere or more appropriately someone.
In fact the Bible tells us as much:
‘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’ (Psalm 19:1-2)
‘What can be known about God is plain to see, because God has shown himself – his invisible qualities, his eternal powers and divine nature are on display being understood from what has been made so that all people are without excuse’. (Romans 1:19-20)
The very qualities of God’s own life are shown through the world and the universe that he has fashioned. God’s greatness, order, power and beauty are shown in the created world. And so you can look at the world and learn something (generally) about God.
But this knowledge of ‘God’ is not definitive. We learn something of the quality and nature of God but not who God is or what God wants.
For more in this Series:
Listening to the Word
Grounded in the Word
God makes himself known – look around!
God makes himself known – look at ourselves!
God makes himself known – look his Word!
How can the Bible be from men but also from God?
What does a Christian do with the Bible?
How can I trust that what was written down in the Bible is reliable?