In J. I. Packer’s classic work, Knowing God, he asks and answers some vital questions in thought-provoking ways.
Q. What were we made for?
A. To know God.
Q. What aim should we set [for] ourselves in life?
A. To know God.
Q. What is the ‘eternal life’ that Jesus gives?
A. Knowledge of God. “This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent” (Jn. 17:3).
Q. What is the best thing in life, bringing more joy, delight, and contentment, than anything else?
A. Knowledge of God. 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 lovingkindness, justice and righteousness on earth; for I delight in these things,” declares the Lord (Jer. 9:23,24).
Q. What, of all the states God ever sees man in, gives Him the most pleasure?
A. Knowledge of Himself. For I delight in loyalty rather than sacrifice, And in the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings (Hosea 6:6).
J.I. Packer, Knowing God, p. 29
Those are ageless questions that every thoughtful person has contemplated and sought answers to. Paul’s sermon at Athens addressed those very issues. “and He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their habitation, that they would seek God, if perhaps they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; for in Him we live and move and exist, as even some of your own poets have said, ‘For we also are His children’” (Acts 17:26-28).
Can we know God? Yes, we can! While it is true that one might live with another person for years only to come to the conclusion that they never really knew that person, this is not so with God. People can and do hide their true feelings and true values all the time. But God, who cannot lie (Titus 1:2), has revealed Himself to us just as He did to Samuel long ago. And the Lord appeared again at Shiloh, because the Lord revealed Himself to Samuel at Shiloh by the word of the Lord (1 Sam. 3:21). The language is clear, Samuel did not see a person or a body. The Lord revealed Himself through His word.
When Jesus came to earth and lived among God’s people, His purpose, in part, was to reveal God –- to Israel first, but also to the world. “No one has seen God at any time; the only begotten God who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him” (John 1:18). He Himself said, “All things have been handed over to Me by My Father, and no one knows who the Son is except the Father, and who the Father is except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son wills to reveal Him” (Luke 10:22). Knowing God can only be possible by reading what He has revealed of Himself in Scripture. For this reason, we need to…
Keep studying! DC Brown ©2013