Studying the Personality of God
Everyone, even including God, is so much more than just the jobs or functions that we do. I have been a teacher for 43 years, but my imminent retirement will show that I am and have always been more than just someone who stands in front of a group of students and holds forth. A plumber is more than PVC pipe and glue.
It is so easy to think of Jehovah as the Divine Being who is the Creator and Manager of "the salvation machine." Was He the Creator of the plan for man's salvation? Well, yes; and it is fair to say that He is the "salvation machine's" manager, since no one will be entering Heaven without His approval. But the scriptures tell us so much more of His nature. The more we read, the more we come to know Him as a personality, not just a Diety who discharges certain functions.
Deuteronomy chapter 9 makes a fitting case study to learn of the character and disposition of God. Deuteronomy 9 is not the only such passage, but it makes a good one. In Deuteronomy 9, Moses is speaking in behalf of God to Israel, whose people were about to go into the promised land. Moses won't be making the trip. Moses will soon go to Mount Pisgah and look across the Jordan to see the promised land, but due to his lack of respect to God (see Numbers 20:10) at Meribah, he will not be allowed to set foot in the promised land.
God revealed through Moses that He is a sensitive God. What people think of Him, and IF they think of him, matters to God. God admitted in the giving of the first Ten Commandments that He is a jealous God (Exodus 20: 5; Deuteronomy 5: 9). What is jealousy? A mixture of love and fear. Love for someone; fear that something or someone else will take the lover's place in the loved one's life.
How could this be? How could the Creator of all Heaven and Earth be afraid of anything? From such passages as Genesis 1: 26- 31 and James 4: 4-10 we infer that God created man for fellowship and companionship. He also created woman for man's companionship and fellowship. In the way that God created humankind, he created people with the ability to choose between Him and the other alternative, Satan. That way, the people--the FEW--who chose God would really glorify Him in their choice. The choosing of God as a master to serve is extremely precious in His sight. He loves it when we choose Him of our own free will.
Consider the fond way that God spoke of Job in the opening two chapters of the book of Job. Job 1:8-12 " And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, Doth Job fear God for nought? Hast not thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side? thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land. But put forth thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will curse thee to thy face. And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath is in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of the LORD. "
... and again in Job 2: 1-3 "Again there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them to present himself before the LORD. And the LORD said unto Satan, From whence comest thou? And Satan answered the LORD, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it. And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? and still he holdeth fast his integrity, although thou movedst me against him, to destroy him without cause. "
If God had a refrigerator, don't you suppose that Job's picture would have been on it?
If you are a Christian, your picture is on God's refrigerator. He is the Omnicient, all-knowing God. He is the Omnipresent, ever-present God. He is the Omnipotent, All Powerful God. You can read about those parts of His personality in Psalms 139: 1-18. Hebrews 4: 13--"Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in His sight, but all things are naked and opened to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do." 1Peter 3:12 says "For the eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous, And his ears unto their supplication: But the face of the Lord is upon them that do evil." God is aware of the good things that you do. Jesus said that the gift of a cup of water in His name would not be forgotten in the day of judgement (Mark 9: 41).
God is looking for people to "spend" eternity with Him. Given His pure nature, not many people would make good room mates for Him. Man usually under-estimates the absolute purity of God. God is so pure that He cannot be tempted with evil. James 1: 13 "Let no one being tempted say, I am tempted from God. For God is not tempted by evils, and He tempts no one. " God's overture to man was that he sent the God-man Jesus to earth, allowing Him to be tempted, but Jesus never gave in (Hebrews 4: 15 "For we do not have a high priest who cannot be touched with the feelings of our infirmities, but was in all points tempted just as we are, yet without sin. ") He took that kind of risk in order to reach those who might choose Him instead of taking the easy way out (Satan). That's how precious our obedience to Him is!
Ever have anyone use you? Parents--Did you ever buy a pager or cell phone for your teenager? With the idea that this would help you and your teen communicate more and better? And then not long afterward, you noticed that your teen wasn't answering your pages or calls, but he seems to know everything his friends are doing. Why? Because he is taking their calls and pages! Aggravation! You felt used. How do you suppose God feels after He built a whole universe for us, sent His Son to live a spotless life and an example for us, left Jesus on the cross to die as a payment for the sin-debt that we would one day run up . . . and then we live our lives, hardly even talking to Him each day? USED?? You bet. That's no way to treat anyone.
God is also the God who wants us to pray to Him often (I Thessalonians 5: 17). He wants our attention! He also wants our attention at worship time, "not forsaking the assembling of yourselves together, as the manner of some is, but but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching." (Hebrews 10: 25. He wants our obedience ( I John chapter 3). Obeying Him is how we show our respect and devotion to Him. His commandments were not made to cut down on our enjoyment of life; rather Christ came and taught God's commandments so that we "would have life, and that more abundantly" (John 10: 10).
If we respond to God with sensitivity, we will have easier lives while we are on this earth AND we will have a home with the Creator in the after-awhile. If we respond to God's love and goodness with coldness and indifference, we will live cold lives while upon this earth and then face a fiery judgement. Have you "warmed up" to God lately?
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