Ep.1297: Who is God? (Part I)
Piecing together an understanding of the unfathomable character of God
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Theme Scripture: Genesis 1:1
Whether we like it or not or believe it or not, the presence of powers higher than our human understanding cannot be denied. The debate begins and rages when we try to label these powers. Our human perspectives, belief systems and even how we claim to apply science all come into play here. As Christians, we by definition believe God is the ultimate source of power. We believe Him to be wise, just and loving in His expressions of that power. But how do we know this to be true? It is no surprise that the answer to knowing who God is exists in a very broad and orderly fashion in the Bible. Literally starting at the beginning will lay a foundation for us to not only begin to understand God, but to also begin to have a deep appreciation of who He really is.
God's power and authority revealed in a name
There are several names and descriptions given to God, especially in the Old Testament. Each of them gives us a different way to grasp the Almighty’s character. For instance, the first five words of the entire Bible set a tone about who He is. Genesis 1:1 simply states, “In the beginning, God created…” This beginning refers to the creation of the earth as a habitable planet. The Hebrew word Elohim used to describe God here in this creative context is specific. Right away we know He was the initial force to make things happen. It was His plan, His power and His authority that put the development of planet Earth into motion.
Elohim is commonly used to describe God when His power and authority are being referenced. This gives us a hint as to how to understand God through Scripture. Because His character is so vast, there is no way to sum it up simply, so the Bible reveals Him in steps. When another aspect of God is being referenced or sought for, another name or description appears. In this way, we can learn to appreciate the depth of His character as our own minds become ready to receive it.
While this may sound like an easy math addition problem, it is far deeper and much more exciting. God is not systematically unveiled to us one character trait at a time; rather, it is done through the real-life experiences of those who follow Him. While this may seem less efficient, it is unspeakably more dramatic!
Who God is, as revealed to Abraham
Check out our September 4, 2023 podcast, “Who Is God? (Part I)” for more. We identify and define the keys the Old Testament puts in place to help us understand who God is. Abraham is a primary example of these keys. Throughout his life, Abraham had a myriad of experiences that challenged him, caused him to doubt and caused him to step out in faith. Through many of these times, God showed Abraham new aspects of His character. These were expressed as amazing names and descriptions of God. Join us for this thrilling journey! Truly knowing who He is may be closer than you think!