The real God

The book of books or Bible is a special literary work. The writers of it did not write it in their own name, but let their pen be used by the Most High God their Maker. Forty different writers were used to bring the Words of God unto mankind — some were kings, prophets, priests, leaders, doctors, fishermen or shepherds. They wrote over a period of 1,600 years.

The Bible is unique because it does not contain just man’s words. It is also no ordinary boo because it does not contain man’s ideas. It is God speaking to us. By reading the Holy Scriptures man can find out what God is like. then man can learn from and about His character and see His Superiority or His Greatness and the reason why He must be set apart or be called qodesh or Holy.

The Character of God

But this one God, the Creator of the heavens and the earth, worthy of all reverent worship, is not just an impersonal Power. He is a Personality, with a character of His own. He has eternal moral principles, which He has made known to mankind through His commandments and precepts.

The first explicit description of the character of God occurs in a revelation to Moses about 1400 B.C. Moses had received many communications from God during the events of the Exodus, but he evidently felt that he did not yet know God as a Personality, so he makes a request:

“if I have found grace in thy sight, show me now thy way, that I may know thee …”

When God agreed to his request, Moses enlarges on it:

“Show me thy glory”.

Now Moses had on more than one occasion already witnessed the “physical” glory of God in the form of great light and demonstrations of power. Here he wants something more. God is aware of this:

“I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and will proclaim the name of the LORD before thee …” (Exodus 33:13-19).

The way, the glory, the goodness of the Lord will all be expressed in His Holy Name and will enable Moses to “know” Him. This Name is now proclaimed:

“Jehovah, The LORD, the LORD Jehovah God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty . . . ” (Exodus 34:6,7).

So emerges the great portrait of the God of the Bible given by Himself. He has a definite moral character, in which mercy, longsuffering (slow to anger, R.V.), goodness and forgiveness play a great part, but always consistent with His “truth”. Echoes of this description are frequently found in the subsequent books of the Old Testament, especially the Psalms (see Psalm 103, for example) and the prophets.

This portrait of God expresses His “goodness” and also His “glory” of character. It is this aspect Jesus has in mind when he declares to the woman of Samaria,

“God is Spirit” (not “a Spirit” which misleads) (John 4:24).

The character of God is described as “Spirit“. It forms a great contrast with the natural character of human flesh expressed in its thinking and desires, and described by John as

“the spirit of the flesh … of the world … of error”.

The Holiness of God

It follows from what we have just considered that God in His nature and character is quite different from man. He dwells in “light unapproachable”, unseen by mortal eyes, says Paul. But His “thoughts” (a term which always includes His purposes) are greater than man’s, as he said:

“For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:9).

So God is “holy“: that means He is “set apart” from mankind. Man cannot blunder heedlessly into His presence as if God were just another man. On account of their sins they cannot approach Him at all, except in the way He indicates. Israel were taught in the Law that approach in worship and sacrifice could only be through the priests, the sons of Aaron, whom God had Himself appointed. The aim of the Law was to develop in the people of Israel that mind and character which were like His. So He commanded them:

“Be ye holy; for I am holy” (Leviticus 11:44);

and Peter echoes this in writing to the early believers in Christ:

“But as he which called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of living” (1 Peter 1:15).

Jesus had already said as much to the woman of Samaria —

“The hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth” (John 4:23,24).

The “holiness” which God requires from true believers is not that ascetic spirit shown in time past by hermits; nor is it to profess to worship God and to “go through all the motions”, and yet to manifest a spirit of mind which owes more to human self-indulgence, covetousness and pride than it does to the Spirit of God. God was not tolerant of such an attitude in Israel. Nor will Jesus be at the Judgement. There are some to whom he will say,

“I never knew you: depart from me” (Matthew 7:23).

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Preceding

  1. Are you looking for answers and Are you looking for God
  2. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #15 Exposition before the Creator
  3. the Bible – God’s guide for life #5 What is God like
  4. Religion power and authority for mankind
  5. God’s Self-Revelation
  6. The Greatness of the eternal God
  7. Memorizing wonderfully 64: 1 Corinthians 15:28 – the Son also shall be subdued unto God

Next:  God as Father

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Additional reading

  1. A Start for looking at the unseen and the treasure to look forward to
  2. Looking for the perceptible or the latent or what needed for us
  3. A vital question for believers
  4. For Dutch speaking readers #1 On the first component of a triptych
  5. For Dutch speaking readers #3 Dutch triptych’s closing site
  6. A collection of holy writings to show God and His Works
  7. Relating & Attitude
  8. Relationship with God >The One behind your being
  9. The I Am to explore
  10. Attributes to God
  11. I am that I am Ehyeh-Asher-Ehyeh אהיה אשר אהיה
  12. Jehovah, the Adonai, Elohim God of gods our stronghold
  13. Full authority belongs to God
  14. Different kinds of “things not seen”
  15. Men who believed and had faith in a Higher Power they could not see
  16. Only worship Creator of all things
  17. Wanting to know the difference between Jesus and God – The Way to God and the Cornerstone for God’s Church
  18. Focussing on oneness with Jesus like Jesus is one with God
  19. When there is a relationship with God there is a possibility to grow
  20. When there is a God is it possible to relate to HimWhat sort people of faith do we want to be

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Related

  1. What’s Holding Up the World
  2. No One Has Ever Seen God (1 John 4:12)

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