Sunday, November 14, 2021

Who God is. . .

We treat the mystery of God as an ontological mystery -- Who is God?  But the Scriptures do not approach that mystery from this vantage point.  Instead, the mystery of God is revealed by what God has done.  This is not simply the perspective of the New Testament.  The remembrance God commanded His people of old was the remembrance of His works.  

Already in Deuteronomy 8:2 the Lord commands His people to remember the whole way that the Lord your God has led you these forty years in the wilderness, that he might humble you, testing you to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep his commandments or not.  But the Lord does not only command us to remember.  He promises that He will remember.  He will remember and will not forget all that He has invested in us.  We can forget but He cannot forget.  That is our hope.  And faith is our remembrance.

The Psalmist calls upon God's people to shout for joy by recounting the awesome deeds that God has done -- not simply mighty and powerful actions but what He did for the people He called His own (Psalm 66).  Psalm 65 is no different.  Praise is due God because of His awesome deeds -- from the ordinary watering of the earth to the righteousness with which He clothes His people.  There are too many other instances to cite them all.  The whole basis and nature of faith is that we remember what God has done, we plead this remembrance before Him, and we celebrate that remembrance as our hope and joy.  

Sadly, we have treated the mystery of God as if it were a question to be answered, a puzzle to be solved, or a treasure to be found.  How odd!  God has given us the answer in His mighty acts of deliverance that all looked forward to and remember His greatest act in Christ.  God has solved the puzzle of our sin and its death and our powerlessness to repair the damage we have done.  God has found us, named us as His treasure, and given everything that He might possess us body and soul for all eternity.

The Church's job is not to explain who God is but to confront the world with what God has done.  How easy it is for us to forget that and try to be God's interpreter or to define Him.  God has defined Himself and interpreted Himself and remains His own interpreter.  We have His voice in His Word.  We have His power in water, His body and blood in bread and wine, and His family in the fellowship of those who believe Him.  Remember.  As He remembers.

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