THE GOD OF THE BIBLE
"The God of Israel " ~ is a God who reveals himself to man. We can be thankful for this fact. Were it not so, we would all be hard pressed to find him. Many theologians feel that God has revealed himself in two distinct manners. Let us briefly look at these two manners of revelation. God has revealed Himself in creation ~~~ that He has made and this is known as General Revelation. It is clearly portrayed in several passages of scripture, the most outstanding probably being Psalm 19:1 - 4 where the Psalmist says; "The heavens declare the glory of God; and the expanse proclaims His handiwork. Day to day pours forth speech, and night to night reveals knowledge. There is no speech nor are there words; their voice is not heard. Their line has gone out through all the earth and their words to the end of the world. In them He has set a tabernacle for the sun, and he comes forth as a bridegroom from his canopy; he rejoices as a strong man to run a race, going forth from the end of the heavens, and its course is to their ends. And there is nothing hid from its heat. MKJV
The New Testament also makes mention of this in a similar fashion in Romans 1:20 where it is said: "For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities - His eternal power and divine nature - have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse."
It is amazing to think that after all Satan has done to destroy the creation around us, the world still declares God’s glory! Have you ever wondered why it is so refreshing to be out in the woods or beside the lake? The answer is simple. Everything in nature is doing exactly what God the Father has commanded. The birds are building nests and migrating just as they were instructed. All nature is straining to bring forth fruit and to accomplish its other God-given functions.
When we consider man, we begin to realize the true dimensions of the fall recorded in Genesis chapter three. We find that man, unlike the animals, the birds, and all the rest of the created order, is not responding according to the divine program. Man is in fact, "doing his own thing." What if the birds or animals chose such a course? What if the birds simply said, "This year we refuse to fly those thousands of kilometres in order to migrate." The answer would be obvious; they would simply freeze to death in the north-country, or perish for a lack of food.
Man in his foolishness desires to be "free as a bird," not realizing that birds are not free. They are in complete submission to the divine decrees relating to them. The ancient author, Job, rebukes man concerning this with these words ~~~ "But ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds of the air, and they will tell you; or speak to the earth, and it will teach you, or let the fish of the sea inform you." Job 12: 7 – 8
God’s SPECIAL Revelation ~~~ How would God be able to communicate with man? Could he accomplish this by revealing himself in the creation alone? No, God has gone further, to reveal himself in history and this is called Special Revelation. A big part of this Special Revelation is God’s revelation of himself in the historical process. God has revealed himself as the Lord of history. No other "god" has done such a thing and we may ask, did Baal or other false "gods" in the Bible reveal themselves in history, or work in history? No, we can now positively say that history worked on Baal and the other false "gods". It simply placed their images in garbage heaps and covered them with dust and ashes and so it is with all the other "gods" of today.
How different is the God of Israel ~~~ A God who actually talks to men; He talked to Adam, Enoch, and Noah. He is a God who talks! All through history He has spoken to people; to kings and to nations. He talked to Pharaoh through Moses and Aaron; and He talked to Nebuchadnezzar, Cyrus and Darius. It is said in Proverbs 21:1; "the king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord; He directs it like a watercourse wherever He pleases."
God's revelation through Israel ~~~ While it is true that God has revealed himself throughout history to men and even to kings, we must go on to make clear that God has primarily revealed Himself to Abraham and to Israel. This is an important part of His special revelation. The scripture is clear that God didn’t just reveal himself indiscriminately to all people. It might be said that God had to build an infrastructure of salvation, with plenty of types, patterns, pictures, stories, commandments, statutes, judgments, etc. This work took centuries and God knew that only Abraham and his seed, Israel, would be able to carefully preserve this record of salvation (Genesis18:19). The scripture says: "He has revealed his word to Jacob, his laws and decrees to Israel. He has done this for no other nation; they do not know his Laws…" Psalm 147:19 – 20
So it was God’s eternal and unchanging plan to reveal Himself to and through Israel. God’s plan revolves around Israel, even to this day. His plan will always focus on Israel. As Christians, we are grafted into the house of Israel and into this ancient and timeless plan of God (Romans 11:17).
God is all-knowing. He knows the end from the beginning (Isaiah 46:9-10). He certainly does not make mistakes in his choices. Did we ever wonder why Israel has so much trouble? It is because God is working out his revelation and salvation through that nation even to this present moment. That revelation and salvation will ultimately benefit all nations. The enemy of God knows this and thus continues his age-old campaign to destroy Israel.
The Bible is a record of this great revelation given through history and through Israel. It is primarily through the diligent efforts of the Jewish people that this precious book has come down to us. In every generation the devil has tried to destroy and obliterate it
God's revelation through his Son ~~~ Yes, God has revealed Himself in creation, in history, in Israel , and in the Bible. As Christians we believe that God has revealed Himself in yet another way - in his Son, Yeshua (Jesus). We believe that the Son’s mysterious presence was manifested on many occasions in the Bible. We believe that He probably appeared to Abraham in a human or angelic form (Genesis 18:16 - 22); He may have appeared to Joshua as "commander of the army of the LORD" (Joshua 5:14 ); He no doubt appeared to Manoah as the one whose name was called "wonderful" (Judges 13:18 ). We believe that David spoke of Him when he made the strange statement recorded in Psalm 110:1, "The Lord says to my Lord: ‘Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet.’" He is the last and final word, the Living Word, spoken by the God who reveals Himself to man. As Christians, we believe that this mystery, so intriguing and so baffling to the mind of man could only have its origins in the mind of the Creator Himself.