Who is God? What is He like? Can we even know? Some people may consider such questions silly and impractical. But in reality, they are critically important. In light of the fact that we are called to love God and trust Him, do we not need to know something about Him? If we simply make things up about Him in our mind, can we truly love Him or will we simply love a “God” of our own making? Surely the latter, and that is a problem because God’s Word is clear that we are not to worship false gods. We need to be sure we are worshiping the one, true God. But how can we be sure of that? We can be sure because we have the words of God Himself, and in those words, God has made Himself known.
In reality, the only way we can know God is if He chooses to reveal Himself. If God had not chosen to make Himself known, we would not know Him at all, because He is so far above and beyond us that we would not be able to reach Him (Isa. 55:9). Thankfully, however, God has made Himself known.
Fundamentally, He has made Himself known through creation. The world He made declares His glory (Ps. 19:1) and shows us His power and divine nature (Rom. 1:20). Even more, God created every human being with an inner sense of right and wrong – a conscience – that points to Him (Rom. 2:12-16). He has also made Himself known through His providential ordering of the universe in which we have seasons and rain that produce food and provision (Acts 14:17). God has clearly revealed Himself in the world He made.
Why, then, doesn’t everyone acknowledge and worship Him? Sin blinds us. Instead of worshiping the God who made this world, our minds are darkened and we exchange the truth about God for a lie and worship something else (Rom. 1:21-23). The god of this world blinds our minds so we do not see the truth (2 Cor. 4:4).
In light of that, God revealed Himself in an even greater way by sending His own Son into the world. Jesus came to make the Father known (John 1:18). After making Himself known in many different ways over the years, God has now spoken to us by His Son (Heb. 1:1). Now, if we know the Son, we know the Father. Those who have seen the Son have seen the Father (John 14:7,9).
This is an incredible act of mercy. God was not obligated to do this, but He has done so anyway. God did not need to do this, but He chose to do so anyway. In light of the fact that we cannot know God through our own effort or wisdom (1 Cor. 1:21; cf. 1 Cor. 2:14; 2 Cor. 4:3-4; John 1:18), God has revealed Himself.
The result? We still cannot know God fully and completely (Ps. 139:6,17; 145:3; 147:5; Isa. 55:9; Rom. 11:33; 1 Cor. 2:10-12) – such knowledge is beyond us. However, we can know Him truly and accurately. We do not have to know someone exhaustively in order to know them truly. And because of His grace in condescending to our level, we can know the Creator and Ruler of all things.
Even more, we can have relationship with Him. More than simply knowing facts about Him, we can walk with Him as children with a Father. We can know Him as One who loves us and cares for us and is concerned about us.
Ponder this incredible truth: it is possible for you to know God. This is a blessing and a privilege. It should drive us to seek Him. Pick up the Bible and get to know Him today. Invest the time and energy to have a robust, intimate relationship with God, because there is no one greater that you could know. Though you don’t deserve it, He has made Himself known. We should take advantage of this privilege and opportunity, because nothing compares to it (Jer. 9:23-24; John 17:3; Gal. 4:9; Phil. 3:10; Heb. 8:11; 1 John 2:3,13; 4:8; 5:20).