A “God” has risen in today`s global culture. He is at birthdays and weddings, his name written on greeting cards and bumper stickers. He comes speedily, keeping quiet to take notes, granting us that new house, car or salary before receding back into obscurity until we need him again. This god does not interfere too much with our daily choices either, being only mildly interested in us from his heaven. We also seem none too enthused with the idea of holding his hand in a long distance relationship. In fact, besides the moments of praise for those great events in our life, “God” does not usually make a reappearance until death comes knocking. The extent of his existence is completely at our convenience. This is sad and it`s no wonder many atheists believe him to be a figment of humanity`s imagination, the philosopher Karl Marx dubbing religion “the opiate of the masses”.
There is very good news though. The god that has let this world down, the one who is a sentimental and convenient creation, is not the living God who the Bible reveals to us. His character is quite different, being neither cold and detached nor a gullible people pleaser. He is the source of all things, being described as the purest essence of love (John1:4-8), omnipotence (all powerful), omniscience (all knowing) and omnipresence (everywhere at once). He manifests these attributes in unearthly patience, compassion, incredible subtlety, wit and timely yet terrifying wrath. To simply call God a force of nature does Him no justice as He is above and beyond the elements of this world, serving as their author and sustainer. His very countenance has been described as a glorious symphony of bright lightening, gleaming precious stones, and many glowing colors of the rainbow (Revelation 4:2-5). He so vibrantly blazes in an amalgamation of creation that few could withstand a face to face encounter.
However, it is not this glimpse of His nature alone that shines but also an unwavering pursuit of intimacy with us. This is one of the major differences between how the world sees God and His actual character. After 400 years of living in Egypt, God had become a distant memory to the people of ancient Israel until Moses led them out of slavery to the mountain called Sinai, where they finally made the acquaintance of their mysterious Creator.
“Then Moses went up to God, and the Lord called to him from the mountain and said, “This is what you are to say to the descendants of Jacob and what you are to tell the people of Israel: ‘You yourselves have seen what I did to Egypt, and how I carried you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself. Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession. Although the whole earth is mine, you will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words you are to speak to the Israelites.” (Exodus 19:3-6)
God has crafted all things in our world; the crystal seas, wide expanse of blue skies and deepest caverns layered with gold. So, if He is willing to make human beings HIS OWN treasured possession, that means that your worth as a child made in His image is far greater than the most expensive diamonds. As Jesus tells us:
“Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.” (Matthew 10:29-31)
As we conclude this first part of exploring God`s personality, remember one key thing. Though He is the most powerful Spirit in existence, the source by which all things have their being, God is open hearted and does not let His mighty attributes make Him unapproachable. As opposed to human beings that become hardened and arrogant towards others when given praise or great privileges, God yearns for us like a lovesick romantic. As we are willing to receive any attention an unrequited love will grant us, so the Lord will receive any who answer His voice. God created mankind to be His precious children and when we rebelled He called out a remnant from among us, Israel, in hopes that this bride would be faithful. When they failed to continue with Him, He renewed His quest for us all again through His Son, Jesus Christ. Still, if God really does long for us, then why does it seem so difficult to near Him? Check back next time as we learn about the other aspect of His character, “holiness”.