Friday, October 5, 2007
How does God show himself? A central truth of our faith is that God does, in fact, reveal himself. We even have a book of the bible called Revelation! I got to thinking about all the ways God reveals who he is, what his plans are, what he's like. And, as often happens, I started to try to put some parameters around the sermon by thinking about a defined number of ways God reveals himself. For instance, "God reveals himself in these 3 ways...." Then it hit me how silly that is - as if God limits himself to certain ways of relating and showing himself to us. In fact, it appears that God enjoys popping up in a endless number of ways. He talks through a donkey, he thunders, he speaks from a burning bush and through dreams, he whispers on a mountain, he writes on a wall, he talks through prophets, he shouts through creation, he breaths fire in judgment, he shares his heart through his Laws and through his Son; he uses dozens of people to write books and letters (the Bible)....the list goes on and on.
Having said that, there do seem to be ways that God most often reveals himself. Maybe that's what the Psalmist is talking about here in Psalm 119, which is the longest of all the Psalms. The amazing reality is, God Interacts with us. In fact, an argument could be made that the central reason God even created humans was so that he could relate to a creature that he had made like himself, in his own image.
Yet God is still elusive, or seems that way. The Psalmist said,
My eyes fail, looking for your promise;
I say, "When will you comfort me?"
Though I am like a wineskin in the smoke,
I do not forget your decrees.
How long must your servant wait?
Though it is so very clear that God does reveal himself, an equally strong thread through scripture is that God feels far away or hidden. That's what the Psalmist feels at times. He feels farthest away when we wish him to be the closest. Why is that? Is it simply our faulty perception, or does God really draw back - and if so, why? Your thoughts are welcome - and check out the question to the right. - Curtis