Hundreds of years ago, the Egyptian ruler Pharaoh asked the question, “Who is the Lord, that I should obey Him?” (Exodus 5:2). That question is still asked today. It is not an easy question to answer, because to do so we must use our finite minds to try to grasp the infinite. There are some things about God that we may never fully understand until we face Him in eternity (Job 11:7; Psalm 145:3; 1 Corinthians 13:12). But with the help of the Holy Spirit, there are many things we can grasp and should know about God.
Knowing what God is like is foundational to knowing God Himself, and knowing God is the essence of being a Christian.
God Is Absolute
“I believe God.” The apostle Paul faced an uncertain future when he uttered those words to a frightened crew as a storm engulfed their boat on the raging Mediterranean. But Paul had been told that after the trip, he would stand trial before Caesar and that God would spare the lives of all who sailed with him. So it was with confidence and great faith that he told his fellow sailors, “Keep your courage men, for I believe God, that it will happen just as He told me” (Acts 27:25).
We too face an uncertain future as our world seems to grow crazier each day. It seems that wrong is right and right is wrong. Without a doubt, the very foundations of our society are crumbling beneath our feet and we have lost our way.
Recent statistics show that today most Americans do not believe in moral absolutes. Instead, 69% believe in “situation ethics,” where right and wrong are determined by circumstances. At the same time, 70% say it\'s important to do what God or Scripture says is right. 91% of Americans also believe that religion is important, but 63% of those people reject the concept of moral absolutes!
We all must have a set of absolutes to live by. Otherwise, whose definition of truth will we embrace? Throughout history, people have been interested in a relationship with God, but only on their own terms. Voltaire said, “God made man in His image and man returned the favor.” Today many people are still remaking God into their image, into a deity that they can control (Isaiah 5:20; 2 Timothy 4:3–4; Romans 1:21).
In Kyoto, Japan, there is an unusual place of worship called the Temple of the Thousand Buddhas. On display inside the shrine are more than a thousand likenesses of Buddha, each just a little different from the others. It is set up this way so that a devotee can come in, find the one that looks most like himself, and worship it.
Many Christians essentially seek to do the same thing. But no one has the luxury of picking and choosing the attributes of God that are most appealing. We are given the option of accepting Him or rejecting Him, but not of changing Him.
Originally published at harvest.org