God and Man

 

Scripture Reading:

 

Job 26:7-14He stretcheth out the north over the empty place, and hangeth the earth upon nothing. 8He bindeth up the waters in his thick clouds; and the cloud is not rent under them. 9He holdeth back the face of his throne, and spreadeth his cloud upon it. 10He hath compassed the waters with bounds, until the day and night come to an end. 11The pillars of heaven tremble and are astonished at his reproof. 12He divideth the sea with his power, and by his understanding he smiteth through the proud. 13By his spirit he hath garnished the heavens; his hand hath formed the crooked serpent. 14Lo, these are parts of his ways: but how little a portion is heard of him? but the thunder of his power who can understand?”

 

            What is your view of God?  What is your understanding of your relationship with God?  Does your life really reflect that of a humble, willing servant of a Supreme Being?  The words in the scripture just read are those of Job, undoubtedly one of the wisest men to walk this earth.  He gives us a glorious description of the attributes of God and then asks who can truly understand God?  In order for the mind of man to comprehend God he needs some frame of reference, some basic set of relationships that his finite mind can visualize.  Hopefully this lesson will, in some small way, help us to do that or strengthen those that we already have.

 

The Creator/The Created

 

            God is that uncreated, self-existent, supreme being who created everything in the universe:

 

Genesis 1:1In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.”

 

Genesis 1:3And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.”

 

Genesis 1:9 And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so.”

 

            “AND GOD SAID”, God spoke and all of these things, their order, their physical existence, their secrets that man has endeavored to explore for the last 6,000 years came to be.  It was indeed the Apostle spoke of God the Son:

 

Colossians 1:16-1716For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: 17And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.”

 

            Then God created that amazing creature that has an eternal soul and called him “MAN”.

 

Genesis 1:26-27And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. 27So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.”

 

Genesis 2:7And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.”

 

            Man, mankind, you and I; who are made of the dust of the earth, dust to which our earthly shell will return some day as God tells us in Genesis 3:19.  God who is:

 

Neither is worshipped with men’s hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things;” Acts 17:25

 

And man whom God:

 

And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation;” Acts 17:26

 

            This is the relationship between the Creator and the created, our designer and maker and you and I, whom he crafted.

 

Immortal/Mortal

 

            God is immortal.  A psalm by Moses declares that:

 

“BEFORE THE MOUNTAINS WERE BROUGHT FORTH, OR EVER THOU HADST FORMED THE EARTH AND THE WORLD, EVEN FROM EVERLASTING TO EVERLASTING THOU art GOD.”  Psalms 90:2

 

In another time and place Moses through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit tells the Israelite nation:

 

The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms: and he shall thrust out the enemy from before thee; and shall say, Destroy them.” Deuteronomy 33:27

 

Not only did Moses understand the everlasting, immortal nature of God but so did Abraham, who was counted as a “FRIEND OF GOD” by James in James 2:23 for we read in:

 

Genesis 21:33  And Abraham planted a grove in Beersheba, and called there on the name of the LORD, the everlasting God.”

 

God is everlasting, but we are mortal beings.  We are born, we lives and we die.  But man wasn’t created to die; death was brought about through his disobedience of God:

 

Genesis 3:3But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.”

 

Death prompted the wise man, Job, to say that:

 

Man that is born of a woman is of few days, and full of trouble.  He cometh forth like a flower, and is cut down: he fleeth also as a shadow, and continueth not.” Job 14:1-2

 

God through Moses, in the same Psalm that we referred to earlier, even put a span of time on the life of man:

 

Psalms 90:10 “THE DAYS OF OUR YEARS are THREESCORE YEARS AND TEN; AND IF BY REASON OF STRENGTH they be FOURSCORE YEARS, YET is THEIR STRENGTH LABOUR AND SORROW, FOR IT IS SOON CUT OFF, AND WE FLY AWAY.”

 

While James compared the life man to a vapor “THAT APPEARETH FOR A LITTLE TIME, AND THEN VANISHETH AWAY” James 4:14 and as we look back over the years it seems indeed to be like a vapor that comes and then goes away quickly.  But die man must; because he must shed the corruption of this mortal body in order for the soul that God gave us to return Him:

 

I Corinthians 15:52-53In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 53For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.”

 

God is immortal but we are mortal.

 

Timeless/Limited by Time

 

            In the words of the Holy Spirit through the poets of the Old Testament we find God described:

 

Psalms 41:13 “BLESSED be THE LORD GOD OF ISRAEL FROM EVERLASTING, AND TO EVERLASTING, AMEN, AND AMEN.”

 

Psalms 106:48 “BLESSED be THE LORD GOD OF ISRAEL FROM EVERLASTING TO EVERLASTING: AND LET ALL THE PEOPLE SAY, AMEN.  PRAISE YE THE LORD.”

 

Then in the words of the Son of God to the Apostle John:

 

Revelation 22:13 “I AM ALPHA AND OMEGA, THE BEGINNING AND THE END, THE FIRST AND THE LAST.”

 

            God is timeless while man is characterized as being part of that which is under heaven and related to time:

 

Ecclesiastes 3:1-2To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: 2A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;”

 

Holy/Defiled

 

            Only God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are holy by nature.  Holy is defined in a current dictionary as being “sacred by religion use or by authority, consecrated.”  This to me is a rather weak description of the true holiness of God.  Moses wrote:

 

Exodus 15:11Who is like unto thee, O LORD, among the gods? who is like thee, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders?”

 

God testified unto Moses and told him to tell the people of Israel:

 

Leviticus 19:2 Speak unto all the congregation of the children of Israel, and say unto them, Ye shall be holy: for I the LORD your God am holy.”

 

Joshua echoed His words in his address to Israel:

 

Joshua 24:19 “And Joshua said unto the people, Ye cannot serve the LORD: for he is an holy God; he is a jealous God; he will not forgive your transgressions nor your sins.”

 

As did Samuel the prophet:

 

I Samuel 2:2  There is NONE HOLY AS THE LORD.”

 

But man!  All men sin:

 

Romans 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;”

 

In writing about Israel the Holy Spirit through the writer of the book of I Kings makes the following observation:

 

I Kings 8:46 If they sin against thee, (for there is no man that sinneth not,) and thou be angry with them, and deliver them to the enemy, so that they carry them away captives unto the land of the enemy, far or near;

 

In fact the further away from God man gets, whether in daily living, in relationship or in any other way the less holy he becomes, even to the point that God has destroyed him, removed from existence at various time in his history.  Two examples:

 

Genesis 6:6-7And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. 7And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them.”

 

Genesis 19:24-25Then the LORD rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the LORD out of heaven; 25And he overthrew those cities, and all the plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and that which grew upon the ground.”

 

And as we look about us we wonder why He continues to allow this earth to stand in its current condition.

 

God Gives/Man Receives

 

            In the beginning God provided everything that his new creation could ever want or require:

 

Genesis 1:29-30And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat. 30And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so.”

 

God has continued to provide for man’s every need both physical and spiritual throughout his entire history.  God provided special blessings, many directly to the people with their full knowledge of the source, during the time of the nation of Israel, God’s people chosen to carry the seed of the Christ to come.

 

Deuteronomy 2:7For the LORD thy God hath blessed thee in all the works of thy hand: he knoweth thy walking through this great wilderness: these forty years the LORD thy God hath been with thee; thou hast lacked nothing.

 

And He continues to provide for us as his people under the New Covenant:

 

James 1:16-17Do not err, my beloved brethren. 17Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom can be no variation, neither shadow that is cast by turning.” (ASV)

 

            And as we think back to Genesis 1:26-27 God said that He had given “YOU” all things that were needful.  And who is the “YOU” in this verse of scripture?  Man is the recipient, the beneficiary of all of God’s blessings.  After that of Adam and Eve and the establishment of the times, seasons, and what is required for food, clothing and shelter; we have the example of Noah:

 

Genesis 9:3Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things.”

 

David as we can read in Psalm 23, Job after God had allowed Satan to try him as we can read in Job 42:12ff, and on down through the history of mankind until God gave the ultimate gift to mankind, the opportunity of salvation from sin:

 

John 3:16  For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

 

God indeed gives and man receives.

 

Wisdom/Foolishness

 

            God is the author and source of all wisdom.

 

Proverbs 2:5-9Then shalt thou understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God. 6For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding. 7He layeth up sound wisdom for the righteous: he is a buckler to them that walk uprightly. 8He keepeth the paths of judgment, and preserveth the way of his saints. 9Then shalt thou understand righteousness, and judgment, and equity; yea, every good path.”

 

Speaking of the knowledge and wisdom of God David says in this Psalm:

 

Psalms 139:6Such KNOWLEDGE is TOO WONDERFUL FOR ME; IT IS HIGH, I CANNOT attain UNTO IT.”

 

But man?  Man’s inclination without God’s direction is to turn to foolishness.

 

Jeremiah 10:23O LORD, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps.”

 

Proverbs 28:26 “HE THAT TRUSTETH IN HIS OWN HEART IS A FOOL: BUT WHOSO WALKETH WISELY, HE SHALL BE DELIVERED.”

 

In fact the height of foolishness is to deny that there is a God:

 

Psalms 14:1 “THE FOOL HATH SAID IN HIS HEART, There is NO GOD.  THEY ARE CORRUPT; THEY HAVE DONE ABOMINABLE WORKS there is NONE THAT DOETH GOOD.”

 

The Apostle Paul admits that sometimes we can all play the fool:

 

Titus 3:3For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another.”

 

God and God’s word is wisdom; but many has a tendency to be foolish.

 

Ruler/Subject

 

            God is not only the creator of all things but also the ruler of all that he has created.  The inspired writer in Psalm 135 tells us that God does whatever he pleases:

 

Psalms 135:6 “WHATSOEVER THE LORD PLEASED, that DID HE IN HEAVEN, AND IN EARTH, IN THE SEAS, AND ALL DEEP PLACES.”

 

Even the heathen king of Babylon, Nebuchadnezzar, after spending what the scripture characterizes as “SEVEN TIMES” living with the beasts of the field acknowledges God’s rule over all things pertaining to man this way:

 

Daniel 4:35And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou?”

 

And there are many other scriptures that can point us to God as being the sovereign ruler of all existence.  But what about man?  Again, in the brevity of a psalm of one of the prophets:

 

Psalm 99:1 “THE LORD REIGNETH; LET THE PEOPLE TREMBLE.”

 

            Man is subject to God, whether he admits it or not, in all things, even to the dependence upon God for his very existence, and his providence for all of his physical needs.  Just as the Apostle Paul in describing God proclaimed to the Athenians:

 

Acts 17:25-26Neither is worshipped with men’s hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things; 26And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation;” v.28For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring.”

 

Throughout the history of mankind, kingdoms and nation of men that rebelled against God suffered the same end:

 

Isaiah 60:12For the nation and kingdom that will not serve thee shall perish; yea, those nations shall be utterly wasted.”

 

And at the end of time any of mankind who have not subjected themselves to the Sovereign God will suffer the same end as these nations:

 

2 Thessalonians 1:7-9And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, 8In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: 9Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;”

 

God is our Supreme Ruler, we are his subjects.

 

Worshiped/Worshiper

 

            God’s commandments to the Israelite nation were simple and very plain to anyone who would hear.  He tells them through Moses:

 

Exodus 34:14For thou shalt worship no other god: for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God:”

 

Reminding them of the commandments He had given them before he tells them again:

 

Exodus 20:3-6Thou shalt have no other gods before me. 4Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: 5Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; 6And showing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.”

 

Again from the psalm of the prophet:

 

“EXALT YE THE LORD OUR GOD, AND WORSHIP AT HIS FOOTSTOOL, for HE is HOLY.”  Psalms 99:5

 

            Man is to be the one who worships.  God commanded Jacob:

 

Genesis 35:1And God said unto Jacob, Arise, go up to Bethel, and dwell there: and make there an altar unto God, that appeared unto thee when thou fleddest from the face of Esau thy brother.”

 

The nation of Israel was commanded to worship under their covenant in many places; one example:

 

Exodus 23:17-18Three times in the year all thy males shall appear before the Lord GOD. 18Thou shalt not offer the blood of my sacrifice with leavened bread; neither shall the fat of my sacrifice remain until the morning.”

 

Jesus told Satan, after Satan tried to tempt Jesus to worship him,:

 

Matthew 4:10Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.”

 

And to the Samaritan woman at the well:

 

John 4:23-24But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. 24God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.”

 

            So as we contemplate these things what is your relationship with God?  You are his creation; your time here on this earth is limited because we are all mortal with a time to be born and a time to die.  God is holy but we sin and need his forgiveness, God is the provider of all of our needs, the source of all wisdom; the ruler of all that exists and is to be worshiped as He has commanded.  Are you a citizen of his kingdom?  Have you been added to his church?  Are you already a child if God?  If you are; are you faithful or do you have need to repent?  Invitation