Can I Know God?

Today Zophar the Naamathite answers Job and asks, 

“Can you find out the deep things of God?
Can you find out the limit of the Almighty?
It is higher than heaven—what can you do?
Deeper than Sheol—what can you know?

Job 11.7-8

There is little compassion coming Job’s way from Zophar, and he even thinks Job deserves worse (11.6). He basically tells Job that he is totally deserving of everything that is happening to him (vv.2-6), and then rebukes Job for boasting in his claim to be innocent. Rather than comforting Job in his affliction, Zophar seems to think that God is so unknowable that there must be some unknown – but real – way that Job has sinned. 

At the core of Zohar’s argument is the idea that we cannot really know God, we cannot find out the deep things of God, we cannot find the limit of the Almighty, that we cannot ever really know God.

So, can we know God?

There are two ways we can know God – His general revelation and His specific revelation. 

General revelation is what can be known of God to each and every human being from simply being observant about the world we live in. Created beauty, the fine tuning of the universe, the cycle of life, and the order of life, for example (Psalm 19.1-4, Romans 1.20). 

Specific, or special, revelation is how God has revealed Himself, His plans, His purposes in specific ways. This is things like dreams, visions, His Word, and through the person and work of Jesus. 

Of these, the Word and the person of Jesus are by far the most revealing, the most thorough, and the most special (2 Timothy 3.16-17, Hebrews 1.1-3). 

Can we know God? Absolutely. We can observe the world He has made, we can read the Word He communicated, and we can be in relationship through faith with His Son, His very likeness in human form, Jesus. 

1 Timothy 1.5-7 – Know and Grow

Yesterday the main idea was that Timothy as the newly installed church leader, and us by extension of principle, need to focus on the right things, not the wrong things.  

If you missed yesterday you can catch up here. 

Today we see why.

The aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. Certain persons, by swerving from these, have wandered away into vain discussion,desiring to be teachers of the law, without understanding either what they are saying or the things about which they make confident assertions.

These are lofty goals, aren’t they, love that issues from a pure heart, a good conscience, a sincere faithThe problem in Ephesus seems to have been that certain persons were not focusing on the fundamentals of love and faith and instead desired to be teachers of the law, without understanding. This is one of the reasons why Timothy was told to stay in Ephesus, to charge certain persons not to teach any different doctrine (v.3).

What do we take from this then? Are we all to be running around stopping people who don’t know what they are teaching? As noble as that may sound, no, we aren’t. 

I’d suggest that first and foremost we focus on those fundamentals – love and faith. Then, as we do, let us build ourselves up in the faith (Jude 1.20), and let us not be like those who wish to teach without knowing, let us know and grow in our faith, and our knowledge of the faith. Let us be confident in what we believe, sure on that which we stand, let us learn more about the faith that we possess.

As we do, as we commit to learning more about God, His Word, His ways, we will discover more of His will for our lives. We will help ourselves and others to stay away from false teaching and error, we will stay away from vain discussions. We will see the Bible as the grand narrative of God’s redemptive love that it truly is, and we will see Jesus at every turn in our lives.