How God Reveals Himself
|Nope. Not like this.|
Read Exodus 3:1-12 (No, really, go read it.).
While the first book of the Bible is named Genesis, meaning beginnings, the last book is named Revelation – which is John’s account of Jesus’ revelation of Himself and the things to come. There’s a sense in which every book in the Bible is a revelation. Their accounts reveal an aspect of God that, when taken as a whole, give us a picture of what He is like.
Revelation is different than discovery. People don’t discover God. We lack that capacity. His thoughts are above our thoughts, the Biblical writers say, His ways are higher than our ways. Revelation, then, is God’s initiative. He reveals Himself to us.
When God reveals Himself, it isn’t just a history or a formula, it’s personal – it’s relationship, love, concern, understanding.
WHEN DOES GOD REVEAL HIMSELF?
Paul said in the fullness of time, meaning that He reveals Himself when He’s ready. He knows the circumstances and events are such in our life that we’re ready to receive it. For Elijah, the prophet, it was a moment of discouragement under the juniper tree. For Isaiah, it was during a visit to the temple, where he saw the Lord high and lifted up. For John the Baptist, it was while standing in the Jordan River, about to baptize, when he saw God’s only begotten Son.
WHY DOES GOD REVEAL HIMSELF?
The answer is man’s future. Without God revealing Himself to us, we would be lost in our sins, waiting for the punishment we so deserve. With revelation, our lives are given opportunity – hate replaced with love, sins with forgiveness – all because God has revealed Himself to us. Revelation is God’s idea, and it brings us life and peace.
HOW DOES GOD REVEAL HIMSELF?
God often reveals Himself to us through the ordinary surrounding us. We expect God’s revelation to be accomplished in extraordinary ways, but often it’s through the ordinary that surrounds us.
This was so with Moses – he was tending the sheep of his father-in-law Jethro, as he’d been doing 40 years. It was an ordinary occupation, and a day like any other day, when his attention was arrested by a bush that was burning but not consumed. David was keeping the sheep on the mountain when his father Jesse sent him to the Israelite’s camp with provisions for his soldier brothers. Nothing special about a gift of cheese and bread. Little did David realize before the day was over the God of Israel would reveal Himself in such ordinary things as a rock and a sling. Mary and Joseph were on their way to Bethlehem to take part in the census ordered by Caesar. But before the census was completed, the Savior of the world, Jesus, would be born. You can look for God in the great and powerful places, but you’ll miss His revelation in the ordinary places of life.
God reveals Himself to us out of love & concern for His people. Why would God reveal Himself in such a way to Moses? I have seen the sorrow of my people in Egypt and have heard their cry… I have come to deliver them. The message behind all of God’s revelations is this: He knows and cares about you and me.
Does life seem unbearable? Are you suffering through more than you can take? God knows, and He cares. Those were His words to Moses: I know my people are suffering and I am going to do something about it.
This is the reason He sent Jesus into the world – the world was lost in sin, suffering condemnation they could do nothing about, but in the little town of Bethlehem, God revealed the solution.
When God speaks it is a voice of comfort, when He comes it is a visitation of rest, when He appears it is the cancellation of our suffering and the beginning of a new day!
Finally, notice that it was in the fire that God revealed Himself to Moses. You may be facing the scorching flames of life; but, it’s in the fire that God reveals Himself to us! He reveals His love, His mercy, His strength and power. In these moments, we don’t learn a history or a principle, but He reveals Himself to us in a personal way. If it hadn’t been for the fire, I wouldn’t know Him like I know Him. But now, because of what I’ve been through, He’s revealed Himself in a way that no one can ever take away!