June 21, 2022

What Are The Attributes Of God?

Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. John 17:3

In 1889, a dam broke on the South Fork Reservoir, some 12 miles east of Johnstown, Pennsylvania in a valley of the Allegheny Mountains. Raging waters surged down the valley and swept over the town, taking 25 lives and causing some $50 million in damages, a considerable amount for those days.

The editor of a Pittsburgh paper sent a young reporter to cover the story. “This is a break for you, kid,” said the boss, adding, “Give it all you have!” as he slapped him on the back and sent him scurrying out the door for the story.

Hours later the wire dispatch came back, “God sits brooding on the hillside overlooking the disaster and desolation of Johnstown. The roaring waters seem but to echo the mind of the Creator…” Without bothering to read further, the editor wired back, “Don’t bother with the flood; interview God!”

I smile at the humor.  “Forget the flood; interview God!” Yet–and this is the sobering part–seldom do we think much about interviewing God, finding out about Him or even thinking much about Him, unless we are at the point of death or badly in need of something which prompts us to pray, asking for whatever it is that we need.

If you were to interview God, what would you ask Him? “Why is there suffering in our world?” “Why does He not strike down the wicked and eliminate the evil in our world?”  “Why must a childless woman desperately wish for a baby when millions of unwanted children are aborted every year?” “Why has God allowed wars and strife?”  And supposing that you got an answer to your questions, would you really understand?  No, probably not.

But of one thing I am certain. God has revealed far more of Himself than most of us have ever grasped—and not in strange theological terms which only a Ph.D. in ancient languages could understand, but in plain, comprehensible terms. Where? In His love-letter to mankind, the Bible, and in our world.

Why don’t we interview God?  Well, we tend to search for Him much like a thief looks for a policeman. As one young man commented, “I won’t bother Him provided He doesn’t bother me.”

Conducting an interview with someone consists of asking questions, and hopefully getting answers, but beyond that, there is no personal involvement.  An interview and a relationship don’t have the same degree of involvement and intimacy.   When a young man notices a young lady and something sparks between them, he doesn’t ask for an interview, he wants to get to know her—much different from knowing about her.

But getting to know about someone is the first step in getting to know that person.  Most young men, having noticed someone special whom they do not know, start asking questions, “Who is she? Where is she from? What’s she like? Is she committed to anyone?”

Knowing about God—which few people really do—is only the start.  Knowing God involves a relationship of communication, interaction, and commitment.  Why is knowing God important? Only when you know God will you love Him.  Only when you trust God will you obey Him. Only when you walk with God will you escape the selfishness that characterizes our generation. Only when you understand His purposes will you escape the quest for self-indulgence. Only when you believe God will your soul rise on the wings of faith.

Get to know God. It’s the most important knowledge you will ever have, and an absolute necessity if you intend to spend eternity in His presence.

Resource reading: John 14:1-14