In Part 1 of “Knowing the Lord”, we looked at God’s proclamation that humanity should take pride in knowing and understanding Him (Jeremiah 9:23-24). God, being transcendent, exists infinitely above His creation. Yet He is immanent, or close to His creation due to His all-encompassing presence and care.
Therefore, although God’s ways are above our ways, He is more than able to make Himself known to us so we can relate to Him. For Part 2, we will continue looking at why knowing the Lord is important for our lives.
God reveals himself so we can know Him
Another inference we can draw from Jeremiah 9:23-24 is that God not only is able to be related to, but this is His explicit desire. For instance, in Acts 17:27, it speaks of God organizing the boundaries of nations before their existence to providentially provide humanity the opportunity to seek Him and find Him. This is God’s purpose for all people from the very beginning!
Throughout the Bible, we see God taking the initiative to establish relationships with mankind. For instance, at beginning of creation, Adam and Eve enjoyed pure, intimate fellowship with God before their fall due to sin. Another example is the man Enoch, who had such a close and pleasing relationship with the Lord that he was taken to Heaven without experiencing death (Genesis 5:23-24).
A third example is the covenant relationship that God initiated with Abraham, and His promise to develop Abraham’s descendants into a great nation, Israel, through whom the entire world will be blessed (Genesis 22:17-18). And last, but certainly not least, we have a prime example of God initiating fellowship with man by seeing His covenant with Israel. God expresses His heart for them by even calling Israel His “inheritance” and “beloved” (Jeremiah 12:7) despite their repeated offenses against Him.
God has ultimately revealed Himself through Jesus Christ
Through a prophesied descendant of Israel, God has ultimately revealed Himself to humanity by His Son, Jesus Christ, who is the “exact image of the invisible God” (Hebrews 1:1-4). Another name for Jesus, which is Emmanuel, means “God with us”. Jesus is God in the flesh, who came to seek man and restore them to a relationship with Himself (2 Cor 5:18-19).
The love of God is clearly shown in Christ as we read about Him in the gospel. We can read about Jesus’ fellowship with His disciples, the miraculous physical, spiritual, and mental healing He granted to multitudes of people, and His loving sacrifice on the cross for our sins.
The revelation of who Jesus is, is recorded for us in the Bible, which was written so that we “may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God” so that by believing, we will “have life in His name” (John 20:31). When one puts their faith in Jesus Christ, they are granted the gift of eternal life, which is found in knowing God (John 17:3).
The splendor of knowing God
This still leaves the question, “Why would God command man to boast about understanding and knowing Him?” The answer is simple. When we begin to see God’s transcendence, and how far He’s gone to reveal Himself in Christ, it will fill us with awe to know Him.
How often do we boast about meeting a famous musician, actor, or public figure? How often do we place our fellow human beings on a pedestal due to their money, fame, success, or power? If we could recognize the limited greatness of a fallible human, how much more should the infinite greatness of the almighty Creator impress us? It is an honor and a privilege to be known by God, and for us to know Him.