IT WAS THE DIVINE IMPERATIVE.
From the beginning, all mankind has desired a look at the God of the Universe. In recognizing this, historians have written about “the desire of all nations.” So in the “fullness of time” God sent His Son (Haggai 2:7; Gal. 4:4).
When Jordan finished his evening prayer, he looked up at his mother and sighed, “It surely would be a lot easier to pray if God would just open up His window in heaven and show His face. Then we would know for sure He is there – and what He looks like.” With much motherly wisdom she answered, “Oh, God did something better than that in sending His son, Jesus. He is like a window, helping us see what God is like.”
When Jesus came to earth He announced that He had come to show us the Father. When Philip wanted to see God, Jesus said to him, “When you see Me you see My Father” (John 14:9). So Jordan is like most of us who really want to see and know God better. While it is most important that Jesus came to be our Savior from sin, He also came to give us a better understanding of the nature and character of God the Father.
Through the years I have attempted to use a simple diagram to explain God. I have drawn a rough sketch which illustrates WHAT GOD IS… (His natural attributes) and WHAT GOD DOES… (His moral attributes, e.g., character). One day I was explaining how a diamond with its many facets can illustrate God’s attributes. A jeweler friend suddenly exploded with much enthusiasm. With his pen he quickly sketched a diamond, explaining how some diamonds have a window through which one can see the various facets of the jewel. I have never forgotten his excitement as he emphasized the uniqueness and importance of the window.
What God Does…
What God Is…
This sketch of a diamond (right) shows the window with its many facets. In the outer circle, we see God’s activity, listing just a few of His more important works. God creates, rules, provides, redeems, sanctifies, begets and sustains; these are usually referred to as the moral attributes. In the next circle, we consider what God is in His nature and name just a few of His more important characteristics. God is omnipotent, omniscient, life, light, love, infinite and holy – usually called the natural attributes.
If you are questioning why we spend time considering these simple aspects of theology, let me illustrate. Dr. Mark Bubeck explains the necessity of helping children (like Jordan) and immature believers avoid foolish praying. He elaborates with the following examples: A new believer was learning to pray aloud in a small group. There were the usual pauses, the hesitancy, and the sometimes clumsy effort to say what he desired. The group struggled to hold back laughter as he closed, “And God, please take care of Yourself, because if any1hing happens to You, we’re all sunk.” And then there was the small child who was about to move to a distant city. The night before their departure he ended his prayer with, “I guess this is goodbye, God, because tomorrow we’re moving to Cleveland.”
You may smile at this kind of childish foolishness in praying, but there are many other just-as-foolish prayers in which we innocently become involved. So we need to understand the important attributes of God. We need to realize that God is everywhere (omnipresent) and that He is all-powerful (omnipotent). During the years Jesus walked before mankind, He demonstrated all these attributes. What He DID and what He WAS… revealed what God the Father is like.
About fifty years ago, people were primarily asking, “Does God exist?” Today that question has changed to, “What is God like, and what difference can He make in my life?” Even for many people who have an enormous accumulation of Biblical knowledge, God makes little difference in how they actually live. That is because they know about Him, but have not allowed Him to invade their daily lives.
Even more than we need knowledge about Him, we need to experience Him. How do we do that? We invite Him not merely to indwell us, but to be Lord of our living. If Christ doesn’t make any difference in my ethics and values on my job; if He doesn’t affect my speech and my attitudes toward co-workers and family; if He makes absolutely no difference in the way I live and work – then, pray tell, what difference does He make? Are we playing a religious game that is all talk and no action? The lessons in this book (Why God Intervenes) are focused to help us move into this reality.
So, Jordan, your deep desire to see God was fulfilled. God realized how much all of mankind has longed to see and know Him. Remember, while God’s children who believe in the Lord Jesus see the Father now, some day the Father and His family will be on full display for all the world to see. “Then cometh the end, when He shall have delivered up the Kingdom to God, even the Father…” (1 Cor. 15:24 KJV).
HIS COMING WAS A DIVINE IMPERATIVE: The coming of the Lord Jesus as the Window is surely the ULTIMATE INTERVENTION; it becomes the great pivotal point of all human history. While it is true Jesus came to redeem fallen man, He also came to reveal the Father and His character.
GOD’S WORD EXPLAINS: Philip, voicing the heart-cry of all of us, recognized how important this was when he said, “Show us the Father, Lord, and we will be satisfied” (John 14:8 Phil.). Jesus answered him (vs, 9), “Have I been such a long time with you, without your realty knowing Me? The man who has seen Me has seen the Father. “
NOW THIS MUST BECOME OUR BURDEN: Each day we ask the Lord for help in properly representing Him – in the little things, in the ways we respond, and in the reactions we have towards others, Since Jesus was the Window, then we also must become windows, How? We rejoice that God will give special grace for this,
“Father, we are so much like Philip … and Jordan. When we would see You, we know You will simply reply, ‘When you have seen Him, you have seen Me.'”
“God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; Who (is) the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person...” Heb. 1:1-3 KJV)
DeVern Fromke, Why God Intervenes (Noblesvlle, IN: Sure Foundation, 2008) 26-29. (used with permission) www.FromkeBooks.com. Book Depot 11298 Old Paths Lane, Shoals, IN 47581-7234. (italics and some references added)