Bella Vista Church of Christ

LIFELINES

01/22/2020

Randall Caselman

 

A Proper View Of God

 

  It must have been an ordinary day for Moses as he tended sheep in the foothills of Mt. Sinai. We join him as he makes his way to examine a truly unique sight; a sight never before or since described by anyone, a burning bush that even though afire, it is not consumed. As we approach, we sense something strange and eerie about this place. Something we cannot fully explain, can’t put our finger on it. As we approach, a voice begins to speak. Somehow, without being told, we have no doubt, it’s the voice of God. Our hearts begin to race: Fear, anxiousness, excitement floods over us.

 

  "Remove your sandals for the place where you are is holy ground." God has heard the cry of His enslaved people and is ready to deliver them. He commissions Moses to stand before Pharaoh and the Children of Israel. Moses says, "And who will I say sent me?" He is asking God's name. God answers with a sentence: ehyeh asher ehyeh. Three words in Hebrew, five in our English. We're not sure exactly how to translate the Hebrew: Possibly: I AM WHO I AM. I AM THAT I AM. I AM BECAUSE I AM. What we do know is that His name has something to with, being, existence, presence. He is a God who is Eternally self-existent, self-determining, Sovereign. One who is with us. Alive. Active. Dynamic.

 

• He's a God who creates…Who brings things into… Being… Existence…

• Makes something from nothing… Cosmos from chaos…

• Makes a new nation from runaway slaves… Bringing them to a new and spacious land.

• The New Testament says… He makes possible our becoming a new creation.

 

The I AM...

• Is unexplainable…

• He is so set-apart…

• So absolutely different…

• So almighty…

• So holy…

• Sovereign…

That there are no human terms or titles that can explain Him.

 

Hosea 11.9 says "God is above all. He is free from mortal imperfections and failures."

 

First Samuel 2.2 declares; "No one is like Him. No one is as holy as God."

 

Isaiah 55.8 has God saying: "My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts."

 

Listen to Isaiah again…"I Am the Lord. There is no other… There is no God besides Me. I am the Lord, and there is no other. I form the light and create darkness. I make peace and create calamity; I, the Lord, do all these things"  (Isaiah 45.5-7).

 

  Are we awestruck with God and who He is? Are we? REALLY? Our walk with God will be less than it could be, less than it should be, until we have a proper understanding of His absolute Sovereign Nature.

 

When we come to understand

His I AM THAT I AM Name & Nature...

 

  We will humble ourselves before Him. We too will fall on our face. Show me an arrogant, prideful, egotistical, conceited, self-centered narcissist, and I’ll show you someone who has not met God, or if he has, he doesn't understand His Name nor His nature.

 

  We'll be compelled to confess our sins, worship and serve Him. King Uzziah dies, Isaiah comes to the Temple to consult with God on how to handle this situation. The Lord shows up and strange things began to happen: Six Winged Seraphim begin flying through the Temple saying, "Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord." The foundations of the building begin to shake. Smoke fills the room. Isaiah says: "Woe is me, I am a sinful wicked man and I have seen the Lord." One of the angelic beings takes a coal from the altar and touches it to Isaiah’s lips, symbolically cleansing His sin. As this happened, God has a question; "Whom will I send?" Isaiah responds: "Here am I Lord, send me, use me." Church, when we see the I am that I am for who He is, we'll not have to be begged to: Confess, acknowledge our sins; be born again; be begged to come to worship, begged to serve in His Kingdom. We'll be like Isaiah, "Here am I Lord, let me be the one."

 

  We'll see Him working on our behalf. Understandably so, Job becomes angry at God because of his loss and suffering. So he demands an answer to his circumstances. Job asks the WHY question... "Why is this happening to me?" When God shows up, Job says in 42.6: "I abhor myself. I repent in dust and ashes. I speak no more." Ultimately, Job came to know God’s help; God’s truth of Romans 8.28, "We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to His purpose." Knowing God intimately helps us understand that He is at work even in life’s tough times: Remaking, Remolding, Reshaping us into the people and person He wants us to be.

 

  We learn God is in control. Remember Habakkuk? Habakkuk was a witness to Nebuchadnezzar’s carrying off the Young Princes of Judah in 605 A.D. He sees all kinds of injustices taking place around him. So he stands on the watch tower saying: "God, I don’t like what I am seeing down here. There is injustice every place I look. God, You’re responsible for it. I’m going to sit right here on this wall until I hear from You, until You come and explain Yourself, explain why this is happening, and what you’re going to do about it.” Then God shows up and Habakkuk says in 3.16: "My lip quivered. My belly trembled. My bones were filled with rottenness." Listen! God is in control! So, let's stop fretting about what’s happening in the Middle East or in Washington D.C. God will bring about His desired and designed conclusions. Amen?

 

  We see that He controls all He chooses, including nature. The storm was raging! The boat was sinking in the Sea of Galilee: "Master, don’t you care, we’re going to drown!" Jesus spoke three words, "Peace be still." Suddenly the winds stopped, the sea calmed, the clouds cleared, the moon is shining. Do you know what the Bible says next? "And they feared exceedingly." Our King James says, "They were sore afraid, saying what manner of man is this?" These disciples saw something akin to what Moses & Isaiah saw. And they stood in wonderment before the Great I AM. Interesting isn’t it that the text indicates that these men were more fearful of His sovereign nature than they were of the raging sea. More fearful of His absolute set-apartness, than death by drowning. Church, do we stand in awe and wonderment of His nature– Do we? They had been fishing all night without any luck. Jesus comes suggesting they try fishing on the other side of the boat. They did, and the net fills with fish to the point of breaking. The boat begins to sink. Remember what Peter said in Luke 5.8 – "Depart from me, for I am a sinful man."

 

  We’ll become different people. Read carefully these verses from Revelation chapter four: "Before the throne were four living creatures. Each had six wings and was covered with eyes all around, even under his wings. Day and night they never stop saying: 'Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come.” Can I say this and you not become upset with me? If in heaven, those around the throne never stop praising and serving God day and night, then who are we to ignore Him anytime? I submit that when we see God for who He really is, we too will become different people, changed people. We will never stop honoring and thanking Him who sits on the throne.

 

  God, help us see You for who You really are! Amen?

 

—Randall Caselman