The big question many people ask is “what is God like?” Can He be known by us, and what is He like? I think it’s a question we have all asked, and perhaps if you went to Sunday School, it may have been answered by your teachers. But not everyone has had that kind of teaching. I have heard some people talk of God as “the old man upstairs”.
I’m reminded of the story of a group of pre-school children who were touring a retirement home—and when the tour was over, the resident who had been their guide asked the kids if they had any questions. One little girl raised her hand and asked, “How old are you?” The resident replied—very proudly—“I’m 98!” Clearly impressed, the child’s eyes grew wide with wonder and she said, “Did you start at one?” Well, many people view God like this—they think if He does exist He must be extremely old—which would make Him weak—and helpless. They think He is way past His prime. His creating days are over—His dividing the Red Sea days are past him. He can no longer deliver people from the mouths of lions or fiery furnaces.
In their minds if God DOES exist—and if He started counting birthdays at “ONE,” well He must just be a feeble old man of sorts living somewhere up there in the heavenly realms.
Then there are others who think like this, God is the great judge in the sky. I think a lot of people have this view. They think He sits on His judgement seat and does nothing but pronounce sentence on guilty sinners. In their minds, nailing us for our wrong-doings is what God likes to do all day. They think of Him as a Heavenly version of JUDGE JUDY—an ancient but powerful being who loves nothing more than to punish us for our sins. And of course there are many today who believe there is no God at all. They think the world just happened somehow and that all this talk about God is nonsense. They have decided that God does not exist and never has.
I like the somewhat silly and untrue story of an atheist who was spending a quiet day fishing in Scotland when suddenly his boat was attacked by the Loch Ness monster. In one easy flip, the beast tossed him and his boat high into the air. Then it opened its mouth to swallow both. As the man sailed head over heels, he cried out, “Oh, my God! Help me!” and at once, the ferocious attack scene froze in place and as the atheist hung in mid air directly above the open jaws of the Loch Ness monster, a booming voice came down from the clouds saying, “I thought you didn’t believe in Me?”The man replied, “Come on God, give me a break! Two minutes ago I didn’t believe in the Loch Ness monster either!”
Many people are like this guy. They don’t believe in God—until they get in between a rock and a hard place. When they find themselves in the fox holes of life even atheists have been known to cry out for God’s help.
As Christians we know God is real. People need to know that not only does God exist—He wants us to know He exists. God wants to be known—and by the way, that’s the only reason He can be known. You see, the only way we would be able to know God—is if He made Himself known to us. He is infinitely above you and me.
In the Old Testament we meet up with Job who posed an important question. In Job 11:7 he said, “Can you fathom the mysteries of God? Can you probe the limits of the Almighty?” The answer is no. God is simply too big for us to understand. So if we are to have a relationship with God then He must reveal Himself to us. He must take the initiative. And He has—God has revealed Himself in several ways. In fact, He has left clues of His existence and attributes all around us.
First, God has made Himself known in CREATION.
I mean, if we want to know that God exists—if we want to understand what He is like—all we have to do is open our eyes and look because Psalm 19:1-4 says: “The heavens keep telling the wonders of God, and the skies declare what he has done. Each day informs the following day; each night announces to the next; They don’t speak a word, and there is never the sound of a voice. Yet their message reaches all the earth, and it travels around the world”.
I can recall singing the old hymn “This is my Father’s world…He shines in all that’s fair. In the rustling grass, I hear Him pass…He speaks to me everywhere.” To me and many others it’s obvious that this amazing world of ours didn’t just happen accidentally. It had a cause—which means there was a Cause-er! And the more that scientists study—the more they are forced to admit this fact—that creation itself implies a Creator—an infinitely intelligent One!
A scientist named Roger Penrose estimates that the odds of our universe just happening on its own are one in 10 Billion to the 30th power. That’s so large I can’t’ even describe it you on radio.
So the fact is we can know God exists just by looking at the world around us. But by looking, we can also know ABOUT Him.
For example, we can know GOD loves incredible beauty.
How many times have you looked at a spectacular sunset—something so beautiful that words are inadequate ” We get similar responses when we look at the mountains or at an ocean view or pictures of the stars or even when we use a microscope to look at a tiny cell! The Being Who created this universe—has an eye for beauty doesn’t He!?
We can also know that our Creator—God—loves variety.
He made all shapes, sizes, colours, intensities. Did you know that God made over 300,000 species of beetles alone? I mean, couldn’t the world have been happy with just 50,000 species? Why did God create 300,000? Did you know that in one cubic foot of snow there are 18 million snowflakes and no two of them are alike? Now, nobody else is going to appreciate this but
GOD so He obviously loves variety!
And perhaps God’s most OBVIOUS love—is His love for people.
We know this because science shows the cosmos was made with people in mind. The scientist Francis Collins writes,
“When [we scientists] look at the universe, it looks as if it knew we were coming. There are 15 constants—the gravitational constant, various constants about the strong and weak nuclear force, etc.—constants that have precise values. If any one of those constants was off by even one part in a million or in some cases, by one part in a million million, the universe could not have actually come to the point where we see it. There would have been no galaxy, stars, planets, or people.”
World renowned physicist Stephen Hawking admits,
“The odds against a universe like ours emerging out of something like the Big Bang are enormous. I think there are clearly religious implications. It would be very difficult to explain why the universe would have begun in just this way except as the act of a God who intended to create beings like us”.