You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you: ‘“These people honour me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. They worship me in vain; their teachings are merely human rules.”’(NIV)
It starts out as an interest in God. A sense that this God is to be explored, understood, and even perhaps trusted. So this God is studied, researched. Many books have been written about him so at least some of those books are read. And so the picture of God becomes clearer. We come to know a fair bit about him.
So far so good. But unless we go beyond this analysis we will end up much like the scripture experts of Jesus’ time. They had studied the matter of God deeply. They had him figured out. But when God himself appeared among them in the person of Jesus, they didn’t have a clue. Their searching for God seemed to have been satisfied by some systematic understanding of what had been written about him, together with some informed speculation of their own.
Our God does want to be known. But remember this God is personal. He is a lover, and at least a potential father. Like any lover, like any father, he doesn’t just want to be analysed, he wants to be loved. It is only as we love him that we truly know him.