We are created, God is eternal, having no beginning or end. We are needy and ever dependent, He is independent, needing nothing and no one. We change like the weather, He remains forever perfect in all His being and attributes, eternally the same.
We should learn something new every day, but our God can’t learn, He’s a know-it-all. Literally. Everything possible and actual, past, present and future, is fully known in the mind of God. We are stuck in time and space, yet He is everywhere present in the entire universe with His whole being. We are made of dust, weak and frail, but our God is unlimited in power, meaning nothing is too hard for God. He is able to do all His holy will.
Any one of these is unfathomable. Any one is enough to fill hours of rich meditation. May we stand in awe of our great God! We press on today with three more attributes of the one true and living God.
God is Wise
What is the difference between knowledge and wisdom? We might think of it in terms of book sense vs. common sense or education vs experience. In biblical categories, wisdom is the ability to apply knowledge to a given situation, to make the right choices. Wisdom is knowing how to plan and act in the best possible way for an outcome that most glorifies God. Theologian Wayne Grudem defines God’s wisdom as “He always chooses the best possible goals and the best possible means to meet those goals.” Now that’s comforting.
God alone knows how to perfectly use His vast knowledge. His plans and purposes, His ways with man, are always the best possible course of action. His next mistake will be His first. God’s actions are always thought through and will in the end, manifest His wisdom to men and angels, both saved and fallen.
Though with our limited perception and experience we may not readily see the wisdom of God in the hard and horrific events of life, it is always there. The cross of Jesus is the greatest example.
His ways are higher than our ways. Paul says it beautifully in Romans 11:33. “Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways!”
God is Truthful
Paul says of God in Titus 1:2 that He cannot lie. Jesus said of Himself, “I am the … truth” (John 14:6). He also prayed in John 17:17, “Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth.” God loves truth, hates lies, and is Himself truthful. Therefore His Word, the Bible, is truthful and can be trusted, because it comes from God. We can literally take God at His word.
We have stressed to our three kids over the years that one of our highest values is being truthful. We have said many times, “we can’t have a relationship with you if you lie to us.” So it is with us and God. We couldn’t trust Him and rest in His promises if He were not truthful. This is why the Bible has stood the test of time. It tells fallen man the unvarnished truth about God, Christ, and himself, never sugar coating our sins, never avoiding the elephant in the room, never misleading us. God will always do what He says. How refreshing this is in a world gone mad with lies, deceptions, and spin.
God is Good
Good is essentially a moral quality. The opposite is bad, evil, mean, full of malice and spite. “You are good and do good” says Psalm 119:68 of God. He alone is good in Himself, the final and full standard of all that is good and worthy of approval. From His essential goodness come the many “soft” or appealing attributes of God that draw us near to Him, like grace, mercy, compassion, and kindness. Dr. Grudem defines God’s mercy as “His goodness toward those in misery and distress.” God’s grace is “His goodness toward those who deserve only punishment.” Grace and mercy flow from goodness. God is slow to anger because He is good. Even His Fatherly discipline is evidence of His goodness.
He sends rain on the just and unjust alike because He is inherently good. People marry, babies are born, jobs are obtained, meals are enjoyed, friends are made, and many other expressions of common grace because God is good. He is an ever-flowing fountain of good as “every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow” (James 1:17). The unchanging, ever shining God is always good. There is no arbitrary mean side, no unpredictable dark side, no snarky bad moods arising from fatigue or selfishness. His kindness is over all His works and the sun will rise tomorrow morning because God is good.
Those who receive God’s goodness, especially His mercy and grace, are to show this to others, doing good to everyone, “especially to those who are of the household of faith.”
Our oldest son Caleb called his mom and me this week. He’s a newlywed and recent college graduate. And we have all been pleading with God for a full time job for him while his wife finishes her degree at Baylor. Getting desperate, last week I begged God to open a door by the end of the week. On last Friday his mom and I prayed together again over this matter. Then on Monday he called to tell us he just got an offer. The first email contact was made … on Friday. It’s not the perfect career job, but it is God’s perfect provision for now. We are thankful, he is relieved, and God is good.
Unless otherwise noted, all posts are written by Pastor Chris McKnight