What we thought about...



5th June, 2006

Seeing God articles
Faith & Reason articles
Bible Teachings articles

Resistance to seeing God

The more they see God's invisible glory revealed in His visible works, the more believers will want to see; improving their vision of God will become their obsession (The glory of God: a never-ending feast). After all, the ultimate future joy of the saved is to see God's face (Rev. 22:4), which means, in essence, to see Him in all His glory. And before they see “all of God” in all His glory, the saved are promised the delightful prospect of seeing Jesus Christ in His glory (John 17:24).

Why is it, then, that so few people seem to have any real interest in enhancing their vision of God's infinite power and intellect? I have observed again and again that even many believers resist the suggestion that they should actively pursue a God-seeing course of action. Scripture tells us plainly that His children should proactively seek out a clearer and clearer vision of His glory by examining what He has done.

The works of the Lord are great, studied by all who have pleasure in them (Ps. 111:2).

You can read history books about Shah Jehan, famous seventeenth century Mogul emperor of India-cum-Pakistan. They will tell you that as a young prince he led many campaigns at the head of his father's army, but in 1623, compelled by the intrigues of the imperial consort, he rose in rebellion against his father, spending four years in desultory campaigns to oust him. At his father's death in 1627 Shah Jehan rushed to Agra to claim the throne and, having killed all potential rivals, was crowned the following year. And so on. What do you really know about the man from such facts? But when you realize that he was the guiding genius behind the construction of the Taj Mahal, your insights into the nature of the man mushroom. We can similarly learn about God's glory by studying His mighty works (Rom. 1:20).

Why, then, do so few have any real interest?

The only answer I can think of to this question shocks me — people don't really care that much about God. If they did, they would hunger and thirst to see God. Perhaps I'm just becoming a grumpy old man, but it seems to me that what many believers want out of God is not a being they can prostrate themselves before in awe and wonder but a being of convenience. Many, it would seem, don't want a God who “overflows the universe” (1 Kin. 8:27), who has to humble Himself to bother with the likes of us (Ps. 113:6), but a guardian angel. They want a God who cares enough about them, and has the requisite power, to cocoon them and their loved ones through life. And that's it.

In short, it seems that unregenerate human beings have a natural antipathy towards the true God. They don't want to know Him. They don't want to see Him for what He really is. They are drawn, like the proverbial moths, to the fire. They feel much more at home with non-gods who they believe will meet their immediate needs and desires than they feel with the One True God, maker of heaven and earth, and the judge of the hearts of men. Israelites were certainly like that:

Now Israel remained in Acacia Grove, and the people began to commit harlotry with the women of Moab. They invited the people to the sacrifices of their gods, and the people ate and bowed down to their gods. So Israel was joined to Baal of Peor, and the anger of the Lord was aroused against Israel (Num. 25:1-3).

Again and again Israel played the harlot, rejecting the infinitely glorious God who alone can save, who alone is good, and chased after vapors. And the Moabites seem to have had no interest in finding out about the true God, the Holy One of Israel. People today talk about Jesus Christ, but do they really want to understand Him, to discover His thoughts? Having no interest in God comes naturally to human beings. But you can be different.


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