The Revelations of God

This post is part of a devotional series based on our 2019 Bible Reading Calendar.

The heavens declare the glory of God, and the expanse proclaims the work of his hands… The instruction of the Lord is perfect, renewing one’s life; the testimony of the Lord is trustworthy, making the inexperienced wise. – Psalm 19:1, 7

In theological terms, God reveals himself in two ways: Through general revelation and special revelation. General revelation is the way that God makes certain attributes about himself known through nature. Special revelation is the way that God broke into human history, giving his words to the authors of Scripture. David wrote beautifully about both revelations in Psalm 19.

The first six verses of the psalm are dedicated to general revelation, or the witness of nature/creation. He speaks of the features of the sky, day and night, and especially of the sun as it shines brightly overhead. The sun in its brightness, unable to be viewed by the naked human eye but in a brief flash, speaks to God’s majesty and power. The stars at night, countless millions stretch across our galaxy and millions more in countless galaxies throughout space, speak to God’s vastness, beauty, and infinite creativity.

The next five verses are dedicated to special revelation, the witness of scripture. David used a variety of words such as instruction, testimony, precepts, command, etc., to refer in various ways to God’s spoken word written by the hands of his prophets, apostles, and others. Whereas creation’s witness is visible, scripture’s witness is audible. Whereas creation’s witness can tell us attributes about God, scripture’s witness is what leads to the knowledge of salvation through Jesus and transforms a person’s life.

Creation might speak of God’s existence to the whole world, but it is scripture that renews life, gives wisdom, brings joy, and are more valuable than the purest gold as it tells us about Jesus.

God intends for his people to enjoy him and find happiness through the goodness of his creation. But he has designed it that we truly come to know him as God our Savior through the words of the Bible. As followers of Jesus, we need both revelations in our lives. See God’s beauty and majesty in creation, and pursue a relationship with God through Jesus in scripture.

Good Reads 06.24.15 (on enjoying life, temptation, trusting God, and more)

Here are some links and summaries to some good reads collected over the past week. Be sure to check them out…

On enjoying the good things in life: Is It Possible to Enjoy What God Has Created Without Feeling Guilty? by Stephen Altrogge (click here)

Without a doubt, we treasure God primarily through his word. But I don’t think that we treasure God exclusively through his word. We can also treasure God through the wonderful gifts that he has given to us.

On fighting against sexual temptation with greater desires: Our Odyssey Against Sexual Temptation by Jimmy Needham (click here)

Real freedom came for me when I began, by God’s grace, to see that my cravings were for more than just food or sex. All my appetites were, at root, for an all-satisfying God. God will always be the better treasure, the more pleasing song. His music makes all the songs of the world pale in comparison.

On trusting God to give us good things according to his wisdom: What If God Wants Me To Marry Somebody Ugly by Stacy Reaoch (click here)

Part of me wanted to chuckle at these extremely candid questions. But really, I have asked the same questions in different ways. The question isn’t as simple as “What if I don’t like the man I am supposed to marry?” but rather, “Do I trust that God is for me and gives good gifts to his children?”

On confession and accountability: Confession is a Cosmic Trust Fall by JA Medders (click here)

Hiding sin is a self-shackling; it’s a false freedom. We think we are free because we feel like we are in control, but we are leashed to a lie. Covering our sin, deleting web histories, hiding receipts, erasing text messages—these are all landmines and no one will ever evade them all. “Be sure your sin will find you out” (Num. 32:23).

On righteousness: Become the Righteousness of God by Nathan R. Hale (click here)

This is the event that changed everything for everyone in whole world! One perfect person, Jesus Christ, died and was raised back to life for everyone so that they could be free from selfishness and find real abundant life outside of themselves. This is new reality, and implication are huge, because it means that real self-giving love and authentic community are actually possible. It changes the way we look at everything.