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God knows

Reader comment on item: Musing on History
in response to reader comment: all there is

Submitted by Michael S (United States), Aug 7, 2015 at 04:50

Hi, Waz. You said of God,

It's (sic) the substrate of everything without which nothing can exist .

He's more than that. Not even "nothing" can exist without God.

Definitions require one thing to compare another to; but there is no other "God" by which to define the God of Israel:

[17] All nations before him are as nothing; and they are counted to him less than nothing, and vanity.
[18] To whom then will ye liken God? or what likeness will ye compare unto him?
[19] The workman melteth a graven image, and the goldsmith spreadeth it over with gold, and casteth silver chains.
[20] He that is so impoverished that he hath no oblation chooseth a tree that will not rot; he seeketh unto him a cunning workman to prepare a graven image, that shall not be moved.
[21] Have ye not known? have ye not heard? hath it not been told you from the beginning? have ye not understood from the foundations of the earth?
[22] It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers; that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in:
[23] That bringeth the princes to nothing; he maketh the judges of the earth as vanity.
[24] Yea, they shall not be planted; yea, they shall not be sown: yea, their stock shall not take root in the earth: and he shall also blow upon them, and they shall wither, and the whirlwind shall take them away as stubble.
[25] To whom then will ye liken me, or shall I be equal? saith the Holy One.

God has many attributes, which the scriptures tell us about. Perhaps the most comprehensive is this:

1 John 4:
[8] He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.
[9] In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.
[10] Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
[11] Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.
[12] No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us.
[13] Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit.
[14] And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world.
[15] Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God.
[16] And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.

God is therefore defined as Love, and Love is defined as God. We can "live in" love, and we can "do" love. The word is defined by Strong, but only approximately:

αγαπη Pronounce: ag-ah'-pay
Strongs Number: G26
Orig: from 25; love, i.e. affection or benevolence; specially (plural) a love-feast:--(feast of) charity(-ably), dear, love. G25

Some people think they can become "Godly" by practicing affection or benevolence or "charity". Paul shoots down such a notion, though:

1 Cor 13:
[1] Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.
[2] And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.
[3] And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.
[4] Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,
[5] Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;
[6] Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;
[7] Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
[8] Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.
[9] For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.
[10] But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.
[11] When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.
[12] For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.
[13] And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.

The "charity" Paul speaks of is obviously much more than what we commonly think of it as.

I've heard several sermons on this matter, and may have given one or two myself; but they were all pretty empty, even my own. Do you want to be like God? They you must come to know Him; and the way to do that seems to be by loving. But do you want to love, with the love of God? Then I imagine you must first know Him. According to the NT, Jesus knew Him. On the other hand, even if one tries to copy Jesus, and give up his life in the name of doing so, he might miss the mark. It's a tricky business.

God knows. I don't. I'm working on it.

Shalom shalom :-)

Submitting....

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