Meet Your Maker
“During the years 1642-1649, a group of leading theologians (known as ‘divines’) met in Westminster Abbey to devise a doctrinal statement for England. The result was the Westminster Confession of Faith, with its Shorter and Larger Catechisms. The character of the Westminster Assembly is indicated by how they approached the second question of their Shorter Catechism, which asked the question, ‘What is God?’ Historian William Hetherington relates that ‘each man felt the unapproachable sublimity of the divine idea suggested by these words. …All shrunk from the too sacred task in awestruck, reverential fear.’ The suggestion was made to show humility by having the youngest member present to offer his view first. This younger minister declined, but when pressed he asked permission to pray aloud. Hetherington reports: ‘Then in slow and solemn accents he thus began his prayer: ‘O God, thou art a spirit, infinite, eternal, and unchangeable, in thy being, wisdom, power, holiness, justice, goodness, and truth.’ When he ceased, the first sentence of his prayer was immediately written by one of the brethren, read, and adopted, as the most perfect answer that could be conceived, as, indeed, in a very sacred sense, God’s own answer.’” (From Rick Phillips, The God of Creation.)
This story illustrates two vital points about the knowledge of God, notes Rick Phillips. The first point is that knowing God is the highest endeavor of mankind. We can see this when we open our Bible and turn to its first words: “In the beginning, God.” Set before us is the great subject of the entire Bible and all of life. Jesus stated, “this is eternal life, that they may know you the only true God” (John 17:1). When the Scriptures take us back to the beginning we find that God is there. In the first thing that happens in all of history, God is the actor; “God created the heavens and the earth.”
The heartbeat of a Christian is knowing God. As a young man of only 19, and just beginning his ministry, Charles Spurgeon declared the central importance of knowing God:
“The highest science, the loftiest speculation, the mightiest philosophy, which can ever engage the attention of a child of God, is the name, the nature, the person, the work, the doings, and the existence of the great God whom he calls his Father … It is a subject so vast, that all our thoughts are lost in its immensity; so deep, that our pride is drowned in its infinity … Nothing will so enlarge the intellect, nothing so magnify the whole soul of man, as a devout, earnest, continued investigation of the great subject of the Deity.”
If knowing God is the highest aim of mankind, then the most grievous folly would be disregarding knowledge of God. J. I. Packer, in his classic Knowing God, notes the peril to those who neglect to know God:
“The world becomes a strange, mad, painful place, and life in it is a disappointing and unpleasant business … Disregard the study of God, and you sentence yourself to stumble and blunder through life blindfold, as it were, with no sense of direction and no understanding of what surrounds you. This way you can waste your life and lose your soul.”
Rick Phillips writes, “This being the case, whenever we study the Bible … the one question we must always ask is, ‘What does this teaching tell me about God?’” As we study Genesis 1:1-25 this Lord’s Day, we discover that while it shows us our world, it first introduces us to our God.
But, is your God the God of the Bible? It is all very well to say that we believe in God, but what exactly do we mean by that term? This Sunday morning come and ‘Meet Your Maker,’ as Genesis introduces us to the Creator of heaven and earth, and all mankind. Will you pray for our services this Sunday? Will you pray for our leaders who serve and those who teach our children during the Bible Study hour? While you’re praying for and preparing to come, plan to bring someone else along with you.
Grace upon Grace,