Monday, April 26, 2010

THERE IS NONE LIKE HIM (pt. 1)
...recovering a high view and reverence of God

(a collection, from various authors, of biblical insights pertaining to the truth, character, and attributes of God compiled by Steve Camp).
THE OMNISCIENCE OF GOD

Because God is infinite in wisdom, no secret can be hidden from Him, no problem can baffle Him, nothing is too hard for Him. -"Great is our Lord, and of great power: His understanding is infinite" (Psalm 147:5).

Because God is omniscient, He knows all from the beginning to the end for nothing is hidden from His sight. The good and the evil are laid bare before His sovereign fire-burning piercing gaze. -"And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do." (Hebrews 4:13)

Because God is omniscient, such is His claim: He knows everything: everything possible, everything actual; all events, all creatures, God the past, the present and the future. He is perfectly acquainted with every detail in the life of every being in heaven, in earth and in hell. His knowledge is perfect. He never errs, never changes, never overlooks anything. "Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in His sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of Him with whom we have to do" (Hebrews 4:13).

YES, SUCH IS THE GOD WITH WHOM "WE HAVE TO DO!"
"Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, Thou understandest my thoughts afar off. Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways. For there is not a word in my tongue but, lo, O Lord, Thou knowest it altogether" (Psalm 139:2-4).


THE FOREKNOWLEDGE OF GOD
God not only knew the end from the beginning, but He planned, fixed, predestinated everything from the beginning. And, as cause stands to effect, so God's purpose is the ground of His prescience. He has preestablished relationship with His elect in eternity past out of the pleasure and purpose of His sovereign love. "…who are chosen 2 according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, by the sanctifying work of the Spirit, that you may obey Jesus Christ and be sprinkled with His blood: May grace and peace be yours in fullest measure." (1 Peter 1:1b-2)


THE SUPREMACY OF GOD
God's supremacy over the works of His hands is vividly depicted in Scripture. God's supremacy is also demonstrated in His perfect rule over the wills of men. "I am the LORD, and there is no other; Besides Me there is no God. I will gird you, though you have not known Me; 6 That men may know from the rising to the setting of the sun That there is no one besides Me. I am the LORD, and there is no other, 7 The One forming light and creating darkness, causing well-being and creating calamity; I am the LORD who does all these. 8 "Drip down, O heavens, from above, And let the clouds pour down righteousness; Let the earth open up and salvation bear fruit, And righteousness spring up with it. I, the LORD, have created it. 9 "Woe to the one who quarrels with his Maker-

An earthenware vessel among the vessels of earth! Will the clay say to the potter, 'What are you doing?' Or the thing you are making say, 'He has no hands'? 10 "Woe to him who says to a father, 'What are you begetting?' Or to a woman, 'To what are you giving birth?'" 11 Thus says the LORD, the Holy One of Israel, and his Maker: "Ask Me about the things to come concerning My sons, And you shall commit to Me the work of My hands. 12 "It is I who made the earth, and created man upon it. I stretched out the heavens with My hands, And I ordained all their host. 13 "I have aroused him in righteousness, And I will make all his ways smooth; He will build My city, and will let My exiles go free, Without any payment or reward," says the LORD of hosts. 14 Thus says the LORD, "The products of Egypt and the merchandise of Cush And the Sabeans, men of stature, Will come over to you and will be yours; They will walk behind you, they will come over in chains And will bow down to you; They will make supplication to you: 'Surely, God is with you, and there is none else, No other God.'" 15 Truly, Thou art a God who hides Himself, O God of Israel, Savior! 16 They will be put to shame and even humiliated, all of them; The manufacturers of idols will go away together in humiliation. 17 Israel has been saved by the LORD With an everlasting salvation; You will not be put to shame or humiliated To all eternity. 18 For thus says the LORD, who created the heavens (He is the God who formed the earth and made it, He established it and did not create it a waste place, But formed it to be inhabited), "I am the LORD, and there is none else. 19 "I have not spoken in secret, In some dark land; I did not say to the offspring of Jacob, 'Seek Me in a waste place'; I, the LORD, speak righteousness Declaring things that are upright. 20 "Gather yourselves and come; Draw near together, you fugitives of the nations; They have no knowledge, Who carry about their wooden idol, And pray to a god who cannot save. 21 "Declare and set forth your case; Indeed, let them consult together. Who has announced this from of old? Who has long since declared it? Is it not I, the LORD? And there is no other God besides Me, A righteous God and a Savior; There is none except Me. 22 "Turn to Me, and be saved, all the ends of the earth; For I am God, and there is no other. 23 "I have sworn by Myself, The word has gone forth from My mouth in righteousness And will not turn back, That to Me every knee will bow, every tongue will swear allegiance. 24 "They will say of Me, 'Only in the LORD are righteousness and strength.' Men will come to Him, And all who were angry at Him shall be put to shame. 25 "In the LORD all the offspring of Israel Will be justified, and will glory." (Isaiah 45:5-25)


THE SOVEREIGNTY OF GOD
The sovereignty of God may be defined as the exercise of His supremacy-Being infinitely elevated above the highest creature, He is the Most High, Lord of heaven and earth. Subject to none, influenced by none, absolutely independent; God does as He pleases, only as He pleases always as He pleases. None can thwart Him, none can hinder Him. So His own Word expressly declares: "My counsel shall stand, and I will do all My pleasure" (Isaiah 46:10); "He doeth according to His will in the army of heaven, and the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay His hand" (Daniel 4:35).

Divine sovereignty means that God is God in fact, as well as in name, that He is on the Throne of the universe, directing all things, working all things "after the counsel of His own will" (Ephesians 1:11).

Because God is absolute Sovereign, such is His own claim: "This is the purpose that is purposed upon the whole earth: and this is the hand that is stretched out upon all the nations. For the Lord of hosts hast purposed, and who shall disannul it? and His hand is stretched out, and who shall turn it back?" (Isaiah 14:26,27).

Because God is irresistible Sovereign, such is His own claim: "All the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and He doeth according to His will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay His hand, or say unto Him, What doest Thou?" (Daniel 4:35).

The Sovereignty of God is true not only hypothetically, but in fact. That is to say, God exercises His sovereignty, exercises it both in the natural realm, and in the spiritual.

  • One is born black, another white.
  • One is born in wealth, another in poverty.
  • One is born with a healthy body, another sickly and crippled.
  • One is cut off in childhood; another lives to old age.
  • One is endowed with five talents, another with but one.
And in all these cases it is God the Creator who makes one to differ from another, and "none can stay His hand." So also is it in the spiritual realm.
  • One is born in a pious home and is brought up in the fear and admonition of the Lord;
  • Another is born of criminal parents and is reared in vice.
  • One is the object of many prayers, the other is not prayed for at all.
  • One hears the Gospel from early childhood; another never hears it.
  • One sits under a Scriptural ministry; another hears nothing but error and heresy.

OF THOSE WHO DO HEAR THE GOSPEL,
One has his heart opened by the Lord to receive the truth; while another is left to himself. One is "ordained to eternal life" (Acts 13:48), while another is "ordained to condemnation (Jude 4). -"To whom He will God shows mercy, and whom he wills He hardens" (Romans 9:18).

God not only created everything, but everything, which He created, is subject to His immediate control. God rules over the works of His hands. God governs the creatures He has made. God reigns with universal dominion.

One of the most flagrant sins of this age is irreverence. By irreverence I am not now thinking of open blasphemy, or the taking of God's name in vain. Irreverence is, also, failure to ascribe the glory, which is due the great and dreadful majesty of the Almighty. It is the limiting of His power and actions by our degrading conceptions: it is the bringing of the Lord God down to our level. There are multitudes of those who do not profess to be Christians who deny that God is the omnipotent Creator, and there are multitudes of professing Christians who deny that God is absolute Sovereign. Men boast of their free will, prate of their power, and are proud of their achievements. They know not that their lives are at the sovereign disposal of the Divine Despot. They know not that they have no more power to thwart His secret counsel than a worm has to resist the tread of an elephant. They know not that God is the Potter, and they the clay. Rightly did the late Mr. Spurgeon say in his sermon on Matthew 20:15:
There is no attribute more comforting to His children than that of God's Sovereignty. Under the most adverse circumstances, in the most severe trials, they believe that Sovereignty has ordained their afflictions, that Sovereignty overrules them, and that Sovereignty will sanctify them all. There is nothing for which the children ought more earnestly to contend than the doctrine of their Master over all creation-the Kingship of God over all the works of His own hands-the Throne of God and His right to sit upon that Throne.


On the other hand, there is no doctrine more hated by worldings, no truth of which they have made such a football, as the great, stupendous, but yet most certain doctrine of the Sovereignty of the infinite Jehovah. Men will allow God to be everywhere except on His throne. They will allow Him to be in His workshop to fashion worlds and make stars. They will allow Him to be in His almonry to dispense His alms and bestow His bounties. They will allow Him to sustain the earth and bear up the pillars thereof, or light the lamps of heaven, or rule the waves of the ever-moving ocean; but when.28 God ascends His throne, His creatures then gnash their teeth, and we proclaim an enthroned God, and His right to do as He wills with His own, to dispose of His creatures as He thinks well, without consulting them in the matter; then it is that we are hissed and execrated, and then it is that men turn a deaf ear to us, for God on His throne is not the God they love. But it is God upon the throne that we love to preach. It is God upon His throne whom we trust. "Whatsoever the Lord pleased, that did He in heaven, and in earth, in the seas, and all deep places" (Psalm 135:6).

THE IMMUTABILITY OF GOD
This is one of the Divine perfections, which is not sufficiently pondered. It is one of the excellencies of the Creator which distinguishes Him from all His creatures. God is perpetually the same: subject to no change in His being, attributes, or determinations. Therefore God is compared to a rock (Deuteronomy 32:4, etc.) which remains immovable, when the entire ocean surrounding it is continually in a fluctuating state; even so, though all creatures are subject to change, God is immutable. Because God has no beginning and no ending, He can know no change. He is everlastingly "the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning" (James 1:17).


THE HOLINESS OF GOD
"Who shall not fear Thee, O Lord, and glorify Thy name? for Thou only art holy" (Revelation 15:4). He only is independently, infinitely, immutably holy. In Scripture He is frequently styled "The Holy One": He is so because the sum of all moral excellency is found in Him. He is absolute Purity, unsullied even by the shadow of sin. "God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all" (1 John 1:5). Holiness is the very excellency of the Divine nature: the great God is "glorious in holiness" (Exodus 15:11). Therefore do we read, "Thou art of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look on iniquity" (Habakkuk 1:13). As God's power is the opposite of the native weakness of the creature, as His wisdom is in complete contrast from the least defect of understanding or folly, so His holiness is the very antithesis of all moral blemish or defilement. Of old God appointed singers in Israel "that they should praise for the beauty of holiness" (2 Chronicles 20:21).

Because God is infinite in holiness, "only true God" is He who hates sin with a perfect abhorrence and whose nature eternally burns against it.
  • He is the One who beheld the wickedness of the antediluvians and who opened the windows of Heaven and poured down the flood of His righteous indignation.
  • He is the One who rained fire and brimstone upon Sodom and Gomorrah and utterly destroyed these cities of the plain.
  • He is the One who sent the plagues upon Egypt, and destroyed her haughty monarch together with his hosts at the Red Sea.
  • He is the One who caused the earth to open its mouth and swallow alive Korah and his rebellious company.
  • He is the One who "spared not His own Son" when He was "made sin for us...that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him."

SO HOLY IS GOD AND SUCH IS THE ANTAGONISM OF HIS NATURE AGAINST EVIL,
  • For one sin He banished our first parents from Eden
  • For one sin He cursed the posterity of Ham
  • For one sin He turned Lot's wife into a pillar of salt
  • For one sin He sent out fire and devoured the sons of Aaron
  • For one sin Moses died in the wilderness
  • For one sin Achan and his family were all stoned to death
  • For one sin the servant of Elisha was smitten with leprosy. Behold therefore, not only the goodness, but also "the severity of God" (Romans 11:22).

And this is the God that every Christ-rejector has yet to meet in judgment! As well might a worm seek to resist the tread of an elephant; as well might a babe step between the railroad tracks and attempt to push back the express train; as well might a child seek to prevent the ocean from rolling, as for a creature to try and resist the outworking of the purpose of the Lord God -"O Lord God of our fathers, art not Thou God in heaven? and rulest not Thou over all the kingdoms of the heathen? and in Thine hand is there not power and might, so that none is able to withstand thee?" (2 Chronicles 20:6).

6 comments:

ljchan said...

Amen, amen, amen! Yes, and He has shown Himself as Sovereign Lord! He is our Deliverer, because He is Sovereign! Oh, how this sweet grace sustains those of us who are broken in body, in mind, in spirit--what an unshakeable hope we have, the Anchor of our soul! And so we know Him as the "God who causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose." (Rom. 8:28)

Brother Steve, write some more songs about this!

Tom Chantry said...

I have wondered at times why it is that praise is so often the neglected aspect of prayer. I believe the answer is that we don't read material like this or meditate and reflect on Scriptures like these as often as we should.

The result is that while we are very aware of our need and can put our petitions before God, and while we may be aware of many sins to confess and even of many blessings for which to thank God, we too quickly run out of ways to praise Him. Thus praise becomes a repetitive mantra - almost like the Islamic "God is great; God is great."

To spend a few minutes reading on the vastness of God as it is revealed in His various attributes is to reload for the great priority of prayer. Perhaps if we reflected more on such things we would sit down to pray, and by the time we were through with praise we would discover that our time was up and we had forgotten to petition God for anything!

1hose韻如ak09r_cruickshan said...

Nice Post~!!!. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Chuck Walker said...

Dear Audience One,
I have been a big fan of yours for many years and I love and have been so touched by your music. I truly enjoy singing your songs at church, but unfortunately I can find no soundtracks of your songs and have to sing "with" you...Ha Ha Ha...
Is there anyway that I can get soundtracks of your songs... The songs I would like are: Stranger to Holiness, Living Dangerously in the Hands of God, Playing Marbles with Diamonds, He Covers Me, He's All You Need, Do You Feel Their Pain, Don't Tell Them Jesus Loves Them, Carry Me, Guard the Trust, and For Every Time...
I would be willing to pay for these soundtracks, whatever price you deem reasonable. Like I said, I've looked everywhere on the internet and at every Christian Bookstore in existence and can find none of your songs on soundtrack...
Thank you so much for your help. I again want to tell you how much your music and teaching have touched me and have helped me to grow in my walk with Christ and in my ministry...
In His Love,
Chuck Walker

Mark said...

My cassette of Doin' My Best finally bit the dust, so I grabbed it off of ITunes. I only have one cassette player these days anyway.

I googled your name just out of curiosity. Great blog! I bookmarked and blogrolled you, Steve. I'll spend a little more time reading it later today.

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