February 11, 2005

God or god?

Psalm 19 is one of my all time favorite Psalms. I currently have this Psalm posted on the back wall of my classroom. I have also posted this Psalm on this blog two other times. You can find those posts here and here.

There are so many applications that can be drawn from this passage. It is filled with great insight, from the creation of the world to the living of day to day life. But I have recently learned something new about this verse, and I thought that I would share it with you.

If you read through this passage, you may notice, upon closer inspection, that "God" is only mentioned once in the first six verses. Those first verses are all about how creation shouts... screams that there is a creator. After those first six verses you will find that His name is mentioned several more times. This is a fairly interesting fact, that might pose a few questions as to why it is like this, but it gets even more interesting once you look at the actual word usage.

That one mention of the word "God" in those first six verses is actually the Hebrew word "el" which simply refers to deity. In fact, in mideastern culture, during this time period, the name of "el" was also used to refer to another "father god" that was over all of the mideastern deities. So creation shouts of the existence of the divine.

"There is a creator! There is a god! Can't you see him? His works are everywhere!"

But it isn't until the 7th verse that you get to see who this god is: It is THE God! His name is YAHWEH! The Lord of Heaven and Earth. The God who is found in the Bible, the word of the one true God. This is the God whom created the heavens and earth. We do not have to wonder about the nature of this creator, because He reveals himself in His word. And in His word we learn that his work is not finished. This Creator God is not done with us yet. He uses His word, with its laws, precepts, testimonies and statutes, to convert you, to change you, to rejoice your heart, and to make you wise.

Is this the God whom you serve? Or are you a little confused about who you are serving?

There are alot of people who believe in a god. Oh yeah, they might say that they believe in the God of the Bible, but do they really? How can you tell?

Acknowledging that there is the divine isn't enough. If you read this psalm, it is evident that this one true God is out to change you. The reality of this God and His gospel will be (not could be or may be) evident in your life. It is an inescapable truth. The Bible says that that "Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God." And in this passage we can see the results of this Word.

Notice that it does not say that it might convert you, or that it has the power of making wise the simple. There are no options here. It will rejoice the heart! It will convert the soul! It will make wise the simple! It will enlighten the eyes! This creator God has given us the words of life! This is the one true gospel! It is not just a gospel for life after death, it is a gospel for life before death.

In the book of James, God tells us, "If a man believes in god, he does well, but the demons also believe and tremble." There are many that would say with the mouth that they are believers. They may talk of some time in their past that they "accepted Jesus as their Saviour." And they may have done these things, but the Bible never speaks of us accepting Jesus. It does have alot to say of Him accepting us. And when we are accepted in Him, real salvation takes place.

Ask yourself, "do you believe in god or do you believe in God?"