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Revealing God (John 17:6)

“I have made your name known to the people whom you gave me out of this world; they were yours, even so, you gave them and they have guarded your word.”

(John 17:6)

Jesus has made the Father’s name known.  What a remarkable statement this is!  Often we find agnostics speaking of their pursuit of God; philosophers of ages past have sought to understand the nature of the invisible God behind the universe—yet these always rely on their own strength.  God even goes as far as to pronounce that he will be hidden from his enemies (Genesis 4:14; Matthew 11:25), yet revealed in the Son alone.  Thus, John earlier records:

“Jesus said to him, ‘I am the Path, the Truth, and the Life; no one comes to the Father except through me.’”

The Apostle Paul even goes as far as to write:

“To me, the least significant of the saints, this grace was given, to proclaim the good news of the incomprehensible riches of Christ to the nations, and to illuminate that which is the plan of the mystery which has been hidden from eternity in God who created all things in order that the multi-faceted wisdom of God might now be made known through the church to the rulers and authorities in heavenly places.”

(Ephesians 3:8-10)

In other words, the plan of God to reveal himself in his Son has intentionally been kept hidden from the world until God revealed his Son, Jesus Christ.  In turn, God has also given the church the task of making this great truth known to a world that has been kept in darkness, awaiting the preaching of the Gospel.  No matter how hard the philosopher or the agnostic “searches” for God, he will not find God apart from the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  But for those who hear the word preached, there is eternal life.

“For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to those who are being saved, it is the power of God.”

(1 Corinthians 1:18)

Many are rather uncomfortable with just how “exclusive” the claims of Christ are—Jesus leaves us with no room to suggest that there is any other way to genuinely know God than through Him.  Now, it is true that God reveals enough about himself in the natural world as to leave mankind without an excuse (Romans 1:18-20).  Yet, as we have been discussing, He remains veiled apart from his Son, Jesus Christ.  It is like being caught in a maze.  The very existence of the maze points to a creator and the logic of the maze implies that there is an exit; yet the only exit door by which you may meet the Creator and enjoy life is the Creator’s Son, Jesus Christ.  Apart from him, you become more and more befuddled and feebleminded by the complexity and darkness of the maze.

Yet, loved ones, note the joy with which Paul proclaims that it has been given to him to preach the good news of the “incomprehensible riches of Christ” to the unbelieving nations.  This task, which we call the Great Commission, belongs to you and to me as well.  Let us indeed rejoice in this task, but let us also engage the world as we live out this great and wonderful responsibility, for Christ has revealed the Father to a world that is dark and filled with unbelief.  Let us reveal Christ so they might have light and hope.

David in the Wilderness: Psalm 63 (part 2)

“O God, you are my God; again and again I seek you.

My soul thirsts for you;

My flesh yearns for you—

In a land that is dry and exhausted without water.”

(Psalm 63:2 {Psalm 63:1 in English Bibles})


The wilderness around David is a visible metaphor for the spiritual state of the land of Israel at this point in history.  He looks around him as he flees into the wilderness and recognizes that the dryness of the land around him is much like the dryness of the hearts of those who seek his death—who seek to rule the kingdom of Israel not for the glory of God, but for their own gain and prosperity.

How quickly we forget, as we go through life, that riches are not found in the things of this world, but they are found in the things of God and in his righteousness.  Jesus says one of the marks of a true Christian, though, is that they hunger and thirst for righteousness (Matthew 5:6).  And as I have said many times before—hungering and thirsting is not a casual wondering what you will have from the buffet line tonight, but it is a deep hungering that recognizes that if the need is not met, you will die.

The illustration that we are given here is of being in a dry and barren land—the wilderness of Judea—in a time of drought.  We must remember that one of the most common judgments against God’s people when they entered into idolatry was just that—drought.  Yet, in the midst of judgment and fleeing for his life, David seeks to find his strength in prayer.  And David’s model that is one of constant prayer—seeking God’s face over and over again.  The verb for “to seek,” which is the verb rx;v’ (shachar), is found in the Piel stem, which simply means that it reflects continued, repeated action.  Thus, again and again, David is presenting himself before the Lord, seeking his face in prayer.

Oh, how we need to keep this principle before us as we go through our daily lives.  No, we may never be forced to flee into the wilderness because someone is seeking our life.  Yet, there are trials and struggles enough in this life that should force us to our knees.  And, beloved, it is on our knees that the man or woman of God finds their strength.  Friends, do not take this privilege for granted, but instead dedicate your life to continually seeking God’s face in prayer, and even in the midst of a dry and dusty land, God will provide you with an ever-flowing stream of soul-quenching water through his Holy Spirit.

Are we weak and heavy-laden,

Cumbered with a load of care?

Precious Savior, still our refuge—

Take it to the Lord in prayer!

Do thy friends despise, forsake thee?

Take it to the Lord in prayer!

In his arms he’ll take and shield thee;

Thou wilt find a solace there.

-Joseph Scriven