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May
03

What We Know about God through Reading

Last week we looked at “General Revelation,” what all people can know about God by looking at creation. In doing so, we read the first part of Psalm 19.

But there is information about God available only to some people some of the time. It is available only to those who can read the Bible. This is called “Special Revelation.”

We have many words for the Bible. We call it “Scripture,” the “Word,” the Word of God,” the “Law of God.” The list goes on, and when Psalm 19 is done describing general revelation, the author moves to the specific revelation in Scripture.

“The law of the Lord is perfect, refreshing the soul. The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple. The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes. They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold; they are sweeter than honey, than honey from the honeycomb” (19:7-8, 10).

The Psalmist is rejoicing in specific revelation and the joy it brings

General and specific revelation are not independent of each other. One augments the other. For example, creation teaches you that God is powerful. The Bible teaches you that “God is love” (1 John 4:8). The Bible also teaches that God is as loving as he is powerful. All of his attributes are perfectly balanced. He is not more powerful than he is loving, nor is he more loving that he is powerful. He is as loving as he is powerful, and as powerful as he is loving.

So when you stand in amazement looking at creation, you can know that God’s love is as great as is his power. This relationship has been helpful to me. It is easier for me to grasp, to some small degree, the power that God possess when I look at creation. But in light of all the pain and evil in this world, it is a harder for me personally to come to grips with his love. And yet I believe that his love is as powerful and as awe inspiring as is the display of his power in Mt. St. Helens. He really loves me.

This is the God we serve, with whom we walk, who made the gate and the path, and who waits for us at the end of life’s journey to give us life. General and specific revelation go hand-in-hand.

Next week we will look at how specific revelation impacts us.

About Bill Mounce

Bill lives as a writer in Washougal, WA. He is also the President of BiblicalTraining.org, a non-profit organization offering world-class educational resources for equipping leaders in the local church, and Research Professor in New Testament at Western Seminary. Bill is the author of the bestselling Greek textbook Basics of Biblical Greek, Greek for the Rest of Us, and many other resources. Bill was also the New Testament chair of the English Standard Version translation of the Bible, and is currently serving on the New International Version translation committee.