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Learn of God - Learn from God, Part 1
by Alex M. Lindsay
Reference: Psalm 34:1-11

This Psalm encourages us to bless and praise God (Psalm 34:1); to literally brag about God (Psalm 34:2); to magnify God / make others to understand and appreciate God (Psalm 34:3). We should all have "God stories" - testimonies about God's work in our lives (Psalm 34:4-6). We are here to encourage others to "taste and see" God's goodness (Psalm 34:8-11).

It is in the spirit of this Psalm that Peter begins his thoughts in the second chapter of the book of I Peter. See I Peter 2:1-3. Various translations tell us to taste and see that the Lord is good/gracious; or that we should taste and see the kindness of the Lord. Let's take some time to taste some of the goodness of the Lord and see what that should produce in our lives. As we learn about God from Scripture, God Himself will guide us and develop us into the image of His Son (Isaiah 54:13; John 6:45; II Corinthians 3:18; Romans 8:28-29; 12:2; Matthew 11:28-30; Ephesians 4:20-24; II Peter 1:2-4; 3:18).

1. The Blessed God - I Peter 1:3
2. The Holy God - I Peter 1:15-16
3. The Glorious God - I Peter 4:14; 5:11
4. The Mighty God - I Peter 5:6
5. The Gracious God - I Peter 5:10 cp. 2:1-3 (KJV / NKJV)

The Blessed God - I Peter 1:3
The Greek expression "Blessed be God" or "Blessed is God" means that God should be praised or commended. See II Corinthians 1:3; Ephesians 1:3. The Greek expression "the blessed God (I Timothy 1:11 cp. 6:15) infers that God is happy / joyous. We are often reminded of God's anger and wrath against rebellious sinners. Yet, at the same time, God is a happy God. He has a continual joy, which can be seen in the scenes that are depicted around His throne (Revelation chapters 4-5). God does not have mood swings. He can be solemn, severe, and at the same time, be joyful. His judgement against evil does not destroy His joy. His joy does not cloud His judgement against evil. His joy comes from His own contentment within His Holy, Triune being. God's joy of loving us is uninterrupted (Zephaniah 3:17 cp. "… the joy of the LORD is your strength." Nehemiah 8:10b).

We, therefore, should learn joy from God and contentment with God. See I John 1:1-4; Philippians 4:4-13 (cp. I Timothy 6:6); John 13:17; 15:10-11 (cp. I John 5:3); 16:33. We also should bless Him, by doing those things that please Him. See Colossians 1:9-11; 3:20; I Thessalonians 2:4; 4:1; II Timothy 2:4; Hebrews 11:5-6; 13:15-16; I John 3:22 cp. Matthew 5:3-12.

The Holy God - I Peter 1:15-16
When we say God is holy, we don't just mean that He is perfectly good. We are saying that God is separate of all created things. He is uninfluenced by all the things that influence us. We cannot compare anything in the universe to God. He is like no one else. He is like nothing else. Therefore, God does not have any of the limitations, weaknesses, and sinfulness that we have.

God's children should take on His nature (II Peter 1:4 cp. Matthew 5:44-45). We should seek Him with fear (reverence and respect), not just for knowledge, but for holiness (I Peter 2:11-19; 3:8-18; Ephesians 1:3-7, 12; 2:8-10 [cp. Philippians 2:12-13 "work out" - not "work for." cp. NLT]; 4:21-24; II Corinthians 6:14 - 7:1; Hebrews 12:14; II Peter 1:2-11; 3:10-14; 17-18). Consider that righteousness is doing right (II Timothy 3:16-17). Godliness is being like God (I Timothy 6:3, 11).

Note: Peter says, "Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am Holy" (I Peter 1:16). This is not just one isolated quotation. In the book of Leviticus, God often uses this phrase to emphasize the personal motive that He has for giving us His commandments and also the personal motive that He wants us to have for keeping His commandments. See Leviticus 11:44-45; 19:2; 20:7-8, 26; 21:8. It is the living God, who wants to save us from sin and preserve us unto Himself, that gives us commandments for our good. When we break a commandment, we don't just violate a rule or principle. We contradict the Almighty, Holy, Sovereign, Loving God of the Universe - Our Father and Savior. It is a personal matter, not just an ethical one. See Exodus 20:1-7; Deuteronomy 32:1-6, 15-18; 33:1-3; Isaiah 1:2-4; 45:18-25; 65:2-5; Jeremiah 2:5, 13; Micah 6:3; Hebrews 4:12-13 [note: "His / Him" - vs. 13]; 12:28-29; James 1:12; 2:10-11; ["…He that said…"]; 4:4-10; I John 2:15-17. See also Psalm 97:1-12; 116:12.

The Glorious God - I Peter 4:14; 5:11
God is supernatural. Therefore, all that He is and all that He does is amazing, awe-inspiring and confusing to us. We will forever be humbled and impressed with the glory of God (Isaiah 42:8; Psalm 145:10-13; I Peter 5:11; Revelation 4:11).

The Hebrew words that describe God's glory imply weight and substance - that which is heavy. The glory of God is considerable, respectable, extraordinary, excellent, and praiseworthy. All that God is, and all that God does is described with words that speak of splendor, magnificence, abundance, and greatness. See Psalm 24:1-2,7-10; 29:1-11; 96:1-13; 102:15-16; 104:31; 138:1-5; 148:13 (vs. 1-14); Romans 8:16-18; II Corinthians 4:6,14-18; I Peter 4:12-14.

The English words that describe man and the things of this life are "vain" and "vanity." The Hebrew words speak of that which soon vanishes away (i.e. vapor, bubbles, breath, or a breeze). Compared to God's Glory and the weight of eternity, the world and man, with all his supposed glory is insignificant, worthless, frail, empty, and fruitless. See Psalm 8:1-4; 39:5-6,11; 60:11; 62:9; 94:11; 144:3-4; Isaiah 2:17-22; Ecclesiastes 1:1-8; 3:18-21; 6:11-12; 12:1,8,13-14 cp. Matthew 16:24-27; James 4:13-17.

We, therefore, should be humble and seek to worship and glorify God. We should be remembering and showing others the vanities of this life compared to the glories of our God. The knowledge of God's glory should fill our lives with faith, joy, confidence, and hope. See Psalm 3:1-3; 148:1-14; Romans 5:1-5; II Corinthians 4:6-18; Ephesians 3:16; Philippians 1:9-11; 2:5-11; 4:19-20; I Peter 4:12-16 (cp. I Peter 1:21; 2:9-12; Ephesians 1:12); I Timothy 1:17; Hebrews 11:1,24-27. See also Hebrews 1:1-3; Colossians 2:8-10; Galatians 6:12-14 (cp. Philippians 3:18-19); Ephesians 3:21.

The Mighty God - I Peter 5:6
God's glory and might go hand-in-hand. Many of the Scriptures which speak of His glory also speak of His power. God is Sovereign. He rules over all. God is Omniscient. He knows all. God is Omnipotent. He has all power. So, God's might could be summarized in His Authority, His Knowledge, and His Unlimited / Unending ability to do all things. Actually, every attribute of God is some form of power - even His gentleness (Psalm 18:35). All of Creation is a testimony of God's power (Romans 1:20). See Genesis 17:1; I Chronicles 29:10-12; Psalm 46:10; 62:11; 66:1-7; 115:1-8; 147:5; I Timothy 6:15-16; Revelation 1:8; I Corinthians 4:20; Isaiah 46:9-10; 40:12-28.

We, therefore, should be humble before His power and majesty and have complete faith in Him. We should depend on His strength, not our own. We must seek His power, so that it is released into and through our lives. We should honor, obey, and submit to Him in the fear of the Lord. See Isaiah 40:29-31; Psalm 18:1-3,25-36; 21:1,13; 46:1-11; 59:16-17; 62:1-12; 63:1-2; 68:32-35; 71:16-18; 91:1; 105:4; Romans 7:14-18 (cp. Philemon 1:6); 8:1-4; I Corinthians 2:5; II Corinthians 6:17 - 7:1; Ephesians 6:10-13; Philippians 3:10; Colossians 1:9-11; I Peter 1:3-8; 5:5-7 (cp. James 4:1-10); II Peter 1:2-11; Hebrews 12:28-29.

There are dangers to those who deny, ignore, or underestimate the power of God. See Matthew 22:29; Luke 12:1-5 (cp. Proverbs 1:7); Romans 1:16-20 (Romans 1:16-32); II Thessalonians 1:7-10; II Timothy 3:1-9; Hebrews 6:4-8.

Note: Christ, not only has all of God's power and authority at His disposal, He is described as the very power of God Himself. See Matthew 28:18-20; I Corinthians 1:18-24; Ephesians 1:15-23; Philippians 2:5-11; Colossians 2:8-10. Consider Acts 17:30-31; I Corinthians 15:20- 28; Hebrews 13:20-21; Jude 1:24-25.

Note: Consider the following heavenly scenes and then ask yourself what our worship of God, on earth should look like: Isaiah 6:1-5; Revelation 4:1-11; 5:6-14; 7:9-12; 11:16- 19; 15:1-8; 19:1; cp. Matthew 6:9-10; John 4:23-24.

The Gracious God - I Peter 5:10 cp. 2:1-3 (KJV / NKJV)
Our text tells us that God is the source of all grace. To be specific, mercy is not receiving what we deserve (i.e. punishment). Grace is receiving what we do not deserve (i.e. eternal glory). In order to perfect, establish, strengthen and settle us, God's grace gives us things that often cause suffering. See Romans 5:1-5; II Corinthians 12:7-10 (vs. 7 - "given"); Philippians 3:10; Hebrews 2:9-18; 4:14-16. Moses brought truth that demanded obedience. Christ brought us truth that is infused with grace and life-giving power to change us (John 1:1-5,12-14,16-17; 5:24-25; 6:63).

The word "grace" means "gift." To say that God is gracious is to say that God gives gifts. He is generous, kind and patient. See Psalm 103:1-14. We, therefore, should desire God and His gifts - hunger for Him and His goodness. See Psalm 34:8; I Peter 2:1-3; Matthew 7:7-11 [cp. Luke 11:9-13; Galatians 5:22-23]; II Peter 3:18. We should be good stewards of His gifts, using them wisely and faithfully as we minister to others. See I Corinthians 15:10; II Corinthians 5:18-21; Ephesians 3:1-12; II Timothy 2:1-7; I Peter 4:10; 5:5. We should be appreciative and thankful to God for all His grace, glorifying God through a thankful and loving spirit. See Psalm 105:1-4; Galatians 6:18; II Corinthians 4:15; 9:15; 13:11,14; Colossians 1:1-6; Hebrews 13:8-9,15.

What are some of the things God has given us?

  • He gave us His Son as a ransom for the penalty of our sins; to reconcile us to Himself. See John 3:14-16; 5:24; Galatians 4:4-5; I Timothy 2:5-6; I John 4:14; II Corinthians 5:18-21.
  • He gave us His Son to deliver us from the controlling power of sin, the world, and Satan. See Galatians 1:3-4; Ephesians 2:1-10; I John 5:18-20 (cp. John 16:33; II Corinthians 5:17).
  • He gave us His Son to give us eternal life and establish a relationship based on His grace. Now, we are born again. Our minds are renewed. We are becoming more and more like His Son. See John 1:12-14,16-17; 3:3; 4:10,14; 10:7-10; I John 5:11-13 (cp. John 3:16-21,36; Galatians 2:20); Romans 8:28-39; Ephesians 2:8-10; 4:17-24; Titus 2:11-14; I Peter 1:18-23.
  • He gave us His Son to be our King, Counsellor, Shepherd, Great High Priest, and Advocate. See Isaiah 9:6-7 (cp. Revelation 1:5-6; 11:15); 40:10-11 (cp. John 10:7-18,27-30; Hebrews 13:20-21) Hebrews 4:14-16 (cp. 2:17-18); I John 2:1; Romans 8:34.
  • He gave us the Spirit of His Son to comfort, protect, instruct, correct and guide us. We have understanding because God's Spirit enlightens and teaches us through Scripture. See John 14:15-26; Acts 20:32; Galatians 4:6; Romans 8:9-16 (cp. 15:4-6, 13-14; 16:24-27); I Corinthians 2:9-16; Ephesians 3:1-12; I Thessalonians 4:8-9; I John 3:24; 4:12-13; 5:9-10.

Originally delivered September 23, 2018
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