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Learn of God - Learn from God, Part 4
by Alex M. Lindsay
Reference: Isaiah 40: 12 - 31

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 Scriptures, 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).

The Blessed God - I Peter 1:3

"Blessed be God" or "Blessed is God" (See Ephesians 1:3; I Timothy 1:11) infers that God is happy. 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, 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. We also should bless Him, by doing those things that please Him (I John 1:1-4; Philippians 4:4-13; John 13:17; 16:33).

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 (Psalm 145:10-13; I Peter 5:11).

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 of 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; 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 is Sovereign. He rules over all. God is Omniscient. He knows all. God is Omnipotent. He has all power (Psalm 46:10; Psalm 115:1-8; Isaiah 46:9-10; 40:12-28.

We, therefore, should be humble before His majesty and have complete faith in Him (Isaiah 40:29-31; I Corinthians 2:5; I Peter 1:3-7; 5:5-7; James 4:1-10; Hebrews 12:28-29).

The Gracious God - I Peter 5:10

To say that God is gracious is to say that God gives gifts. He is generous, kind and patient (Psalm 103:1-14).

We, therefore, should desire God and His gifts - hunger for Him and His goodness. We should be good stewards of His gifts, using them wisely and faithfully - ministering to others (Psalm 105:1-4; Matthew 7:7-11 [cp. Luke 11:9-13; Galatians 5:22-23]; I Peter 2:1-3; 4:10; 5:5; II Peter 3:18).

Originally delivered October 21, 2018
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