October 31st, 2006

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Psalm 18

Tuesday, October 31st, 2006

Many years ago I wrote a book for the doctrinal study week of the churches and members of the Southern Baptist Convention. The text of this book will be on this website. The title is The Doctrine of God.  Its focus is upon what Baptists have said that they believe about the nature and work of God in their various statements of faith.

While the Bible teaches that we are not to make an image of God, it uses many word pictures to describe God. Two of the most common and expressive are that God is like a rock and he is like smoke or a cloud.  I took to mean that while God is solid and dependable, he is also free and cannot be contained by mean humans.

The opening lines of Psalms 18, as translated by Peterson captures the picture of God as like a rock. “I love you God–you make me strong. God is bedrock under my feet, the castle in which I live, my rescuing knight.  My God–the high crag where I run for dear life, hiding behind the boulders, safe in the granite hideout.”

The hymn, a great one, ROCK OF AGES, comes to mind. The true God is faithful, dependable, protective. But God is also pictured as fire and smoke.  Recall the Exodus and the pillar and the cloud. This says to me that God is not only solid and dependable, but he is also free and cannot be circumscribed or captured.  He always is mysterious and beyond our comprehension.

As we live the life of faith and get to know God, we experience a deepening and personalizing of knowledge of God. Head knowledge is supplemented by heart knowledge.