Learning What We Long to Know
“Now therefore, I pray, if I have found grace in Your sight, show me now Your way, that I may know You and that I may find grace in Your sight” (Exodus 33:13).
OUT OF ALL THE THINGS WE LONG TO KNOW, IT IS THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOD THAT WE LONG FOR THE MOST. The need to know God is embedded deep within our created nature, and while we may not always recognize this need, it is still a part of us. At some level, all of us can identify with Moses’ request of God: “Show me now Your way, that I may know You and that I may find grace in Your sight.” What we do about this desire is the single greatest determinant of the quality of our lives. In the end, it will be seen that all of our outward actions were the result of our knowledge of God — or the lack of that knowledge. This knowledge is the soil out of which our lives grow, and if the soil is barren, our harvest will not be bountiful.
There are certain things about God that we can learn from the creation (Romans 1:20), but it was in His Son that God fully revealed Himself (John 1:18). And, of course, since we did not live when Jesus lived, it is only through the medium of the Scriptures that we can know what He revealed of God. But if these are the documents through which we can come to know God, it is extremely important that we study them. And coming to know God should be the primary reason for our study. We are not looking for mere curiosities but for information about God! Even at the end of a long lifetime of study, we should still be looking for truth to help us refine and purify our concepts of God Himself.
Having been created in God’s image, we have no higher hope than this ultimate, all-encompassing desire: one day to see God’s face.
It is no coincidence that the last book in the New Testament canon closes with this very prospect. John wrote, “And there shall be no more curse, but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and His servants shall serve Him. They shall see His face, and His name shall be on their foreheads” (Revelation 22:3,4). This hope should not only fire our imaginations; it should move our wills. The promise of knowing God fully so that we can worship Him perfectly — this must be the mainspring of every godly action.
“The child, the philosopher, and the religionist have all one question: ‘What is God like?’ ” (A. W. Tozer).