The Old Testament revelation of God seems to center around His mighty works. When we look closely at these works we find that the revelation goes much deeper than showing God as a God with power to create and perform. A misunderstanding of the purpose of the revelation of God will lead us to a misunderstanding of God Himself. Such misunderstanding will lead to grievous errors in interpreting the purpose and intent of scripture.
God’s self-revelation to His people is the focal point of God’s revelation in the Old Testament. We tend to look for the revelation of His purposes. Without seeing the revelation of His person and the revelation of His character we will not properly understand the revelation of His purposes. In actuality what God does is based upon who He is.
The Genesis account of the self-revelation of God is necessary when really determining a full revelation of God. He began with self-revelation so that Israel would know in going forward who He was, and that who He was is the determining factor in what He does. Therefore we see that revelation leads to relationship.
Since God’s desire in creating man was a desire of relationship we assuredly know that any revelation He gives us is for the purpose of furthering that relationship. If we do not see God’s self-revelation as the basic revelation and the basis for all revelation then we will understand nothing of God and His ways. To a great extent the creation of the world is merely a manifestation of the character of God.
When we look at the incredible intricacies involved in the creation process we see the character of God displayed. The very fact that God says “It was good” or “It was very good” denote that what He had created measured up to His standards of what was necessary for relationship to occur. In this God reveals a compassion, concern and care that are indicative of who He is.
When man would first view those things which God created he would be given insight into the character and nature of God. With the fall of man another revelation of God would be brought forth: Not only was God a Creator but he was also a righteous Judge and merciful Redeemer. This follows the pattern of the purpose of God’s self revelation.
His purpose in creation was relationship; in being merciful to the sinner God continues in His purpose. With the advent of extended mercy to the sinner comes the opportunity to be declared righteous. That righteousness would flow from the character and nature of a holy God. Once it is applied to the life of an individual, through grace, it is then intended that the relationship experience a new depth, namely one of becoming like Him.
To become like Him means that we begin to apply the communicable attributes of God into our lives. The incommunicable attributes remain His alone and He does not expect us to manifest those, nor can we. Holiness is a communicable attribute and indeed can be manifested into our life. In fact, He commanded us to be holy as He is holy. This can only be done through relationship.
Ultimately, holiness is intertwined in the knowledge of the revelation of God and the intimacy of relationship with Him. It is the natural spiritual progression of knowing Him. To be anything less than holy is to prove that true relationship does not exist. The reason for the lack of relationship could well be the lack of revelation of God and His purpose.
Written by Rev. Ron Wofford