I Have Seen God
It happened on one of our tours of the Bible Lands some years ago. There is usually very limited rainfall in the Judean desert and down by the Dead Sea, but on this particular day there was an unusually torrential rain. Our tour bus was traveling southward along the west side of the Dead Sea. Water from the desert wadies was pouring over the cliffs on our right. We were near En Gedi when we came to a place where the flow of water had actually cut away the road service and left a channel perhaps a couple of feet deep and a few rods wide. Before we left that area, a magnificent rainbow appeared over the Dead Sea, and I saw the wondrous beauty of the handiwork of God, the sign of the covenant between the Almighty God and the creatures of earth. I saw the glory of God! I have never seen God or the glory of God in the same way that Moses did when he was in the cleft of the rock and the hand of God obscured his view until God had passed by, and then he was permitted to see God’s back. Moses was not permitted to look upon God’s face, and we cannot now look upon God’s face. Oh, but I have seen God in so many ways. Even as the sweet psalmist of Israel proclaimed, “The heavens declare the glory of God and the firmament shows His handiwork.”
When our children were still quite small, we lived a mile or so from town away from the town lights. At different times on pleasant starlit nights, I would take the children out into the night and talk to them about the stars and the wonders of God’s creation. I repeatedly drew their attention to the position of the stars and showed them how if they should ever get lost, they could tell their directions by the stars. We constantly reminded them of who made it all.
I recall a day many years ago when I walked across a pasture of my father’s farm with two little nephews about old enough to start school. We talked about God and how mighty and powerful He is. As we walked along, a perfect object lesson appeared before us. A train passed by just beyond the other end of the pasture. Both of those nephews are now deceased, but I recall the younger one saying, “God could even pick up that train.” Truly out of the mouth of babes shall come forth praise if we adults will but teach them to think in terms of reverence toward God.
Whether it be a drop of dew on a petal of a rose or the massive expanse of the Pacific, a tiny ant carrying a crumb or a lumbering elephant, a babbling brook or the mighty Mississippi, a tiny ant hill or a towering mountain peak, should we not see God in all these things? Let us never be guilty of worshipping the creation, but let us fervently worship the Creator. His handiwork is all around us. My heart aches for those who are too blind to see Him in everything around them. We like Solomon of old can see beauty in everything if our focus is proper.
Perhaps everyone has heard the little story about the little boy who saw a sign that an unbeliever had written on a wall declaring, “God is nowhere.” The child corrected the message by simply separating the last word so it read “God is now here.”
Can you look on the innocent face of a baby, or at the beauty of a flower, or at the waves of ripened wheat in a giant field in Kansas, or the corn fields of Iowa, Illinois and Indiana, or the clear water streams that flow from springs here in southern Missouri, or at a doe and her fawn in the woods, or whatever is around you and not see God behind them all? Are you among those who see only those things that are visible? I remember Paul writing about not just looking at the things that are seen, but at the things that are not seen. God has blessed us with sight, but there is also a great blessing in insight.
When you hear the patter of baby feet across your floor or see children gleefully romping and playing in the yard, or when you advance in age and your children lovingly do for you those things you can no longer do for yourself, are you not reminded that they are a heritage from the Lord?
Does a cloud in the sky cause you to reflect on our Lord’s ascension or perhaps on that glorious day when He shall come again? Can a mother give birth or an acorn grow to be a tree without God? How did the oil, the coal, the gold or even the water get into the ground?
Matthew recorded Jesus saying “Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God.” We think of this verse as primarily referring to our being with God in glory after this life is over. John tells us in the Book of Revelation we shall see the face of God, but I think in a lesser degree it can well apply to the here and now. If our hearts are attuned to the things of God, we can see Him everywhere.
It warmed my heart recently when my son, now a grandfather himself, in reminiscing concerning his childhood told me that a memorable impression that I made in his youthful mind was that it seemed to him that I saw God everywhere. I’m sure I made many mistakes as a father, but perhaps I did one thing right. Oh, that all our children might be taught to seek the Lord in all things!
I realize I have been blessed with some opportunities that many of you have never shared. Among the most pleasurable experience of my life were those experiences I had while traveling and teaching in the Bible Lands. Like my dear Savior, I walked by the Sea of Galilee and talked to fishermen there. I have knelt and prayed in Gethsemane. I walked the Via Dolorosa, from where Pilate’s Judgment Hall once stood, to Calvary. No, Jesus was not there in flesh and blood form the times that I was there, as He had been 2000 years ago. I did not see three crosses at Calvary with my Lord suffering on the center cross, any plainer then than I see Him each Lord’s Day when we observe the Lord’s Supper, but yes, believers can see Him if their minds are right.
I recall standing at the east window of a hotel room in Jerusalem and watching the dawn lighting the eastern sky one Lord’s Day morning. In my mind, I went with the women to the empty tomb, and with Peter and John I saw the grave clothes lying there. With Mary, I saw Jesus standing there by her. I have been on the road to Emmaus. The two disciples saw Him and talked with Him but like so many people today, they did not recognize Him. Thomas was not convinced of the Lord’s resurrection until he saw the Risen Lord with his own eyes. Learn to see Him now through eyes of faith.
The day is coming when every eye shall see Him as He comes in the clouds, but if you cannot see Him well enough to believe in Him now and obey His word, if you wait until that day when He comes with all His mighty angels, it will be too late for your salvation. See Him through the pages of God’s Word from Genesis to Revelation. See Him in all the wonders of the creation around you. In Him we live and move and have our being. Open your eyes and see the Lord.