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The God who is near

Updated: Jul 2, 2019

The idols of the nations are silver and gold, made by human hands. They have mouths, but cannot speak, eyes, but cannot see. They have ears, but cannot hear, nor is there breath in their mouths

(Psalm 135: 15-17, NIV)

It is futile to craft an idol with your own hands and then worship it as god (Isaiah 46:6-7). The book of Psalms talks about the futility of worshiping man-made gods. The Psalmist, David, compared these inanimate objects, crafted by their creators, with the God of Israel who demonstrated great power and might when He brought the children of Israel out of captivity in Egypt. He declared: “I know the greatness of the Lord – that our Lord is greater than any other god” (Psalm 135:5, NLT).

In another Psalm, David extolled the God who is not distant from human reach; the God who stoops down to connect with His creation. He inquired, “Who can be compared with the Lord our God who is enthroned on high? He stoops to look down on heaven and earth” (Psalm 11:6, NLT). In all His majesty, God still concerns Himself with humanity. That is why David declared his love for the Lord who bends down to listen and hears his prayer for mercy. No wonder he swore an oath to pray to this God for as long as he had breath in him.

I am encouraged by the image of a God who stoops down, who bends down to listen, to connect with His creation. He is approachable and desires intimate fellowship with us. Speaking of Israel’s rebellion after He had delivered them from Egypt, God said, “I lifted the yoke from [Israel’s] neck, and I myself stooped to feed him” (Hosea 11:4, NLT). Even when we rebel and choose to go our own way, God does not abandon us. His eyes still roam to and fro the earth seeking to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose hearts are committed to Him (2 Chronicles 16:9).

On the morning after a particularly challenging day, the reminder that God is not far away from me reassures me. I recall where He also spoke about Himself: “Before they call I will answer; while they are still speaking I will hear” (Isaiah 65:24, NLT).

This sounds, to me, like a God who is near at all times.

Photo by Marc-Olivier Jodoin on Unsplash


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