What do we need to know about God’s character to truly understand the message of the Bible?
Professor and author Dr. Craig Evans offers a biblical perspective from his book , and points us towards the character traits of God.
“It’s very important to know that God is absolute and omnipotent. He’s omniscient, and this means of course He’s all powerful. He’s all knowing and He’s totally committed to His creation. It’s not an act that’s capricious; it’s not simply an experiment. God has not set in motion creative forces and then just walked away to see how it plays out or something like that.”
Our view of our earthy parents can affect our view of God.
“In other words, we need to have the view of God; that He is indeed like a loving parent. Only unlike a human parent, God is perfect and He doesn’t make mistakes.”
Dr. Evans expresses the human understanding of God from a historical standpoint.
“The understanding of God around the world is oftentimes defective. The vast majority of human beings have believed in God. The vast majority of humans down through history have always believed in at least one god, oftentimes they’re polytheistic and people believe in lots of gods.”
He elaborates on the misconceptions of God in the days of antiquity.
“In antiquity and still in some places in the world today, the gods are feared; they’re seen fickle, they’re seen as utterly indifferent or uncaring with regard to the human predicament, the human situation. The gods therefore are to be placated, somehow satisfied.
“There’s worry that if the gods find out that were healthy or prosperous they may take that away from us because the gods are jealous or envious and they don’t want human beings to do well.”
These misconceptions are still prevalent today.
“Sometimes we, as Christians who understand God thanks to Jesus and thanks to the teaching of Scripture, we just assume that most people who think about God think about God the right way, but that is not true.”
Jesus was sent to us to reveal the true character of God. Dr. Evans stresses the importance of understanding who God really is.
“Understand who God really is; what He’s all about, what He’s like, what He intends with His creation, how He relates to human beings, etc.”
“He is not the fickle, feckless God of pagan antiquity or the God that is even understood in some places around the world today; a God who is to be run from, feared or to hide from, but rather God is loving and redemptive and reaches out to us for our own benefit.”