What God is like

—Ex 19–20, Matt 11

  • Andrew Fountain – May 12, 2019

Key points

  1. How God is different to us
  2. Qualities we share with God
  3. Our experience of God
  • First the Old Testatment, then the New

1. How God is different

  • All knowing
  • All powerful
  • Outside of time
  • Outside of space
  • Unchanging
  • Has no needs outside of himself

Exodus 19 & 20

2. Qualities we share with God

  • Emotional
  • Knowable. Loving and Attaching
  • Faithful and trustworthy
  • Self-giving
  • Compassionate
  • Creative: loves beauty and artistry
  • Passionate about truth
  • Passionate about justice

Daniel 10

Is God Safe?

  1. “Aslan is a lion—the Lion, the great Lion.”
  2. “Ooh” said Susan. “I’d thought he was a man. Is he-quite safe? I shall feel rather nervous about meeting a lion”...
  3. “Safe?” said Mr Beaver ...“Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe.
  4. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.”
  5. —C.S. Lewis, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

Hannah’s prayer: 1 Sam 2:1–8

  1. “There is none holy like the LORD; there is none besides you; there is no rock like our God.…
  2. Talk no more so very proudly, let not arrogance come from your mouth; for the LORD is a God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed.
  3. The bows of warriors are shattered, but those who stumble find their strength reinforced.
  4. The LORD makes poor and makes rich; he brings low and he exalts.
  5. He raises up the poor from the dust; he lifts the needy from the ash heap to make them sit with princes and inherit a seat of honour…

Hebrews 1

  1. Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets,
  2. but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, [lit. in a Son-way] whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world.
  3. He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power.

Jesus’ compassion

  • When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Matt 9:36
  • When he went ashore he saw a great crowd, and he had compassion on them and healed their sick. Matt 14:14
  • Then Jesus called his disciples to him and said, “I have compassion on the crowd because they have been with me now three days and have nothing to eat. And I am unwilling to send them away hungry, lest they faint on the way.” Matt 15:32

Matthew 20

  1. And behold, there were two blind men sitting by the roadside, and when they heard that Jesus was passing by, they cried out, “Lord, have mercy on us, Son of David!”
  2. The crowd rebuked them, telling them to be silent, but they cried out all the more, “Lord, have mercy on us, Son of David!”
  3. And stopping, Jesus called them and said, “What do you want me to do for you?”
  4. They said to him, “Lord, let our eyes be opened.”
  5. And Jesus in compassion touched their eyes, and immediately they recovered their sight and followed him.

Luke 7

  1. As he drew near to the gate of the town, behold, a man who had died was being carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow, and a considerable crowd from the town was with her.
  2. And when the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her and said to her, “Do not weep.”
  3. Then he came up and touched the bier, and the bearers stood still. And he said, “Young man, I say to you, arise.”
  4. And the dead man sat up and began to speak, and Jesus gave him to his mother.

3. Our experience of God

  • Awe and wonder
  • Fear
  • Comfort
  • Excitement and joy
  • Hope
  • Love and security

Jesus: Matthew 11

  1. Come to me, all who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
  2. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
  3. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

Rock of Ages

When I draw this fleeting breath
When my eyelids close in death
When I soar to worlds unknown
See thee on thy judgement throne
Rock of ages, cleft for me
Let me hide myself in thee

3. Our experience of God

  • Awe and wonder
  • Fear
  • Comfort
  • Excitement and joy
  • Hope
  • Love and security