When I was in seminary, I received a book from friends who later served as missionaries in Africa. The title itself spoke to me: God Is No Fool.
Wow. Let’s say this appeared on a quiz as a true/false question: “God is a fool.” I would say, “False.” Definitely false.
I treasure knowing who God is—His works and His ways. Knowing God is a taste of heaven, of eternal life. “Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent” (John 17:3). “Let us know, let us press on to know the Lord” (Hosea 6:3). Whatever it takes or costs to know God will surely be worth it.
Recently, I have been aware that knowing God includes knowing what He is not as well as knowing what He is. It has been a gift – even a relief! – to consider what God is not like and what God does not do. Some things I have thought of that God is NOT.
“You are good and do good; teach us your statutes.” Psalm 119:68
“For I am convinced that [nothing] will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38, 39
“Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the creator of all the earth. He does not faint or grow weary.” Isaiah 40:28
“…He who keeps you will not slumber.” Psalm 121:3
“I will never leave you or forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6-8, Joshua 1:5, Hebrews 13:5
“And my God will supply every need of yours according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19
“Our God is in the heavens; He does whatever He pleases.” Psalm 11:3
“And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love.” 1 John 4:16
“Is anything too difficult for the Lord?” Genesis 18:14
“Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all mankind. Is anything too hard for me?” Jeremiah 32:27
“And God is able to make all grace abound to you so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work.” 2 Corinthians 9:8
“…His understanding is unsearchable.” Isaiah 40:28b
“I am the one who helps you.” Isaiah 41:14
“The Lord is trustworthy in all He promises and faithful in all He does. The Lord upholds all who fall and lifts up all who are bowed down. The eyes of all look to you, and you give them their food at the proper time. You open your hand and satisfy the desires of every living thing. The Lord is righteous in all His ways and faithful in all He does.” Psalm 145:13-17
I see even more things God isn’t when I consider the life of Jesus. He isn’t moody, fearful, manipulated, caught off guard, insecure, inconsistent, predictable, deceitful, preoccupied, a bully… or a fool.
A.W. Tozer said, “What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.” I want to give a true report of the nature and character of God to myself and to others. What I believe about God impacts every aspect of my life. May I be free from misunderstanding God and believing that He is something that He is not.
“Let not the wise boast of their wisdom
or the strong boast of their strength
or the rich boast of their riches,
but let the one who boasts boast about this:
that they have the understanding to know me,
that I am the Lord, who exercises kindness,
justice and righteousness on earth,
for in these, I delight,”
declares the Lord.
- How would you finish this sentence?:
“I am especially glad that God is not _______.”
- Which one or two of these “not” attributes of God might you be believing about God? How has that misunderstanding been hard to shake? How does it impact how you relate with God or others?
- Based on your acquaintance with God, what would you add to this list?