“. . . Worship Him who made the Heavens, the Earth, the sea and the springs of water.” (Revelation 14:7)
Last month, we examined two of the five reasons for worshiping the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. They were:
- He is the infinite Creator, who is the Intelligent Designer of Heaven and Earth and everything in them.
- He knows and declares the future with 100% accuracy. No other God can do this.
So, let us conclude this study by examining the three final reasons.
The Weekly Cycle
The third reason for loving and worshiping the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob concerns the weekly cycle. I believe God designed the weekly cycle so there would be no reason or explanation for its existence. This includes God’s seventh-day Sabbath rest. I believe God did it this way to draw attention to the uniqueness of creation “week.” The weekly cycle existed before God gave the Ten Commandments on Mt. Sinai. (Exodus 16) The weekly cycle is not biological. Nothing in nature identifies which day is the first day of the week or the seventh day of the week. The weekly cycle is not self-evident and it cannot be “discovered” because every day looks the same. Amazingly, even though the weekly cycle is invisible, it is recognized and used to chronicle time in every nation on Earth! The weekly cycle has outlasted every civilization and every effort to change it! It is ironic that billions of people, separated by oceans, languages, and cultures recognize the same weekly cycle and yet do not recognize its Creator!
Even more incredible is the fact that three opposing religious bodies agree on the order of days within the weekly cycle! (This is about the only thing they do agree on.) Muslims tell us that Friday is the sixth day of the week, Jews tell us that Saturday is the seventh day of the week, and Catholics tell us that Sunday is the first day of the week. The histories of these three religious bodies span the centuries and prove that time has never been lost. The weekly cycle today remains synchronous with the weekly cycle that began with Creation! Sunday aligns with the first day of Creation and God’s seventh day Sabbath aligns with Saturday.
The weekly cycle may be invisible, but because it is globally recognized, it is a perpetual witness pointing to Creation Week. The weekly cycle has been hiding “in plain sight” for about 6,000 years. I suspect the only reason for the perpetual duration of the weekly cycle is that Jesus Himself has sustained it. I believe it is important to Him that human beings recognize He created us for the following reasons:
- Acknowledging the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob as the Creator produces accountability. He owns us by right of creation. He sees everything that occurs on Earth and His judgments are righteous. He is the source of life, knowledge, inerrant truth, and eternal law. He is Sovereign and we are His subjects. The better we know Him and His love, the more we will adore and exalt Him.
- Acknowledging the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob eliminates the possibility of all other gods. In His words, other gods are not gods at all. This world, even in its fallen condition, would be the opposite of the way it is today if its inhabitants worshiped and loved the Creator who claims to be the only God. The God who has faithfully declared what is right from what is wrong, who has given us a perfect example of a selfless life and sinless behavior, and who offers to live within us and transform us through the ministry of the Holy Spirit.
- Further, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob has a gospel that separates order from chaos, separates toxic faith from genuine faith, leaves no one in poverty and gives no one absolute authority, ennobles the human experience, and gives joyful purpose and fulfillment to every child of God. When properly understood and applied, the gospel of Jesus shows us God’s character which is purer, wiser, and far beyond anything that finite man can create. God created the seventh day Sabbath rest to serve two purposes: First, the Sabbath rest is a perpetual memorial to His magnificent work of Creation that was completed in six days. Second, His Sabbath is a wonderful day for rest and inspiration. The top priority for every human being should be to continue learning more about God. How thrilling it is to have those “a-ha” moments as we study and discover again the loving ways of an infinite God.
Jesus Promises that Sinners Can Have Salvation
Another reason for loving and worshiping the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob centers around the birth, ministry, death, and ascension of Jesus. Jesus promised Abraham that the Messiah would come through the lineage of Isaac and Jacob to redeem sinners and about 2,000 years later, Jesus kept this promise and came to Earth. Jesus never fails to keep a promise! He is trustworthy! His Word is sure! Even though there may be many other manmade gods who they worship, no other God has loved sinners enough to give up His life to give sinners an opportunity to have what belonged to Him! No other God has died the second death! No other God has promised to destroy the curse of sin and create a new Heaven and a new Earth. (Revelation 21:1) No other God can equal the actions and promises of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob!
When Jesus came to Earth, He came with a profound gospel. The gospel of Jesus explains many things about God that would otherwise have no answer. The gospel of Jesus explains man’s origin and fall, how the curse of sin behaves within us, and how sinners can be saved. It also explains God’s forthcoming plans to bring sin’s curse to an end. If a person honestly and thoughtfully considers the gospel of Jesus and responds with a submissive heart, he will find enlightenment, understanding, and joy that cannot be expressed in words! The gospel of Jesus is transforming, ennobling, and enriching. When properly understood, there is nothing on Earth that compares to the gospel of Jesus. It is a gospel of love and I love it!
God Does Speak to Us
I worship and love the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob because it is possible to walk with Him and hear from Him. He speaks in two ways. First, He speaks plainly through His written Word, the Bible. Second, He speaks through the Holy Spirit. It is important to always remember that “the voice of God,” never disagrees with the teachings of the Bible. The Holy Spirit and the Bible are always in agreement.
Sometimes, the concepts taught in the Bible can be hard to understand. Complicating the situation even more, the Bible uses three types of language: literal language, analogous language, and symbolic language. These three types of language are necessary because there is no other way to explain eternal concepts to finite minds. This should not come as a surprise to us. We use mathematical symbols and numbers every day as a form of language. We also use musical notation to express how songs are to be played. Therefore, the Bible has its own language. The challenge for many of us is to remember that the Bible reads “just as it reads” and as strange as this may seem, it takes training and effort. Here is a passage showing how literal and analogous language flows together:
“Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. [Notice the sinful nature and born again nature are contrasted.] The mind of sinful man is [headed toward] death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is [headed toward] life and peace; the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God.” (Romans 8:5-7, insertions mine)
This passage means that Jesus attempts to speak to every person through the ministry of the Holy Spirit. Jesus said, “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand.” (John 10:27,28) If we listen and surrender to Jesus’ voice and allow Him to dwell within us, the following consequences will occur: “. . . the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” (Galatians 5:22,23) Loving and worshiping the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob changes everything. He gives us the power to forgive those who have done us wrong. He gives us power to overcome addictions. He gives us strength to endure a difficult situation. He gives us peace in the middle of a storm, even when everything appears to be sinking or falling apart.
Belief in God Matters
In closing, we need to reconsider a question that was asked last month. “Does belief ‘in God’ or ‘the absence of God’ really matter?” Yes! Beliefs shape behavior and behaviors have consequences. Man’s behavior is telling. Each of us are a reflection of what we believe about God. Deeds speak louder than words.
I believe there are at least five reasons for believing in the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (I am sure there are many more):
- He is the infinite Creator, the Intelligent Designer of Heaven and Earth, and everything in them.
- He knows and declares the future with 100% accuracy. No other God can do this.
- He created the weekly cycle and gave us His seventh day Sabbath rest.
- He keeps His promises. He provided salvation through the lineage of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Sinners can be saved through Christ’s death from sin’s penalty.
- He offers a joyful and exciting experience to everyone, a life with purpose and fulfillment beyond imagination. We can walk with Him and hear from Him.
Of course, I am not perfect, but I have experienced enormous joy walking with the Lord. I have tasted the happiness and peace, fullness, and contentment that comes through the presence of His Spirit in my life. I wish the same for you! Beliefs do matter, they shape our behavior and behaviors produce consequences. If you or someone you know is searching for a better life than what you now have, if you want more joy, love, peace, and happiness than what you now know, you should get to know the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. If you choose to worship Him in spirit and truth, He will lead you into a happiness that goes beyond expression!