August 16 I Monday
“When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have set in place, what is mankind that You are mindful of them, human beings that You care for them?” —Psalm 8:3-4
We can experience God by two means. There is general, or natural, revelation, where creation reveals the Creator behind the universe. David tells us, “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge” (Psalm 19:1-2). The order of the universe reveals intelligence behind the creation, and the moral conscience that every human being has to reveal something of the moral character of the Creator. The fingerprints of God are all over creation.
General revelation is what we can observe with a closed Bible, but it does not tell us enough about God. We recognize that there is a special revelation whereby God has chosen to reveal details about Himself by speaking to us. Hence, the Word of God is not only central, but indispensable, because we recognize the Scripture is literally God revealing Himself.
For example, when I preach on Sunday, the congregation is experiencing a general and a special revelation of me. By watching me preach, they know me by observation: my height, appearance, clothing and expressions.In fact, from all these things, they might discern some things about my character. However, all of that is fairly superficial knowledge, because they could look around their fellow congregants and do the same thing. This is general revelation. Yet, the congregation knows more about me for the simple reason that I talk to them, and my speech inevitably reveals something about me, or they conclude certain things about me, by my speech. This is special revelation.
A man once told me before, “When I hear you preach, I feel as though I know you.” This is because as we speak, there is a sort of revelation of ourselves that takes place for the other person to know us beyond what can be observed from the surface. Thus, it is crucial for us to know God beyond general revelation and come into an intimate experience of Him through engaging in His Word and allowing His Spirit to give us wisdom and revelation of Him.
In the Old Testament, Genesis 4:1 tells us, “Now Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain” (NKJV). What does it mean by “Adam knew Eve?” It is not like Adam met Eve and he knew who she was and could describe her. Rather, Adam knew Eve in a sense where he had an intimate experience of her and she of him. We can experience God generally by observing creation, but we are given an intimate experience of Him through His special revelation.
Prayer: Almighty God, thank You for revealing Yourself through Your creation and Your Word. Help me to go beyond just factual knowledge of you and experience You personally.