Attributes of God
Pagan mythology paints a very unflattering picture of the
gods. The pagans viewed deity through the filter of their
own humanity. In fact, this is a non-technical, but powerful
argument showing the difference between the inspired record of
Jehovah, and the imaginations of men which led to the pagan
superstitions of antiquity. For the pagan, the gods were
jealous, petty, capricious, and flawed. Though they had
superhuman powers, they were limited, and behaved like corrupt
men. War, treachery, infidelity, immaturity and envy are common
themes in pagan mythology.
The descriptions of Jehovah God in the Bible stand in stark contrast
to these flawed products of mans imagination. Note first
the Apostle Pauls address to the Athenians concerning their
superstitions on Mars Hill in Acts 17. He speaks to them
concerning the Unknown God, the true God which was
unknown to them:
God, who made the world and everything in it, since He is
Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with
hands. Nor is He worshiped with men's hands, as though He
needed anything, since He gives to all life, breath, and all
things. And He has made from one blood every nation of men to
dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their
preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings, so that
they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him
and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; for in Him we
live and move and have our being, as also some of your own poets have
said, For we are also His offspring. Therefore,
since we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the
Divine Nature is like gold or silver or stone, something shaped by
art and man's devising (vvs. 24-29).
This picture of God is remarkably uniform throughout the Bible.
In both the Old and New Testaments, God is known as eternal,
omnipotent, omniscient, just and loving. He is sovereign in the
universe, and the first cause or creator. The following
scriptures are descriptive of His character and person.
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth
I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the
End, says the Lord, who is and who was and who is to
come, the Almighty (Revelation 1:8).
"But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, Though you are little among
the thousands of Judah, Yet out of you shall come forth to Me The One
to be Ruler in Israel, Whose goings forth are from of old, From everlasting"
"And those who know Your name will put their trust in You;
For You, LORD, have not forsaken those who seek You (Psalm 9:10).
"So He said to him, Why do you call Me good? No one is
good but One, that is, God. But if you want to enter into life, keep
the commandments. (Matthew 19:17).
"No one is holy like the LORD, For there is none besides You,
Nor is there any rock like our God" (1 Samuel 2:2).
"Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and
comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation
or shadow of turning" (James 1:17).
"This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare
to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all"
(1 John 1:5).
While representative, the above scriptures are hardly exhaustive in
relating the nature and character of Jehovah. God is
longsuffering, loving, merciful, wise, omnipresent, perfect,
righteous, unchangeable, and unsearchable. As the Psalmist
said, "Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; It is high, I
cannot attain it." (Psalms 139:6).
It is from within this context of Gods nature that we are
called to holiness in our lives. As Paul maintained, such a
transformation in life and focus is your reasonable service
(Romans 12:1). What God requires of us is not a series of
arbitrary tests imposed by an autocrat. Our service is required
because of who God is, and we should always rejoice in meager efforts
to please Him.