For what great nation is there that has a god so near to it as the Lord our God is to us, whenever we call upon him? And what great nation is there, that has statutes and rules so righteous as all this law that I set before you today? Deuteronomy 4:7-8.

I love the Lord, because he has heard my voice and my pleas for mercy. Because he inclined his ear to me, therefore I will call on him as long as I live. Psalm 116:1-2.

The incredible power of relationship with the LORD God is He is personal.

We often forget that religion is the means by which people create a god after their own image. Religion does not worship the LORD God. To create something that does not exist, even if it is built off the genuine article, is no god at all. The triumph of the God of Israel (and the God of the New Testament covenant in Christ) is we worship the one true God. He is as real as we are. He is personal and He alone has given us the capacity to be self-aware. We get this because God has created us in His image. This capacity is God given and that which defines the very nature of our existence. God has left His fingerprints on our existence. I am convinced that the most indispensable element of our Christian walk is being convinced that God is personal AND that He is actively present in our life. If we get detached from that sense of His involvement in our life, then we will struggle.

The incredible provision is that He is near us and hears us.

The uniqueness of God, as God Himself states it, is that there is no other god who is so hear to humanity except for the God of Israel. The focus is that we can enter into a meaningful relationship with Him. It is genuine and He does hear us. That is remarkable. Regardless of how other religions portray “god” the uniqueness of the God of Abraham and Moses is that He is the ONE who engages and interacts with His people. We are not just following someone’s teachings or ideas or philosophy. The God of Israel is one who actually listens and responds to the dialogue His people have with Him. They are not simply performing cultural rituals. This is not a formula or self-improvement program. It is not something they can market. They experience and engage the LORD God of Israel.

God has revealed to us the reality of His person and His wisdom.

The final thought here is there is no other nation in the world where God has revealed Himself as the Lord has done with Israel. God has not kept things secret. Israel does not have to invent a system of rules to follow. This is not simply a myth where a people group have simply created an idea of God based on their own observations of “how things actually work” in their context. God has explained Himself and given a clear picture of right and wrong. He has shown them how to live in a world where there are no examples to follow. Righteousness is not defined by them but by someone outside the confines of this world. Righteousness is defined by the God who created everything including humanity and especially the people of Israel.

None of this is untrue in the New Testament. In fact, quite the opposite. If there was a group of people who ought to value that truth that God is personal, He is present and He has revealed Himself to us, it ought to be believers in Christ. He has lavished His love upon us through His Holy Spirit who indwells every believer. Our lives are His temple, His dwelling place. His purpose is to conform us to the image of His Son. Wow! If anyone on earth ought to know that God is near us, and He is for us, it is us!!

Pastor Brad