God is not a third-person abstraction, though we often treat him that way.
We are often inclined to talk about God as if He is not personal; as if there is no genuine one-to-one relationship. And perhaps for many, there is no such personal relationship – God is best kept in some box, only to be dragged out in time of desperation and appealed to as some mystical caster of spells for my benefit in desperate times.
Ugh. Can you imagine children treating their parents this way?
Reading through Psalms 40, 41, and 42 the last few mornings, I was struck afresh by the cornucopia of first- and second-person references. Here is an extremely abbreviated sample:
- I waited patiently for the Lord…He inclined to me and heard my cry
- Many, O Lord, are the wonders which You have done, and your thoughts toward us
- There is none to compare with You
- My ears you have opened
- I delight to do Your will, O my God; Your law is within my heart
- Be pleased, O Lord, to deliver me; make haste, O Lord, to help me
- As for me, I said, “O Lord, be gracious to me; heal my soul, for I have sinned against You”
- As for me, You uphold me in Your integrity, and You set me in Your presence forever
- As the deer pants for the water brooks, so my soul pants for You, O God
- My soul thirsts for God
- Why are you in despair, O my soul…hope in God, for I shall again praise Him
I, me, my, You. That is the proper language of a soul engaged with the living and personal God.
Whatever anyone may think about the God of the Bible, and the faith of those who follow Him, there is no such thing as a far-off, third-person, unapproachable deity in the entirety of the Scriptures. Unless, of course, you choose to build that wall.
From Genesis to Revelation, I see an open door…and those who seek, find.