More about God
To understand our awareness and descriptions of God we must understand the key verse of the Bible - Exodus 3:14.
Moses has asked God what is his name and God replies a Hebrew expression usually translated as â€œI am who I amâ€ or â€œI will be who I will beâ€ (and this also holds the sense of "I cause to be what I cause to be").
God is effectively saying I am beyond all causesâ€¦ I am the real â€œrealityâ€, everything else in creation is known against the reality of me.
But this phrase has another important meaning: I am â€œwho and what and where and when and how and even why you find about meâ€. God is beyond us; we will not be able to understand or fathom God in totality. We can only â€œknowâ€ Him through revelation and so there will always be mystery at the heart of knowing God.
This meaning is the key to reading and understanding the Bible; and our lives. We seek to discover what God reveals about Himself to us.
The Bible has a number of important names for God (Father) and uses them, or their imagery, regularly. Perhaps the most famous these days is â€œThe Lord God who is my shepherdâ€. This was written because the Israelites had found God to be like a (Middle Eastern) shepherd â€“ leading from the front, knowing and caring for each sheep individually and keeping them safe from harm, in good pasture and clean water.
So Christians are called to discover more of God, through encountering God in the everyday, and in the special moments â€“ and through each and every person! For in Genesis 1, God makes humanity in His image. This is a highly contentious statement, as theologians and philosophers have argued what this means and how we are like God.
Culture at the time understood image to mean a representative, such as an Ambassador, or Regent. Humanity can understand itself as Godâ€™s created living representatives within creation itself. If we find joy in drawing close to our friends and loved ones, who can still make mistakes and messes, think about how much joy we would find in drawing close to the One who is the complete package!
Note: Being created as the Image of God gives us an unexpected role; for we are to look after Creation as God would have done. This is the true meaning of â€œdominationâ€; the same idea that God the Father had dominion over Jesus, and Jesus has dominion over the Church. Ruling begins in love and the willingness to sacrifice all to ensure the wellbeing of that which is loved! The role of â€œGardenerâ€ then makes sense, or in other terms the elder brother who looks after the whole family when the father is not present.