The people understood that God was unique from all other gods. He was a faithful and trustworthy God. “This God has a distinct character — he is who he is — to which he will be faithful and which he reveals in his historical actions. Not only does God name his presence as active being, but his name also discloses his essentially relational nature. The Baptist scholar Gwynne Henton Davies explains that the Hebrew words ‘have the quite practical meaning I am who and what, and where and when, and how and even why you will discover I AM. I am what you will discover me to be’…God already is in himself what he intends and promises to be in his deeds through and among his people. The text implies that this is and will be the case and that it is and will be manifest historically; hence we can expect to be able to ‘read’ his acts as an assertion of his character and as leading to the fulfillment of his promise. Using language from speech act theory, we can say that God’s revelation of his name is assertive of his being, and a commissive promise to act in faithfulness to his being. God’s nature is expressed in his unbreakable word: that he means to be his word is implied by his promise, and that he will keep it is implied in his self-assertion” (Moore, 167).
God revealed himself to the Israelites and their history became available for all to understand God’s move in times past and what it means for today. “…the history. God’s revelation becomes part of the concreteness of daily life, in the language and in the mentality of a people, showing what the meaning of the flowing of days is. “History, therefore, becomes the arena where we see what God does for humanity. God comes to us in the things we know best and can verify most easily, the things of our everyday life, apart from which we cannot understand ourselves” (Dotolo, pp. 20 – 21). God also showed himself to the Israelites to establish a relationship with them for their good. “In establishing a priesthood for Israel, God assured that the priests would provide guidance for his people, especially with respect to their continuous instruction in his law. This priesthood and their assistants, the scribes, were the teaching authority, or the official magisterium, of the religion God set up for them. As long as the priests and scribes remained loyal to God, they were also faithful in communicating God’s wishes to his people. However, at times when the teaching authority slipped away from its responsibility and did not reflect the will of God for his people, God then bypassed the religious authorities and used prophets to deliver messages directly to the people” (Girzone, pp. 15 – 16).
“In time past, God spoke in fragmentary and varied ways to our fathers through the prophets; in this, the final age, he has spoken to us through his Son, whom he has made heir of all things and through whom he first created the universe” (Dotolo, 20). God also reveals himself through his Son, Jesus Christ. Before touching on Jesus, one must first look at the Bible or the word of God as he reveals himself to humanity. God showed himself to the Israelites and thus began the process of writing down the word of God as he revealed it to individuals. The author, Norbert Max Samuelson in his book, Revelation and the God of Israel states, “Whatever the view is of God in general, the deity affirmed as the sole deity worthy of worship in these religions is the creator of the world, the revealer of sacred scriptures, and the redeemer of humanity. For Judaism, at least God as the creator is revealed both through the Hebrew Scriptures (especially the opening chapters of Genesis) and through nature (especially physical cosmology and cosmogony). The deity known in this way is a God of natural law whose will, identifiable with that law, is concerned equally with every creature, without differentiation, and primarily with the whole rather than any of its parts, be they animal, mineral, or vegetable. Hence, this is a deity knowable primarily as a God of justice. In contrast, God as the revealer is known through the words of the Hebrew Scriptures and the tradition of the interpretation of those words in biblical commentaries. This deity is a God of moral law whose will, identifiable with that law, has special concern for the Jewish people, with whom he has a special love relationship, comparable to that of a loving spouse or parent. Hence, this is a deity knowable primarily as a God of love. Whether or not it is coherent to claim that the same being is both the deity of universal law and the deity of concrete love is not obvious, and much of the discussion of theology in rabbinic texts deals with ways to reconcile these two characterizations of God” (12). Scripture confirms itself in these verses, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:” (2 Timothy 3:16).
Girzone, Joseph F. (2004). Trinity.Westminster, MD, USA: Doubleday Publishing.
McGrath, Alister E. (2001). Christian Theology – An Introduction. Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishing.
Moore, Andrew. (2003). Realism and Christian Faith : God, Grammar, and Meaning.
West Nyack, NY, USA: Cambridge University Press.
Samuelson, Norbert Max. (2002). Revelation and the God of Israel. West Nyack, NY, USA: Cambridge University Press.
Thompson, Frank Charles, D.D., PH.D. (1988). The Thompson Chain-Reference Bible, 5th ed. Indianapolis, IN: B. B. Kirkbridge Bible Co., Inc.