Is It Possible to Know About God?
IT IS a generally accepted fact that if there is a God who created the universe, he must be invisible and far superior to man. Would this mean that humans cannot understand him at all? Is God so lofty that He has little or no interest in man whom He put on earth? Is it impossible to learn why we humans are here, and why things occur as they do? Or, can we find out what God has in mind for us?
Yes, we can find out. First of all, we have evidence of God in the creation around us. One of the Bible writers called attention to this fact, saying: “For [God’s] invisible qualities are clearly seen from the world’s creation onward, because they are perceived by the things made.” (Rom. 1:20) In considering the creation of the universe, and this earth with life upon it, we see tremendous power manifest, as well as surpassing wisdom. Also, we can discern great love on the part of the Creator in the way that things work together to sustain life, and to make life enjoyable for us. Observing these qualities in the Creator should draw us to learn more about him.
Another thing making plain that God is interested in us and wants us to live in a way that is beneficial is the fact that He has given every man a conscience that constantly monitors his decisions and actions, to help him to take a right, moral way. Furthermore, everyone has a natural desire to find out about himself, why he is alive on earth and what his future will be. Men also have an innate urge to worship someone. Is it at all logical that an intelligent God would not let his intelligent creation know about him? Not at all.
Note what the apostle Paul said in this regard when speaking to an audience gathered in the Court of Areopagus in Athens. He spoke of God’s purpose for men to “seek God, and, it might be, touch and find him; though indeed he is not far from each one of us.”—Acts 17:27, New English Bible.
So God is not hard to find. He had the Bible written in plain language that is easily understood. His Son said: “Ask, and you will receive; seek, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened.” (Matt. 7:7, NE) This promise assures that, when a person finds parts of the Bible difficult to understand, he can receive help. But he must first really want to know about God and his purpose, then he must ask God and show his sincere desire by looking into the Bible. He can be assured that God wants to and will help him to understand and to take the life-giving course. Says the Bible: “The LORD is good and upright; therefore he teaches sinners the way they should go. If there is any man who fears the LORD, he shall be shown the path that he should choose. The LORD confides his purposes to those who fear him.”—Ps. 25:8, 12, 14, NE.
On his own part, God’s concern is so great that he has sent people to help others to learn of him, though he has had to bear them up through many difficulties. Foremost among these, God’s own Son Jesus Christ was most vigorous in telling and instructing others about God’s purposes. More than that, Jesus underwent the greatest of opposition and persecution from his own countrymen, though a number of them became his disciples. These disciples, in turn, experienced all manner of hardships, privations, cold, hunger, even shipwreck on behalf of the good news. But they were faithful in making known God’s purpose to provide a righteous rule over the earth, with health and life for mankind.—2 Cor. 11:24-27.
This helping people to learn about God—should we expect it to come from world leaders or through the major news channels of the world? No. And the facts bear out this conclusion. The world leaders, instead of acknowledging God’s promises and announcing his Kingdom purpose to halt injustice and suffering, advocate political, commercial and scientific means to cure the world’s ills. Those whom they allow prominence before the public support such worldly aims. Therefore, assistance to learn about God is not furnished through these channels.
From where does help come in knowing God, which, as Jesus said, was essential? He declared: “Eternal life is this: to know you, the only true God, and him whom you have sent, Jesus Christ.” (John 17:3, New American Bible) You will note in reading the Bible that, for the most part, God used as his agents common men, lacking worldly prominence. Two of the foremost apostles, Peter and John, were interrogated by the Jewish leaders, the priests, the elders, and those versed in the law governing that nation. When the apostles spoke intelligently in reply, the account says: “Observing the self-assurance of Peter and John, and realizing that the speakers were uneducated men of no standing, the questioners were amazed. Then they recognized these men as having been with Jesus.” (Acts 4:13, NA) Yes, though they were not prominent men at all, they had received education through Jesus Christ so that they knew God and could explain his purposes to others.
Education in knowledge of God is what God is making available for the people. People who have desired such education and who have looked to the Bible for it are engaged in this educational program. They are not doing it so much as a duty, but willingly, and certainly they are not seeking material gain, but they are happy to have found that God really cares. (Ps. 110:3) They have learned that he has beneficial purposes for humankind, and promises to deliver them from oppression, insecurity, sickness and death. So they want to tell others.
This helpful educational work is what Jehovah’s Witnesses are doing. They can help the sincere seeker to learn what God has in mind for mankind. You can begin to learn by reading the Bible, and by getting the free help of these people, who are sincere students of the Bible. You may have a humble and inquiring mind, as did the man in the first century who was reading the Bible and was approached by one of Christ’s disciples. The disciple asked him: “Do you really grasp what you are reading?” “‘How can I,’ the man replied, ‘unless someone explains it to me?’” The disciple, Philip by name, in a Bible study helped the man to understand clearly what he was reading. (Acts 8:30-35, NA) You can avail yourself of such help, without cost. The knowledge that you can receive by understanding what God has in mind can give you renewed hope, peace of mind and a purpose in life.