Isaiah 45:5 I am the Lord, and there is no other; besides me there is no god. I arm you, though you do not know me, 6 so that they may know, from the rising of the sun and from the west, that there is no one besides me; I am the Lord, and there is no other. 7 I form light and create darkness, I make weal and create woe; I the Lord do all these things.
When I was going through seminary, graduating students had to write an essay as part of the process of evaluation for ordination. It just so happens these verses in Isaiah were selected as the focus for our essay that year. We were asked to reflect on the theology of the text, particularly v.7 which attributes all manner of things to God. The NIV translation makes the challenge more clear,
“…I bring prosperity and create disaster; I, the Lord, do all these things.”
I’ve spent many years now trying to understand God. It’s not easy because God refuses to conform to my simplistic definitions. Ours is a God of love. And a God of wrath. God loves all humanity, but also brings correction to his children – as would any good father/mother. There are times when God seems to close. At other times God seems to disappear altogether.
My conclusion? God is complicated.
That said, I’ve made an important turn in my understanding of faith. 20 years ago I was wanting to learn more ABOUT God. Today I simply want to KNOW God. In other words, rather than think of God as an object of study, I want to know God as an object of relationship, affection, and curiosity. It’s a movement from the head to the heart.
Heavenly Father, give me grace to seek you that you might be found. Amen.