Knowing Our Great GodGod is totally amazing … and His greatness is far beyond our human understanding.
However, even though we can’t totally understand God’s greatness, the Bible still gives us a picture of who He is! There are actually ten fundamental character qualities of God: God is sovereign, eternal, all-knowing, all-powerful, present everywhere, unchanging, holy, just, love, and truth. Sometimes those words can seem intimidating or even irrelevant. But they are important words that ground us in really knowing and trusting God!
In this lesson you will learn about the first five of those attributes. One or two scripture passages are included for each one, but the Bible is filled with many more descriptions of God’s character. You can easily use an on-line Bible reference such as Bible Gateway (www.biblegateway.com) to learn more about each attribute of God and deepen your understanding of who God is. As you consider each character quality, take time to think about each one and how that specific attribute shapes your view of God … and your relationship with Him.
God is Sovereign
The word “sovereign” refers to a supreme power having freedom from external control. When we refer to God as sovereign, we are saying that He alone has control of the universe. He is in charge of all things. He has complete authority to do whatever pleases Him. Nothing is out of His control.
Consider these two verses from the Bible:
Psalm 103:19: “The LORD has established his throne in heaven, and his kingdom rules over all.” (NIV)
Romans 8:28: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (NIV)
What do these verses mean to you personally?
What can we learn about trusting God’s sovereignty from these two passages?
If I trust in God’s sovereignty, I will
God is Eternal
We live in a time dimension. God does not. God has always existed … and He always will. When we join God in heaven, we will live forever with Him. He gives us eternal life! Being eternal, God is not bound by time. He lives in an everlasting “now,” without past or future. Having always existed, He sees the past and future as clearly as the present and simultaneously. With this perspective, He has infinite understanding as to what is best for us.
Isaiah 40:8: “The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God endures forever.” (NIV)
What do the following verses tell us about God?
Psalm 45:6: “You are God, and you will rule forever as king. Your royal power brings about justice.” (CEV)
If I believe that God is eternal, I will
God is All-Knowing
God knows everything! He knows everything in the past. He knows everything that is going on in the universe now. And He knows everything that is going to happen in the future. God is never surprised!
Psalm 139 (NIV) tells us a lot about God and how much he knows about each one of us! Read this passage and write down all of the phrases that are meaningful to you.
1 You have searched me, LORD, and you know me.
2 You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar.
3 You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways.
4 Before a word is on my tongue you, LORD, know it completely.
5 You hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain.
7 Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence?
8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea,
10 even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,”
12 even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you.
13 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.
17 How precious to me are your thoughts, God! How vast is the sum of them!
18 Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand—
when I awake, I am still with you.
19 If only you, God, would slay the wicked! Away from me, you who are bloodthirsty!
20 They speak of you with evil intent; your adversaries misuse your name.
21 Do I not hate those who hate you, LORD, and abhor those who are in rebellion against you?
22 I have nothing but hatred for them; I count them my enemies.
23 Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.
24 See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
Because I know that God is All-Knowing, I
God is Present Everywhere
This universe is about thirty billion light years across … and contains at least ten trillion stars (more than all the grains of sand on earth!). Yet God is present on every star, and in every inch of space. It really is more than we can imagine! We cannot hide from Him or act without His knowledge. God is always with us!
Psalm 139:7-8 says, “I can never escape from your Spirit! I can never get away from your presence! If I go up to heaven, you are there; if I go down to the grave, you are there.” (NLT)
What does this tell you about God’s presence?
When I know that God is Present Everywhere, I
Of the five attributes listed in this study, which one is most real to you?
Which one gives you most comfort?
Which one is most confusing?
Which one do you want to learn more about?
Read and pray David’s prayer in 1 Chronicles 29:11-13: “Yours, Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the majesty and the splendor, for everything in heaven and earth is yours. Yours, Lord, is the kingdom; you are exalted as head over all. Wealth and honor come from you; you are the ruler of all things. In your hands are strength and power to exalt and give strength to all. Now our God, we give you thanks and praise your glorious name.