(Photos by Neil Cullan McKinlay)
As we continue looking at God...
A bunch of people were arguing with Jesus about their descent from Abraham. Jesus said to them, "If I honour Myself, My honour is nothing. It is My Father who honours Me, of whom you say that He is your God. Yet you have not known Him, but I know Him. And if I say, 'I do not know Him,' I shall be a liar like you; but I do know Him and keep His word. Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad." John 8:54-56.
Notice that Jesus is calling them liars for alleging that they know God when clearly they don't! Jesus is saying that God honours Him as His only begotten Son. "Then the Jews said to Him, 'You are not yet fifty years old, and have You seen Abraham? It's in reply to these unbelievers that Jesus says, "Most assuredly I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM." John 8:58.
Who is the I AM? When Moses encountered the Angel of the LORD who appeared to him in the bush that burned but was not consumed, the LORD said to Moses, "I am the God of your father - the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob." Then He said to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM." Exodus 3:6; 14. Thus the "I AM" is the One who eternally is, was, and always will be. This name of God is usually rendered in English as Jehovah or LORD (note the upper case).
Put it all together and what have we got? The One who appeared to Moses is the same One who appeared to Abraham. And is the same One who was standing in (human) flesh in the midst of a group of deluded unbelievers who started picking up stones to stone Him for the (in their spiritually-blind eyes) blasphemy of calling Himself God!
But how did Abraham and Moses know that the I AM was God? Well, Moses was the one who wrote about Abraham when he compiled the first five books of the Bible (ie, Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy). Paul the Apostle under inspiration of the Holy Spirit wrote, "And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles [ie, the Ethnoi] by faith, preached the Gospel to Abraham beforehand, saying, 'In you all the nations shall be blessed.'" Galatians 3:8. Therefore Moses and Abraham understood the Good News!
But isn't the Good News about what God has done in Christ? Yes, of course it is! However, Abraham knew beforehand what God was going to do in Christ, because, as we've already noted, "Scripture... preached the Gospel to Abraham beforehand..." That's what the promised blessings to all the nations is all about. It was about God the Father in Christ the Son by the power of their Holy Spirit subduing the nations after Satan's crushing defeat by Christ as a Man!
You see, Abraham's God and mine is the Triune God of the Bible. God is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, three Persons, one God. As, while under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, Moses wrote, "Hear, O Israel: The LORD [ie, the I AM or Jehovah] our God [ie, Elohim or three Persons but one God], the LORD [ie, the I AM or Jehovah] is one." Deuteronomy 6:4.
Thus Abraham's God and mine is not three separate gods, but one God with three distinctions in the Godhead, ie, the Father, the Son or Word, and the Holy Spirit. Therefore, when Scripture records God as saying, "Let Us make man in Our own image" and "Come, let Us go down there and confuse their language" and "Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us" Christians hold that it is the Triune God speaking to Himself and referring to Himself.
Therefore, Abraham's God and mine is the One who refers to Himself as Father, eg, "You, O LORD, are our Father, our Redeemer from Everlasting is Your name." Isaiah 63:16b. And God also refers to Himself as Son, eg, "Who has established all the ends of the earth? What is His name, and what is His Son's name, if you know?" Prov. 30:4b. The Son is none other than the Angel, as in, eg,"And the Angel of His Presence saved them; in His love and in His pity He redeemed them; and He bore them and carried them all the days of old." Isaiah 63:10. And "'The Lord, whom you seek, will suddenly come to His temple. even the Messenger [ie, Angel] of the covenant, in whom you delight. Behold, He is coming,' says the LORD of hosts." Malachi 3:1b. The Holy Spirit? Eg, "But they rebelled and grieved His Holy Spirit; so He turned Himself against them as an enemy, and He fought against them." Isaiah 63:10.
The God of all the earth, therefore, is the God rejected by Jew's in Jesus' day, today's Jews, Muslims, Secular Humanists, Neo-Darwinists, Atheists, so called Jehovah's Witnesses, etc. etc. etc. For our God is Triune - Jehovah Elohim. Our God is Abraham's God!
The whole triumphant host
Give thanks to God on high;
'Hail, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost!'
They ever cry.
Hail, Abraham's God, and mine! -
I join the heavenly lays, -
All might and majesty are Thine,
And endless praise.
(Thomas Olivers, 1725-99)
"The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen." 2 Corinthians 13:14.