God is not a distant God. The bible is unambiguous regarding this fact. He is our refuge, an ever-present help in times of trouble is recorded in Psalms.
We see numerous times in the bible when the Lord appeared to men in dreams and visions and even in whirlwinds. This week I share with you 2 passages that explicitly illustrate that the Lord is not a distant God.
God’s promise to Abram
God appears to Abram in a vision and promises to give him descendants as many as the stars in the sky. Notice how direct with God Abram is concerning God’s promised gift to him. Abram said, “O Lord God, what will you give me, since I am childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?” In essence, Abram is choosing what he wants from his Father as a gift. We are only this direct and comfortable with very close friends and siblings.
Eliezer was Abram’s man servant. Listen to the Lord’s response, “This man will not be your heir; but one who will come forth from your own body, he shall be your heir.” ~Genesis 15:4. Bible hub. Then Abram believed and his belief was counted to him as righteousness. We all know what happened afterward, Abram was blessed with a son Isaac and Isaac’s children and their children bore Abram descendants that to date fill the earth.
There is a lesson for us here to learn: that our Father in heaven is near to us. We can be direct with Him. We can tell him our worries, our struggles, our secret fears because He is a friend.
Jacob wrestles with God
Another instance that depicts that the Lord is near to us is when Jacob wrestles with God. The context of this awe-inspiring event is Jacob’s theft of his elder brother’s birthright for a bowl of soup. After this incidence, Jacob flees from his brother’s wrath.
However, when he realizes that he cannot fly away from his brother forever he decides to seek his forgiveness. He sends several of his servants with flocks of goats, sheep, camels, donkeys, cows and oxen to appease Esau and perhaps forgive him.
On the same night that he sends his servants with gifts to his brother Esau, he takes his 2 wives Leah and Rachel and helps them cross the stream of Jabbok while he is left behind. It is on this night that he wrestles with a man who we understand from scripture is God.
Surprisingly, Jacob insists that he will not let this man go unless he blesses him. Why Jacob thought that this man could bless him is a mystery. We do know, however, from scripture that he did not know who this man was because he requested to know his name. Then Jacob asked him and said, “Please tell me your name.” But he said, “Why is it that you ask my name?” And he blessed him there. ~Genesis 32:29. Bible hub
Verse 28 of Genesis 32 records: He said, “Your name shall no longer be Jacob, but Israel; for you have striven with God and with men and have prevailed.” Bible hub. We know for sure that Jacob wrestled with the Lord. That is how close our Father in heaven is that he can allow a mere mortal, His own creation to wrestle and make demands on Him.
Your part and mine in recognizing that the Lord is near to us
The question is not, “Does God speak?” The question is, “Are you listening?”
How do we feel when someone never talks to us until they want something from us? Better still how do we feel when we listen to someone but they never listen to us in return? Upset, aggrieved, hurt, disgruntled, irritated, stung, resentful or may be angry is my guess.
Friends, the Lord is not a distant God who created our world and then left us alone in it. He interacts with us when we let Him. Whatever we go through in life we should remember that, “…He does not afflict willingly nor grieve the children of men.” ~ Lamentations 3:33. He has promised to be with us till the end of time. ~Matthew 28:19.
Do you have an experience that testifies that the Lord is near to us? Share in the comments section below to encourage someone who may be feeling that God is not near to him/her.