Letter 6: What is God like?

Let me in closing try to sketch with a few words the essence of our differing perceptions of God:


In an effort to honour God, you, as a Muslim, emphasise His power and might. Islam demands submission under the rule of God, and you try to oblige by submitting to its many rules. Yet due to your view of God, you cannot have any assurance whatsoever about your standing before God – until Judgement Day.


While Islam maintains that God is tansih, (aloof in His majestic glory, and detached from all else.) the Bible depicts God as the condescending one, whose love and compassion toward man creates a way to rescue him.


From the Bible, I know that God is holy, and I know that I am not. I also know that God is justified by demanding righteousness from us, but that He actually gives us His own. In His love He gives Himself for us. In Jesus He is our ‘good shepherd’, who goes after the lost sheep until He finds it and then gives His life for His sheep. This indeed reflects God’s love for us, and such love expresses the value God attaches to each of us. We are not like rats or lice in His sight. If we accept His outstretched hand, we are His beloved children!


There is one restriction however. Just before His death on the cross Jesus, obviously grief-stricken, uttered these heart-rending words to those who opposed Him:


“How often have I longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing!” (Matthew 23:37).


The obstacle for God is not our sin, for His love has overcome that already, but our unwillingness to receive His gift of love, forgiveness through Jesus.


Isn’t it true what the proverb says, “out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks?” Well, that’s the way it is with me when writing about God. (By the way – that proverb also originated from the Bible in Matthew 12:34).


But now I must apologise for the length of this letter! However, you will agree that this is not inappropriate for the topic we touched on.


Fond greetings!