Humans have always thought about the Higher Being who is behind the reality of the life and the world they experience. They refer to him as God. But what do we know about him? What can we know about him?
God is Unknowable
God is Knowable.
God is Unknowable unless and until he decides to be Known.
Christian thinkers have identified two avenues by which God has chosen to reveal himself. They have labeled these General Revelation and Special Revelation. General Revelation is the evidence of God that can be seen by all people through observing Creation: the immensity, order, diversity and beauty of the entire universe. Special Revelation is the evidence of God that can only be known through his self-disclosure in personal encounters with selected individuals and people groups, as recorded and preserved in Holy Writings (e.g. the Bible). There is a third avenue by which individuals come to know even more about God through intimate encounters with him: “Aha!” moments of spiritual discovery, leading to repentance, acceptance of him on a deep level and salvation. This can be identified as Personal Revelation.
Psalm 19 is a powerful hymn that acknowledges and thanks God for the many ways he reveals himself to us. It begins by rejoicing in General Revelation (verses 1 to 6), then describes the unique truths found through Special Revelation in his Word (verses 7 to 11), and finally turns to the intimate knowledge that can only come through Personal Revelation, from individually and profoundly encountering God (verses 12 to 14). Enjoy reading and embracing this ancient celebration of Faith through Revelation!
General Revelation – Psalm 19:1-6
The heavens are telling the glory of God and the firmament proclaims his handiwork. Day to day pours forth speech, and night to night declares knowledge there is no speech, nor are there words; their voice is not heard; yet their voice goes out through all the earth and their words to the end of the world. In the heavens he has set a tent for the sun, which comes out like a bridegroom from his wedding canopy, and like a strong man runs its course with joy. Its rising is from the end of the heavens and its circuit to the end of them, and nothing is hid from its heat.
Special Revelation – Psalm 19:7-11
The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul; the decrees of the Lord are sure, making wise the simple; the precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the Lord is clear, enlightening the eyes; the fear of the Lord is pure, enduring forever; the ordinances of the Lord are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, even much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and drippings of the honeycomb. Moreover, by them is your servant warned; in keeping them there is great reward.
Personal Revelation – Psalm 19:12-14
But who can detect one’s own errors? Clear me from hidden faults. Keep back your servant also from the insolent; do not let them have dominion over me. Then I shall be blameless and innocent of great transgression. Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable to you, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.
General Revelation (Nature), plus Special Revelation (the Bible), plus Personal Revelation (accepting him) equals FAITH!
— Pastor George Van Alstine