Right worship of the One True God, the God of Israel, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, our Father and the God and Father of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, is the one and only requirement for God’s supply of all things needful to man.
No good thing will He withhold from those who love Him. To know and worship the God of Israel as the Holy Bible presents Him to us meets all the essential needs of men and of nations. This fact becomes very evident as we study the history of the ancient Hebrew race and the Israel nation which developed from it. The modern Anglo Saxon-Nordic and related peoples are descended from the Israel nation as many scholars agree, and the history of all these peoples is closely intertwined.
The fortunes of that entire race through all its checkered history rose and fell like a barometer in direct ratio to its right worship, its close acquaintance with God, its love for and obedience to Him, its identification with Him. Its greatest leaders knew how to reach out to their God for help in time of need for personal salvation and for national redemption. That spiritual understanding of God, and of man in His image and likeness, that true worship taught by the Bible, is our most precious heritage. It is God’s gift to Israel and Israel’s gift to the world. It is a blessing waiting for all who are willing and ready to sacrifice everything else for it – to lay even their most precious earthly possessions as a sacrifice on the altar of God. It is God’s gift to all who are prepared to obey the First Commandment of all – “Thou shalt have no other gods before Me.”
Who is the God of Israel who commands our complete allegiance? It is fascinating to trace His revelation of Himself to the faithful ones who were willing to give everything, even life itself, to gain an understanding of Him, to know Him as He is. We think of our Hebrew ancestor Abram, later renamed Abraham. We read in Hebrew 11 of Abraham’s growing understanding of God, of his faith and trust in Him. Because of that growing knowledge his faith and trust were firmly grounded in spiritual understanding. Those Old Testament prophets knew so much more of God than does our own generation that we must learn from them of the real nature of our heavenly Father.
Abraham prayerfully acquainted himself with God, he knew God trusted and obeyed God. On that spiritual foundation God built a mighty nation, strong in the Lord. Genesis 12:3 tells of God’s blessing on Abraham, “In thee shall all the nations of the earth be blessed.” What a blessing, to inherit even a portion of Abraham’s blessing! That blessing was Abraham’s growing understanding of God, and his unquestioning obedience to Him, a gift passed on to all nations for all time, just waiting to be utilized. Peter, the disciple of Jesus rediscovered the same truth centuries later as we read in Acts 10:34, “In every nation he that feareth Him and worketh righteousness is accepted with Him.” God is no respecter of persons. He looketh on the heart and soul, the inmost thought, not on the outward appearance.
That reverent, obedient, ever expanding understanding of God is the one and only Source of enduring greatness in men or nations. Only those national and personal qualities of character derived from Almighty God can endure. Nations can rise to a temporary power based on military might or on the accumulation of great wealth – our history books provide a parade of nations, which have attained immense worldly power for a limited time. But if that right worship of God, the God of Israel, lapses or is lacking they always decline and eventually fall. Nothing can sustain a nation for long except the right worship of God. Psalm 127:1 warns us all, “Except the Lord build the house they labour in vain that build it.”
Of all the great leaders of the Old Testament who led the Israel nation forward to a more advanced worship of God the greatest of all must be Moses. Born of the house of Levi the priestly tribe, he received Divine protection even as an infant. Adopted by Pharaoh’s daughter, he could have lived in luxury as an Egyptian nobleman. But he chose instead to accept his true identity as a Hebrew, one with the enslaved children of Israel.
Over many years, often through great tribulation, the God of Israel led him and his people onward and upward. When Moses led the people out of slavery in Egypt (almost in spite of themselves) he continually listened for God’s direction. A poet described it this way, “Her fathers’ God before her moved, an awful Guide in smoke and flame.” The God of Israel led His people out of slavery and degradation.
Moses knew how to draw on the Power of God. It was his utter reliance on that omnipotent Power, far above his own, which enabled him to lead the grumbling and rebellious people within sight of that wonderful, fruitful land prepared for them by Almighty God, Lord of all creation.
Moses was a truly great leader. But a greater than Moses came to earth centuries later when Jesus Christ the Son of God was born in Bethlehem. He knew His Father so well that He could say, ”I and My Father are one.” Without His Father in heaven, Jesus knew that He could do nothing. What an example for us all!
The right worship of the God of Israel molds and exalts any nation. It has often been observed that an individual or an entire nation tends to become more and more like that which it worships. Those who worship Mammon become heartless and cold and grasping just like their false god. Other nations have worshipped a militaristic idol, expecting the whole world to fall down before it, History books provide a long list of such nations, rising to great prominence, followed by decline and the inevitable fall. Only firm fidelity to the One God, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God and Father of our Saviour Jesus Christ, can give steady advancement. A deeper and deeper understanding of our infinite God is the indispensable requisite for steady progress. There is no other way than obedience to His Commandments, Statutes and Judgments.
The holy Bible when studied with that goal in view of a better understanding of God is limitless in its instruction. We have the example there of all those great men of Israel who through their faithfulness provide guidance to us today.
God, with His Power to save and redeem is always present in every place, time, and circumstance. The God of Israel is with the astronaut approaching other planets as surely as He is beside you now, because the Power and the Presence of God is infinite. To even glimpse this Truth of God releases mankind from many of its fears. An improved concept of God always results in better lives for men.
The revelation of the truth of God and man reached its Zenith in the birth, life, death, resurrection and finally the ascension of our Saviour Jesus Christ. He proved that life in God can never be extinguished – He said, as we read in John 17:3, “This is life eternal, that they might know thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent.” Again, we read His statement of John 8:11, “If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”
God is that Truth. A God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is He. To find Him and know Him should be the great objective of men and nations. “Blessed is the nation who’s God is the Lord” is His word to all peoples. Mankind must learn to look to Him alone — all dependency on other gods will most certainly fail. The Bible assures us that the true worship of God will set us on the right path. Only God, as presented and proved by His Son Christ Jesus, can save and redeem. There is no other god beside the God of Israel.
Our modern generation is in danger of losing that vision of God and His close relationship with man. But that vision is vital. Without it the people perish. Without some understanding of the God of Israel, of His Fatherhood and therefore of man’s sonship, the people perish. They lose their God given identity and are then vulnerable to every lie of Satan, vulnerable to sickness, sin and to premature death.
The great Israel leaders of Bible times knew this truth of God and man. But when we today read their words in the Bible they are often “over our heads” and beyond the comprehension of this generation which has too often been educated away from the truth as “it is written” in both Old and New Testaments. No doubt the most clear and unmistakable statement is in that prayer which Jesus has given us, the Lord’s Prayer. The first line reads, “Our Father which art in heaven.”
That great principle of the Fatherhood of God will stand forever. It firmly establishes the identity of man, which in his sin and ignorance he has lost. Isaiah 64:16 17 sets the record straight: “Doubtless thou art our Father, though Abraham be ignorant of us, and Israel acknowledge us not… Return for thy servants’ sake, the tribes of thine inheritance.”
O Israel, return unto your God and He will return unto you. Take the first steps back to the Father and He will run to meet you.