What is the major difference between the God of the Bible and other “gods”?
This is a question that came to mind when reading Isaiah some time ago. The answer is surprisingly simple.
The biggest difference between our God and all the other ones vying for the title is this:
The God of the Bible — The Father, Son & Spirit — acts.
He calls (Isa. 41:4, 41:9, 42:6, 43:1, 43:7, 48:12, 49:1, 51:2).
He carries (Isa. 46:4).
He speaks (Isa. 7:7, 10:24, 22:15, 23:16, 29:22, 37:6, 38:1, 43:1, 43:12).
He purposes (Isa. 14:24, 19:12, 23:8, 44:28, 46:10, 48:14, 54:16, 55:11).
He judges (Isa 59:18, 65:6).
He saves (Isa. 25:9, 30:15, 33:22, 35:4, 45:22, 49:25, 63:1, 64:5)
He redeems (Isa. 29:22, 43:1, 44:22, 44:23, 48:20, 50:2, 52:9, 63:9)
There is no other god who emphatically states, over and over again, “I save. I judge. I purpose all things,” and actually have it be true.
Only the God of the Bible.
The whole story of the Bible is about a God who acts. He calls creation into being. He creates the first man and woman with His own hands. He casts them out of the garden. He promises their redemption. He carries Enoch to heaven, and closes the door to the Ark once Noah is inside. He calls Abraham to a land he did not know and leads his far-off descendants out of Egypt to take that land as their own. He sends them into slavery once again and returns them to the land He promised.
He sends His Son to perfectly obey all His commands on their behalf, to die in their place, and to rise again in victory over sin and death. To bring together a people who would be the Bride and Body of Christ, free from the stain of sin.
This is the message all of Scripture proclaims. It’s the message Isaiah came to preach. This is the message Jesus’ life, death, burial and resurrection bring into crystal clarity:
There is a God who acts to save His creation and He will redeem His people.
We cannot save ourselves and all other “saviors” are folly. There is no hope in a god that cannot act.
Nothing else offers that kind of hope.
Not TV, sex, sports, music, education, self-esteem, or vague spirituality.
There is only hope in Jesus.
So let us put our hope in Him.
From of old no one has heard or perceived by the ear, no eye has seen a God besides you, who acts for those who wait for him (Isa. 64:4).
An earlier version of this post was first published in May 2009.