Relationships Involve Knowing One Another – A Lesson from J.I. Packer

Relationships Involve Knowing One Another – A Lesson from J.I. Packer

I recently read a very good book called, “Knowing God” by J.I. Packer. One small portion of this book particularly spoke to me. It would not leave my mind until I had studied it more deeply. I want to share this segment of the book with you in the hope that it will speak to you as well. It discusses God’s purposes in giving the Bible to us. The following quote comes from Chapter 11, “Thy Word Is Truth.”

“The word which God addresses directly to us is an instrument, not only of government, but also of fellowship. For, though God is a great king, it is not His wish to live at a distance from His subjects. Rather the reverse: He made us with the intention that He and we might walk together forever in a love relationship. But such a relationship can exist only when the parties involved know something of each other. God, our Maker, knows all about us before we say anything (Psalms 139:1-4); but we can know nothing about Him unless He tells us.

O LORD, You have searched me and known me.
You know my sitting down and my rising up; You understand my thought afar off.
You comprehend my path and my lying down, And are acquainted with all my ways.
For there is not a word on my tongue, But behold, O LORD, You know it altogether.

– Psalms 139:1-4 (NKJV)

Here, therefore, is a further reason why God speaks to us: not only to move us to do what He wants, but to enable us to know Him so that we may love Him. Therefore God sends His word to us in the character of both information and invitation. It comes to woo us as well as instruct us; it not merely puts us in the picture of what God as done and is doing, but also calls us into personal communion with the loving Lord Himself.” By J.I. Packer, from “Knowing God”

Isn’t that beautiful? I’m not normally an emotional person, but after reading that I was deeply moved by the thought of the Bible as a personal love letter from the Lord. Of course there is a lot more to the Bible than that one facet; but this is one that I often overlook. I pray this insight gives me fresh eyes and a renewed love for God’s word. The Bible is truth; it is good; it is from God. What a precious gift!