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Want to know God?comment (0)

February 6, 2014

By Pastor David W. Bailey

Cottondale Baptist Church

Do you know me? My name is David Bailey. I drive a 2010 Toyota Sienna. If you see me out and about in Tuscaloosa, there will likely be a beautiful redhead on my arm (my wife of 26 years). When I am at work, I am usually wearing a tie, half-Windsor knot. I am a Florida Gator fan, living in the heart of “Roll, Tide, Roll” country. If you come hear me preach on any given Sunday, I will probably spend more time looking at the congregation on the right as opposed to the middle or left (an annoying habit I picked up, I think, with the first church I pastored — everyone sat to my right). 

Well there you have it. You know me. David Bailey, the right-side-of-the-congregation fixated, Gator-loving, Sienna-driving, tie-wearing, married-to-a-redhead pastor of the greatest church on the planet.

But do you really know me? Those are just some of the things that you can observe about me. Observations can tell us a lot, but they cannot tell us everything. You don’t know the lyrics to a song that I only sing to God in private. You don’t know my greatest theological inconsistency. Observations are limited. 

Psalm 19 in the Bible is a great passage about the two ways that we can know God. The first way has to do with knowing God by observation. We can observe a great deal about God in nature. 

The writer of Psalm 19 states that all the time, everywhere, we can look around us and learn much about God. We know that He is orderly because of the precise arrangement of the cosmos. We know that He delights in beauty because of the often-stunning vistas of His creation. We know that God is powerful: the atom, invisible to the naked eye, contains the God-given power either to energize or destroy an entire city. 

But what we can know about God through observation is not enough. As one theologian put it, that knowledge is enough to condemn us, but not enough to save us. 

For salvation, we need to know God through revelation. We will consider that next time.

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