Can We Know God Intimately ?
What does "to know God" mean in the Bible ? Is it possible to know God intimately and be His friend ? It means much more than just knowing about God. God wants us to know Him and His love & mercy & goodness,... in very personal and real ways, to enjoy His presence in our lives, and to see and then join Him in His activity & work in and around us.
"This is Eternal Life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom You have sent."
- John 17:3
"…. So that you may know and believe Me (God), and understand that I am He." - Isaiah 43:10
"Teach me your ways so that I may know you and continue in your favor." - Exodus 33:13
The Hebrew word "yada" is used in the Old Testament and is translated in English as the word "Know" or "Knowledge". The Hebrew word yada has a much wider sweep and meaning than the English word know. The Biblical Old Testament word for Knowing God means the following; to know God means:
- to Perceive - to Learn
- to Understand - to Recognize
- to Believe - to Accept His Claims
- to Conform - to Be Willing
- to Perform or Live - to Obey
- to See or Experience
These words that all come out of the Hebrew word "yada" all hold important keys to getting to know God the way that He wants us to know Him. The opposite of knowing God is not ignorance or a lack of knowledge, but is Rebellion.
The Greek words "oida" and "ginosko" are used in the New Testament. They have the wider meanings as the Hebrew word "yada", but in the context that they are used in the New Testament, they also have the following additional meaning: to know God means:
- to Believe & Accept Jesus - to Know Truth
- to Know Jesus is to Know God - to Respond in Faith
"O, the fullness, the pleasure, the sheer excitement of knowing God on earth." - Jim Elliott (ex-Missionary)
"Teach me Your ways, so that I may know you, and continue to find favor with You." - Moses (Exodus 33:13)
"I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things."
- Paul (Philippians 3:7-10)