Faith Isn’t a Way of Knowing; It’s a Way of Trusting
by Tim Barnett
There are different ways we gain knowledge of God. For instance, we can know God through the created world (general revelation) and through the inspired word (special revelation). We can also know God through the inner witness of the Holy Spirit apart from external evidences.
Whatever the means by which someone comes to know God, the order is always the same: knowledge of God precedes faith in God. That is, knowledge leads people to put their faith in God. Let’s look at one example from the Old Testament.
At a pivotal time in Israel’s history, God appears to Moses in the burning bush. God instructs Moses to go to the king of Egypt and say to him, “The Lord, the God of the Hebrews, has met with us; and now, please let us go a three days’ journey into the wilderness, that we may sacrifice to the Lord our God” (Ex. 3:18). Uncertain as to why anyone would listen to him, Moses says, “But behold, they will not believe me or listen to my voice, for they will say, ‘The Lord did not appear to you’” (Ex. 4:1). God’s response is pertinent to the biblical relationship of knowledge and belief:
The Lord said to him, “What is that in your hand?” He said, “A staff.” And he said, “Throw it on the ground.” So he threw it on the ground, and it became a serpent, and Moses ran from it. But the Lord said to Moses, “Put out your hand and catch it by the tail”—so he put out his hand and caught it, and it became a staff in his hand—“that they may believe that the Lord, the God of their fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has appeared to you.” (Ex. 4:2–5)
God gives Moses powerful miracles to perform as evidence that God appeared to him…
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