This week’s attribute is GOD’s truthfulness. Emanating from this trait is His faithfulness. This attribute, along with those of knowledge and wisdom make up a sub-set of attributes under the communicable attributes called the mental attributes. This is for those of you, like me, who need to know where new information “fits”. The other communicable attributes we have covered so far are moral attributes. We’ll finish them up starting next week.
The attribute of GOD’s truthfulness means that not only is He the true GOD, but all His knowledge and words are both true and the final standard of truth.
The first part of the definition: He is the true GOD. What this is saying is that the GOD revealed in the Bible is the one true GOD and all the other so-called gods are idols. cf. Jeremiah 10:10-11: “The Lord is the true God; he is the living God and the everlasting King…” John 17:3: “…that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.”
Another aspect to the idea that GOD is the true GOD is that as GOD, He defines what GOD is like truly, not me! That sounds like an obvious statement, but honestly, how many times does something happen and you get mad at GOD for letting it happen, or doing it the way He did? Oh YOU don’t do that? How many times have you wished you had different parents? a different family of origin? a different spouse? different children? Those are just small examples from the everyday! Maybe you are more subtle, like Adam and blame those people for you your failures/sins. Isn’t that a form of wishing they weren’t there…or that they were different?
They are all actions of GOD in your life; actions of the GOD of truth! When you look at them as ways He is showing you who He actually is or sometimes who YOU really are…without the pretense, it will improve your attitude. I can’t count the number of times when I would consider that GOD has not functioned in a way that met my ideal of what GOD is supposed to be like.
There are the times when evil people are allowed to prosper; when GOD-lovers are suffering to the extreme; when injustice seems to go unpunished…at least for a time. That touches on a few areas, you can add your own items to the list as did David in many of the Psalms. We put into words, along with David and others, the questions that are scary to even think about! Once again, we have to face the fact that GOD is so much bigger than we are! He sees everything; He knows everything; and He is in control of every bit of it, despite how it often seems.
Recognizing this connection to GOD who is truth, is a new idea to me. It challenges me when I don’t understand His ways or can’t figure out what is going on with Him, that I can now stop a bit, slow down and realize that He is working in ways that I don’t understand. I can’t expect to…because He.is.GOD! I am one of His created beings. I am not on His level of awareness, knowledge, wisdom or holiness to be able to figure out WHAT He is doing much less WHY He is doing it. It is good for me to be humbled by my awareness of who He is…and how small I am.
The fact that GOD’s knowledge and words are true and the final standard of truth, bring us to His complete reliability and faithfulness. God’s faithfulness is such that God will aways do what He has said and keep all His promises. cf. Deuteronomy 32:4; Numbers 23:19; II Samuel 7:28.
To say it another way: God will never be unfaithful to those who trust what He has said. In fact, the essence of true faith is taking GOD at His word and relying on Him to do as He has promised.
Another aspect of GOD’s truthfulness is that all that GOD has said about Himself and His creation correspond with reality! That is meaningful to me. I know many people that I consider to be honest people, but they tend to live in denial. When they say something, I usually mentally turn up the knob in my mind to a more realistic level than they say. With GOD, that is not a problem. I can believe what He says and take it at face value. Hebrews 6:18; Colossians 3:9-10.
When it comes to applying this communicable attribute to our lives, it seems obvious that we are to be men and women of truth. As Christians, we need to be lovers of truth and haters of falsehood. Cf. Psalm 15:2; Proverbs 13:5; Zechariah 8:17.
Scripture teaches that lying is wrong not only because of the great harm that results from it. There is a much more profound reason: when we lie we dishonor GOD and diminish His glory because we, as those created in God’s image and created for the purpose of reflecting His glory in our lives, are acting in a way that is contrary to GOD’s own character.
**The main book from the bibliography that I used for this attribute, was Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine by Wayne Grudem. If you have never read any theology, this is a great book to start with. It is not heavy reading, yet it is thought-provoking! It is divided up in ways so you can find what you are looking for (a huge plus in my book!) A great addition to this book that you won’t find in most theological books, is at the end of each chapter. There you will find a short summary of what was said, further books to reference on that topic, a verse/group of verses to memorize, and a hymn! It will be helpful if you want to teach some of this information in a living way to your children as well!
Click on the Bibliography wheel to the right where this book is shown and you can see the Amazon options available.