This chapter, A Knowledge of God, is a compliment of chapter 1. In both chapters Ellen emphasizes both the lessons learned about God through nature and the Bible. She states that “The Poet and the naturalist have many things to say about nature, but it is the Christian who enjoys the beauty of the earth with the highest appreciation, because he recognizes his Father’s handiwork and perceives His love in flower and shrub and tree” (88-89 Youth Edition). Like I always say, if you don’t have faith in God, you need to go get some. While I believe that faith is actually a gift from God, I believe that He supplies things in our lives that assist us on the journey to build our faith. If you are wrestling with faith, I would challenge you to consider taking some time to go sit out in nature somewhere. I am not a transcendentalist, but I do believe, as Ellen insinuates, that God can speak to us through the things that He has created.
What I really valued most from this chapter was the emphasis on studying the Word to get to know Jesus better. Listen to this:
Jesus said of the Old-Testament Scriptures,–and how much more is it true of the New,–”They are they which testify of me,” the Redeemer, him in whom our hopes of eternal life are centered. Yes, the whole Bible tells of Christ. From the first record of creation,–”for without him was not anything made that was made,”*–to the closing promise, “Behold, I come quickly,” we are reading of his works and listening to his voice. If you would become acquainted with the Saviour, study the Holy Scriptures.
Fill the whole heart with the words of God. They are the living water, quenching your burning thirst. They are the living bread from heaven. Jesus declares, “Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you.” And he explains himself by saying, “The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.” Our bodies are built up from what we eat and drink; and as in the natural economy, so in the spiritual economy: it is what we meditate upon that will give tone and strength to our spiritual nature.
Imagine what your life may look like if you were regularly, daily digging into the Word of God, especially focusing on the life and teachings of Jesus. I hear it all the time of how boring or confusing the Bible is, but Ellen is quick to state that “The Bible… was designed for the common people.” Could it be that Satan wants you to think of the Bible in such terms? Have you tried reading the Gospel according to John lately? If not, would you consider joining me in the challenge? If you email me, I will commit to reading all 21 chapters with you. The bottom line is that I am ready to get real with Jesus! To grow in a knowledge of God, which is what this chapter is all about.
Simply put, if you are desiring a knowledge of God, there are two great places to start: 1) In creation; and 2) In His divinely inspired Word! Whether in nature on in the Word, pray to God that He would give you the Spirit to guide you into all truth! After all, “The Spirit of truth is the only effectual teacher of diving truth.” Go to Him now on your steps to Jesus!