How God Reveals Himself
People sometimes wonder whether God exists because they cannot see him. Scripture affirms that God is invisible (Colossians 1:15; Hebrews 11:27). Moreover, God is a spirit (John 4:24), Since God is not physically discernable, some wonder how God reveals himself. The answer is that God makes himself known by the manner and the content of his revelation.
God reveals himself in two ways. One is general, which is also called natural revelation. The other is special, which is also called divine or biblical revelation. Generally speaking, God reveals himself naturally through his creation. "Since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead" (Romans 1:20). "The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows His handiwork" (Psalms 19:1). The heavens are the work of God’s fingers, he has ordained the moon and the stars (Psalm 8:3). Yet, while nature reveals that God exists and declares "his eternal power and Godhead," nature is limited in what it reveals about God, his attributes, and his will for humanity. Therefore, God also reveals himself in special ways.
In the Old Testament, God sometimes revealed himself directly. He spoke to Adam (Genesis 3:9-19), to Cain (Genesis 4:6-15), to Noah (Genesis 6:13 – 9:17), to Abraham (Genesis 12:1-3, 7), to Moses (Exodus 33:11), to Samuel (1 Samuel 3:2-14), and others. When God revealed himself in physical form, he revealed himself as a man, as he did to Abraham (Genesis 18). God also appeared on occasion as an angelic messenger, as he did to Hagar (Genesis 16:7-12), to Abraham (Genesis 22:11-18), to Lot (Genesis 19:1-22), to Manoah (Judges 13:2-23), and others.
Sometimes God revealed himself through unusual ways. To Job, God revealed himself in a whirlwind (Job 38:1). To Moses, the Angel of God revealed himself in an unconsumed flame of fire in a burning bush (Exodus 3:1-2). To...