** Beloved, follow not that which is evil, but that which is good. He that doeth good is of God: but he that doeth evil hath not seen God. ** 3 John 11
Today’s verse and thought could generate the question…Doesn’t the Bible tell us that no one has seen God at anytime? (John 1:18) In fact, both of these statements were made by the same man. No one has seen God and those that do evil have not seen God. Does that mean that the non-evil people can see God?
Maybe we should look at Moses’ account of when he saw a little bit of God.
** Exodus 33:18-23 And he said, I beseech thee, shew me thy glory. 19 And he said, I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the Lord before thee; and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will shew mercy on whom I will shew mercy. 20 And he said, Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live. 21 And the Lord said, Behold, there is a place by me, and thou shalt stand upon a rock: 22 and it shall come to pass, while my glory passeth by, that I will put thee in a cleft of the rock, and will cover thee with my hand while I pass by: 23 and I will take away mine hand, and thou shalt see my back parts: but my face shall not be seen. (italics mine)
It can be a bit confusing, right?
So, as I came across the verse in 3 John it made me think of all of these contrasts.
If you have been following Richinmercy.net’s posts, I think you will be able to connect with my thinking on these verses, although I feel like it is going to come out random and disjointed.
There are a couple of key words here. –he that doeth evil—make all my goodness pass before thee—
Let’s start with ‘evil’.
So if someone is doing or living in or being evil, that someone is far from goodness…so we could say he is far from God. Because God is goodness.
Then the Lord tells us that He passed by Moses and He showed him His goodness. He also proclaimed His name. Also…the Lord also talks of His grace and mercy.
So Moses didn’t see ALL that the Lord is but he did see a little of Him and the Lord helped Moses to understand what he was seeing by declaring His name and reminding Moses of grace and mercy. Moses asked to see the Lord’s glory and the Lord showed him His goodness, grace and mercy.
When Moses wanted to see God’s glory….the Lord showed Moses goodness which is His grace and mercy.
Evil is not present in grace and mercy. Evil is not present in goodness. Evil cannot see the qualities of God, so Evil cannot see God.
Moses wasn’t evil. He was focused on God. He was living to please God. So, he was able to see the Lord’s glory which is His goodness, Name, grace and mercy.
The more that we draw near to the Lord’s goodness and it begins to transform us, the more we understand, appreciate and imitate His grace and mercy. We begin to see people like God sees people. We have more patience. We respond with more kindness. Not because we are told to be like that but because we have SEEN the Lord do that with us. Seeing how the Lord is with us, helps us to be that way with others.
If we stay in our old self and the old evils of our past, we never see the Lord’s goodness, grace or mercy. It’s there bit we can’t see it. Because none of them are in Evil’s lifestyle or line of sight. So, Evil cannot see God because Evil can’t even recognize Him. All of those traits are foreign to him. God is not in all his thoughts. Evil has no idea what goodness (God) looks like.
But we do. We SEE it everyday. We SEE God everyday if we are looking for Him. We don’t ** follow that which is evil**. We follow God. He is not evil. He is GOOD. His goodness changes us. His good penetrates our being. The more we learn about Him, the clearer our sight becomes. We can ‘see’ Him in everything.
** He that doeth good is of God**
If we want to be like Moses and ‘see’ God, all we need to do is look for Him everyday. The more we look for Him in everything, the more we will see His goodness. We will see Him showing mercy and grace. We will understand more about the depth of His name. We will walk farther from evil and get closer and closer to Good. To God. That will delight God and He will reveal more and more of Himself to us. We will see His glory.
Goodness. Glory. Grace. Mercy.
Qualities of God.
Qualities of those who follow Him.
Qualities that make the blind to see.