My original intent for this blog was to reflect on “Why” theology is important to God. But I realized I couldn’t really go there without establishing that theology is important to God. 1 So the more specific, two-part, question I’m trying to answer here is …
Is it important to God that we (1) understand who he is and (2) apply that understanding to our lives?1
1. Is it important to God that we understand who he is?
First, note that God often clarifies (in first person via “I AM” statements) to his people, who he is. Here are some examples from the Old Testament. (*Feel free to add to any of the lists below since none of them are exhaustive.)
- God uses specific names, relationships, and metaphors to help us understand who he is:
I AM: the LORD; God Almighty, the God of Abraham you father; God; WHO I AM; the LORD your God; the LORD their God; the LORD, the first, and the last, I am he; the Holy One of Israel, your Savior; your shield; your portion and your inheritance; the LORD, your Holy One, the Creator of Israel, your King, your healer; the LORD your Savior, and your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob; the LORD, the God of all flesh; your master; a father to Israel. 2
- God states his attributes directly or highlights them through his acts to help us understand who he is.
I AM: merciful; compassionate; a jealous God; holy; the LORD who sanctifies you; the one who has laid as a foundation in Zion, a stone; the one who helps you; he who blots out your transgressions; the LORD, who made all things; the LORD your God, who teaches you to profit, who leads you in the way you should go; he who comforts you; the LORD your God, who stirs up the sea; the LORD who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth; the one who knows; the LORD, who strikes; with you to deliver you; watching over my word to perform it; bringing disaster upon this people; with you; making my words in your mouth a fire; against you; the LORD who created the heavens, who formed the earth; the LORD, and besides me there is no savior; the LORD, and there is no other, besides me there is no God. 3
Furthermore, God shows concern about our understanding of him by revealing, in first person, his motivation for his own acts.
- God acts so that people will know who he is.
So that people will “know that I am the LORD,”: God: hardens Pharaoh’s heart and gets glory over Pharaoh and his army; brings about judgments; scatters people; lets people escape and declare their sins; destroys cities; exiles false prophets; delivers his people; feeds his people; defeats armies; frees captives; brings about what he says; establishes his covenant; manifests his glory. 4
2. Is it important to God that we apply that understanding to our lives?
God wants us to understand who he so that we will act in certain ways.
- God affirms his identify so that his people will: not fear; walk before him and be blameless; be fruitful and multiply; confidently face their enemies; remember him; listen to him and do what he says; consecrate themselves to him; be holy; be different; not participate in child sacrifice; respect their mothers and fathers and keep the Sabbaths; not make idols; care for the poor; not swear falsely or profane his name; fear him only; not take vengeance or bear grudges; love their neighbor as themselves; not mutilate themselves; not participate in black magic; honor the elderly; treat strangers and guests in a loving manner; not cheat others by using unjust measurements; keep his statues and inherit the promised land; remain pure; not wrong others; not fear other gods; not be dismayed; not feel alone, helpless, or abandoned; know, understand, and believe him; turn to him and be saved; know that he will carry them even into old age; wait on him and know that they will not be put to shame; be comforted; return to him.5
it is important to God that we understand who he is and apply that understanding to our lives
My conclusion, based on God’s clarification of himself and his concern for our application of his self-revelation, is that it is important to God that we understand who he is and apply that understanding to our lives which is another way of saying that God is concerned about theology (see footnote 1 and 6 below). What do you think?
Related Blog Posts
 Theology (how we understand and apply God’s word) is typically divided into different doctrines such as the doctrines of God, man, sin, Christ, salvation, Scripture, last days, etc. These doctrines overlap -for example, we can’t understand salvation without understanding sin and we can’t understand sin without understanding God. The focus in this blog is mainly on the doctrine of God.
 Gen. 15:1; Gen 15:7; Gen. 17:1; Gen. 26:24; Gen. 46:3; Ex. 3:14; Ex. 15:26; Ex. 20:12; Ex. 29:46; Num. 18:20; Is. 41:14; Is. 43:3, 15; Is. 48:12; Is 49:26; Jer. 3:14; Jer. 31:9; Jer. 32:27
 Ex. 20:5; Ex. 22:27; Lev. 11:44; Lev. 20:8; Deut. 5:9; Is. 28:16; Is. 41:13; Is. Is. 43:5, 11, 25; Is. 44:24; Is. 45:5, 18; Is. 48:17; Is 51:12, 15; Jer. 1:8, 12; Jer. 3:12; Jer. 5:14; Jer. 6:19; Jer. 9:24; Jer. 29:23; Ezek. 6:8; Ez. 7:9;
 Ex. 7:5, 18; Ex. 16:12; 1 Kings 20:28; Is. 49: 22-24; Ezek. 12:15-16, 20, 25; Ezek. 13:9, 21; Ezek. 16:62; Ezek. 28:22.
 Gen. 15:1; Gen. 17:1; Gen. 35:11; Gen. 46:3; Ex. 3:15; Ex. 15:26; Lev. 11:44-45; Lev. 18:2-3, 21; Lev. 19:3-4, 10, 12, 14, 16, 28, 31-32, 34, 36; Lev. 20:22-24; Lev. 22:3; Lev. 25:17; Jud. 6:10; Is. 41:10, 13; Is. 42:6; Is. 43:10; Is. 45:22; Is. 46:4; Is. 49;23; Is. 51:12; Jer. 3:12, 14.
 Note that I only referenced God’s “I AM” statements in point 1 of this blog. There are many other literary means God employs to reveal himself to us.