The Glad God of Revelation
The apostle Paul describes the gospel as “the glorious gospel of the blessed God” (1 Tim. 1:11). God is the blessed, happy God who loves Himself. He infinitely enjoys Himself as the most lovely, beautiful, righteous, kind, pure being that is. As the consummation of all perfection, He is eternally happy. In His presence is fullness of joy and at His right hand are pleasures forevermore (Ps. 16:11). His holiness is the radiance of all His attributes working in perfect harmony, perfect purity, perfect potency, and perfect gladness. He is beyond everything; no one can compare with the God who lacks not, yet overflows with all His perfections.
Latent within the heart of humanity is a subtle accusation that the invisible God hides Himself from us, revealing very little, while holding us eternally responsible for the little revelation that He gives. Thus our hearts condemn God as both harsh and unfair. However, the biblical witness portrays a very different story.
All Old Testament worship, including the priestly and prophetic ministries, was birthed out of confrontation with the Holy. When God unveiled Himself to the children of Israel, He revealed Himself as holy. The luster and beauty of all His attributes were displayed in order to fascinate the heart and produce the response of worship. It is the encounter with the beautiful, terrifying God that produces worship, ushers in faithfulness, and writes the covenant on the hearts of humanity.
God is the God of pleasure who loves to share Himself, who loves to delight the senses of the ones formed in His image. He is the glorious, delightful God who constructs reality around the unfolding of His beauty, light, and love. How wonderful that the transcendent God loves to manifest and display the illustrious, incandescent essence of the divine, all for our enjoyment and response of love! God is pleasure immeasurable, delight consummate; and the highest honor and joy He could give us is to base our relationship around the subject matter of Himself.
The only reason you exist is pleasure. It is the only reason you were made. Does God need your help? Was God lacking something in His personhood? Of course not. You are the one creature made to mine the depths of the living God. Everything for you has been built around the revelation of God—Him letting you know something about Himself.
He is the God who loves to manifest Himself, to unfold beauty; He reveals Himself through everything that exists. Have you ever asked yourself why God manifests Himself in the way that He does? Why a burning bush to Moses? Why a dark cloud mingled with fire and lightning to Israel at Mt. Sinai? Why a cloud by day and a fire by night? Why a still small voice to Elijah? Why all those weird voices, strange creatures, blinding light, and brilliant colors around the throne, when in heaven a door was opened to the apostle John? Why would the eternal God come as a babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a Bethlehem manger? Why would God take on the form of a man forever? Two reasons: He can, and for your pleasure.
Relationship: The Heart of Revelation
J.I. Packer says it best: The truly staggering answer which the bible gives to this question is that God’s purpose in revelation is to make friends with us. It was to this end that He created us rational beings, bearing His image, able to think and hear and speak and love; He wanted there to be genuine personal affection and friendship, two-sided, between Himself and us – a relation, not like that between a man and his dog, but like that of a father to his child, or a husband to his wife. Loving friendship between two persons has no ulterior motive; it is an end in itself. And this is God’s end in revelation. He speaks to us simply to fulfill the purpose for which we were made; that is, to bring into being a relationship in which He is a friend to us, and we to Him, He finding joy in giving us gifts and we finding ours in giving Him thanks.
 J. I. Packer, God Has Spoken, 3rd ed. (Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 1993), 50–51.