Thursday, June 9, 2011

God is Like . . . (Part 1)

What Does God Look Like?

There are a lot of metaphors about God in the Bible.  There are metaphors about what He looks like, what He sounds like, what His relationship to us is like, even what He tastes like.  But how can the Creator really look, sound, or taste like anything He created?  Wouldn’t it be more prudent to say, these things are like Him?  He came first.  And could anything that is like Him, but not Him, really do the Ancient of Days justice in its description?

But imperfect metaphors are the best we as created beings can do to describe the Almighty, so this short series will look at a few of them. Starting with what God looks like:

The Bible is full of visual glimpses of God’s person.  Moses sees His hind parts as He passes before (Exodus 33:18-23), Isaiah sees Him high and lifted up (Isaiah 6:1-8), and Ezekiel and John give descriptions of His person (Ezekiel 1:26-28 & Revelation 4:1-11, Revelations 1:13-17). In their descriptions of God, I like to read their words with an excited stutter: “He was like, like, like molten metal with, with, with fire and jasper, and, and, and His face was like, like the sun . . . but brighter; you wouldn’t even need the sun, He lights up everything!”

Anyway, I thought about coming up with a composite image via Photoshop but decided against it because number one: I’d never do God justice, and number two: I’m not sure what qualifies as a graven image.  Instead, I’ve decided to quote scripture coupled with some images of the imperfect metaphors the writers use and let the readers use their imaginations.

God’s Form:

God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him. (Genesis 1:27)

High above on the throne was a figure like that of a man. (Ezekiel 1:26)

God’s face:

I kept looking Until thrones were set up, And the Ancient of Days took His seat; His vesture was like white snow And the hair of His head like pure wool. (Daniel 7:9)

His head and His hair were white like white wool, like snow; and His eyes were like a flame of fire. (Revelations 1:14)

His face was like the sun shining in its strength. (Revelations 1:16)

God’s Chest and Arms:

I saw that from what appeared to be his waist up he looked like glowing metal, as if full of fire. (Ezekiel 1:27)

God’s lower parts:

His feet were like bronze glowing in a furnace. (Revelations 1:15)

From [His waist] down he looked like fire; and brilliant light surrounded him like the appearance of a rainbow in the clouds on a rainy day, so was the radiance around him. (Ezekiel 1:27)

God is Like . . . Part 2 What Does God Sound Like?
God is Like . . . Part 3 What Does God Taste Like?


Frans said...

Wow.. can't wait for the next one =)

GregG said...

God cannot actually look like anything. The metaphors in the bible are to help our feeble brains understand God’s beauty. God is infinite and spirit only. He cannot be comprised of or bound by time, space or matter. If he is not comprised of matter he cannot have any physical attributes. An infinite cannot be comprised of parts because it would not be infinite as you could add one more part to it.

stephen porter said...

And yet all through the Bible it says they "saw" God and He looked like. Have to go with the Bible on this one.

As far as God being Spirit goes, yes He is, but it also that we have a spirit, but we have a body and soul as well. Just because it says God is Spirit that's not all inclusive, as in that's all He is.

I agree He doesn't look like anything, but I think He made plenty of things to look like Him. He came first after all. "And God said, 'Let us create man in our image.'"

GregG said...

So you think God is comprised of physical parts then? How is that possible? He cannot be both infinite and finite at the same time (again illogical and violates the Law of Non-contradiction) and without realizing it you are actually limiting God by saying he has physicality. He did manifest his spirit to Moses but NO ONE can actually look upon God (as the bible states).

Again, you would need to explain to me how God can be comprised of something he created (matter).

stephen porter said...

Sure God has physical parts.

The Word was made flesh after all. If Jesus is God incarnate, then God's got some physical parts. I'm not limiting Him, how could I ever hope to do that, for some reason He limited Himself.

You ask how. Well, how did God speak the universe into existence. I have no idea. It's a mystery.

God manifested His Spirit to Moses, but Moses didn't see Him? What about Isaiah, Ezekiel, John, and the many others? Holy hallucinations? God tells Moses that no one can see His face and live, but shows him parts of Himself. In revelations it says that for those who believe there will be no more curse, and they will see His face.

It's pretty exciting!


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