What is God like?
This side of eternity, our understanding of God will be limited. It is difficult at best for mortal creatures to understand one who is immortal. As one caught within the parenthesis of time, we struggle to understand one who is eternal. Isaiah understood that His ways and thoughts are far beyond ours (Isa. 55:8-9). Paul declared, "How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways! (Rom. 11:33b). Job understood that what he could know of God was limited. "Indeed these are the mere edges of His ways, and how small a whisper we hear of Him. But the thunder of His power who can understand" (Job 26:14).
This should not cause us to be dismayed. Even though we do not and cannot know all of there is to God, the earth is still full of the knowledge of the Lord "as the waters cover the sea" (Isa. 11:9). God has revealed all we need to know and all that we can comprehend.
"God is a spirit; and those who worship Him must worship Him in spirit and truth" (John 4:24). As a spirit, God does not have flesh and bones (Luke 24:39). This does not suggest that God is simply a formless blob, but is a part of the mystery of God. It is difficult for finite, physical man to completely understand the nature of God.
In coming to know God, we do not seek to know how tall He is or what color His hair is. Rather, in coming to know God we seek to know His character and His heart.
We can come to know something of God from nature. David affirmed that the heavens declare the glory of God (Psalm 19:1) so clearly that only a fool would deny His existence (Psalm 14:1). The order, design and purpose in nature reflects the orderly nature of the Designer (1 Cor. 14:33). However, there are limits as to what we can come to know about God from nature.
We can come to know something of the nature of God from His Word. No one can know the mind of another unless they reveal it to him. It was through the Bible that God revealed His wisdom and His will (1 Cor. 2:7-13). We need to know God, thus we need to be students of His Word.
We can come to know something of the nature of God through His Son, Jesus the Messiah. In the Old Testament there was no one with whom God compare Himself without misrepresenting His character and nature. When God revealed Himself to Moses at the burning bush, He simply revealed Himself as the "I AM" (Ex. 3:14).
Jesus was equal with God and every bit God. Even though found in the form of man while on earth, it was not robbery for Jesus to regard Himself as God (Phil. 2:5-8). When Philip asked Jesus to show them the Father Jesus replied, "have I been so long with you, and yet you have not come to know Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; how do you say, Show us the Father? Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me?" (John 14:9-10).
Of Jesus Paul wrote, "And He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation" (Col. 1:15). Jesus was the very likeness of God. This does not suggest that in Jesus man saw a physical image of God, for God does not have a physical body. In Jesus man saw the heart of God. "To know what Christ is like is to know who and what God is like. IN Christ, God laid aside His robes of celestial brightness that we might not be blinded by the light. We can gaze upon Christ and this vision of God floods our minds with light and our souls with joy and hope" (James Bales in the Biblical Doctrine of God).
Through Jesus we learn that God is .
To know God is to give ourselves to the reading, hearing and study of His word (Rom. 10:14-17). If I truly know God, I will keep His commandments (1 John 2:3-4).
What I know about God causes me to be humble before Him. What I don't know cause me to be awestruck. I know enough to love Him, honor Him, and desire to please Him.
By John A Smith/2001
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