Have you ever wondered what God looks like? Is He like the pictures or images you see?
God brought ancient Israel out of a land full of idols and graven images, only to see them fall back into it again, and God commands that we have no other gods before us, which are really no gods at all, so what we think about God; what He is like and Who He is, is very important for us to know. In fact, it might be the most important thing to know because if we don’t know Who God is, we don’t know Who Jesus is, and that means we’re under God’s judgment, so it’s vital we know Who God is and what He commands, and this we know; God “commands all people everywhere to repent” (Acts 17:30), so we must know what repentance is, who causes repentance, and why we are told to repent and believe (Luke 24:47; Mark 1:14-15). If we have our own image of God and have a god of our own imagination, then we don’t have the God of the Bible, so we must settle this first; Who is God, what does God require, and then how can we be saved (Rom 10:9-13)?
Born of the Spirit
God is sometimes described as having eyes too holy to look upon sin. Habakkuk the Prophet wrote of God, “You who are of purer eyes than to see evil and cannot look at wrong, why do you idly look at traitors and remain silent when the wicked swallows up the man more righteous than he” (1:13)? That is true. God is holy, but does God have eyes? Jesus said “God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth” (John 4:24), and He told Nicodemus that “unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3), and “That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit” (John 3:6). Jesus then gives Nicodemus an earthly example of those who are born again or born by the Spirit, meaning the Spirit of God, by telling him, “The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit” (John 3:8).
When it said God’s eyes were too holy to look upon sin, was the prophet meaning God has literal eyes like ours? Does God even have eyes? Isaiah the Prophet wrote as God speaking, “I made the earth and created man on it; it was my hands that stretched out the heavens, and I commanded all their host” (Isaiah 45:12), but does God have actual hands? Is this a physical description of God? How can it be since God is Spirit, and it is like the wind; you can see the effects of the wind, but not the wind itself. God inspired the authors to use language we would understand. He had to “stoop down” to our mortal minds and use language we could identify with, so if an author is writing about God’s hands, it is referring to God’s power, authority, and sovereignty. The authors must use our own language to describe a God that is indescribable, but He condescends to our level, for our sake, to be able to describe what He is like by communicating with things we can relate to, so when the author of Hebrews writes, “And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account” (Heb 4:13), he is not saying God is looking down with physical eyes, because He doesn’t need to; He knows all and sees all anyway. It is for our benefit that these types of physical references of the body are used in order for us to understand Who God is and how He works in the affairs of mankind. Any references to parts of the body are only symbolic in nature and serve to tell us about God and what He does. When God says He gives an ear to our prayers, He is saying that He listens to our prayers and takes into account our pleas to Him.
Jesus is the fullness of God and gives us the best glimpse of Who the Father is and what He is like, and Jesus was in His physical body during His earthly ministry, so Jesus has seen the Father and been with the Father, since they have always been in fellowship with One another. I think Jesus would tell us that an exact physical description of God is not as important as knowing God. Besides, how can you describe what something or someone is if they are invisible and we’ve never seen it or them before? That’s a hard task, but the question of “What does God look like” cannot compare with Who is Jesus Christ and why we need a personal relationship with Him. Someday, we will see God face to face and He will be with us (Rev 21:3; 22:4), so we’ll know in time what God is like, but until then, it’s as Jesus said, “If you have seen Me, you have seen the Father” (John 14:9). If we see Jesus in Scripture, we can see the Father, at least in our minds, but I don’t mean in a literal, physical description. I don’t think that’s very important. For example, to know Christ and Him crucified is more important than knowing what Jesus looked like.
Some questions are not worth debating over and this question will not be answered to the fullest extent until we pass into glory or the Son of God returns. I can rest in the fact that I know God and that He knows me. That’s eternally essential (Matt 7:21-23), but to know what His shape, size or form is, I have no clue, and that is going to have to wait until the Lord of glory appears. Then we shall see Him, that is Jesus, as He is, and no doubt, we won’t be thinking about less important things like, “Does God have ears?” It’s fine to try and find out how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, but to know Christ means eternal life. I can wait for the kingdom to find out about all that other stuff. It’s okay. I know God hears all, sees all, and knows all, and “speaks” from His Word, but as for His appearance; that’s for another day…and not today.
Read more about God here: 10 Awesome Attributes of God
Resource – Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), Crossway Bibles. (2007). ESV: Study Bible : English standard version. Wheaton, Ill: Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.