9 Minute Read
TODAY’S BIBLE READING:
1 Samuel 29:1–31:13
TODAY’S BIBLE VERSE(S):
Psalm 118:15-16 (CSB): “There are shouts of joy and victory in the tents of the righteous: ‘The LORD’s right hand performs valiantly! The LORD’s right hand is raised. The LORD’s right hand performs valiantly!'”
REFLECTIONS ON TODAY’S BIBLE VERSE(S):
The verses I have chosen as Today’s Bible Verses claim that God has a right hand.
Psalm 118:15-16 “… ‘The LORD’s right hand performs valiantly! The LORD’s right hand is raised. The LORD’s right hand performs valiantly!'”
So, does God have a right hand? Does He even have a hand at all? And if He doesn’t, why does the Bible say that He does?
Let’s begin by looking at a few more passages of Scripture that claim that God has human body parts:
Psalm 33:6 (CSB): “The heavens were made by the word of the LORD, and all the stars, by the breath of his mouth.”
In the previous verse, it is claimed that God has a mouth and breath that comes out of it, presuming that He also has lungs and a throat that the air travels through. Further, the words of this verse also imply that God has a tongue, vocal cords, lips, and other such necessities since words come out of his mouth (“The heavens were made by the word of the Lord”).
Psalm 34:15 (CSB): “The eyes of the LORD are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their cry for help.”
In the previous verse, it is claimed that God has eyes and ears.
Isaiah 59:1-2 (CSB): “Indeed, the LORD’s arm is not too weak to save, and his ear is not too deaf to hear. But your iniquities are separating you from your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you so that he does not listen.”
In the previous verses, it is claimed that God has an arm, an ear, and a face.
There are many places in Scripture that talk about God’s physical traits. It is claimed that God has body parts like us. He has arms, ears, eyes, a mouth, and so much more.
And, yet, there are plenty of other verses in Scripture that lead us to believe that God doesn’t have a body. Instead, He is invisible. Here are a few of them:
1 Timothy 1:17 (CSB): “Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.”
1 Timothy 6:15-16 (CSB): “God will bring this about in his own time. He is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings, and the Lord of lords, who alone is immortal and who lives in unapproachable light, whom no one has seen or can see, to him be honor and eternal power. Amen.”
Hebrews 11:27 (CSB): “By faith he left Egypt behind, not being afraid of the king’s anger, for Moses persevered as one who sees him who is invisible.”
So, what are we to make of this? Does God have an arm or not? Does He have a mouth or not?
I believe the answer is found in what theologians call “anthropomorphisms.”
The Merriam-Webster online dictionary defines anthropomorphism this way:
“anthropomorphism: an interpretation of what is not human or personal in terms of human or personal characteristics : HUMANIZATION”
Simply put, God is infinitely beyond our ability to comprehend. In the Old Testament, He was veiled in mystery. The Israelites couldn’t touch the mountain while Moses was getting the Ten Commandments or God would kill them. They couldn’t come into the Tabernacle and Temple’s Holy of Holies or God would kill them. He was too holy and to transcendent for mankind to come into His presence.
But, God desires to have a relationship with mankind. For a relationship to happen, God must become knowable and relatable to mankind.
How does an invisible, infinitely glorious God make Himself knowable to mankind? By speaking to mankind about Himself in terms that we can understand.
God doesn’t have arms – but He spoke to mankind, using those familiar body parts so that we could understand Him a bit more.
God doesn’t have eyes – but He spoke to us in a way that is more easily understood.
God doesn’t have literal ears. But to help us relate to him, He spoke in terms that we are familiar with. We hear through our ears so God used “ears” to describe how He listens to us. If He was to go into the specific detail of how He hears and understands our prayers, I’m convinced that we wouldn’t be able to comprehend it. So, He simplified things and talked in terms that we are familiar with.
In fact, friend, I am convinced that we will probably never see God the Father, even when we arrive in our Heavenly home. I wonder if the only thing we will see is the manifestation of God’s glory, the brilliant Shekinah glory light that is talked about so often in Scripture.
But, if this is true (and it is a belief that I hold loosely), then how will we be able to relate to our infinite God when we arrive in our Heavenly home? I want to see Him. I want to hear Him. I even want to touch Him if I am so permitted.
Well, the answer to this dilemma is found in Scripture. God the Father IS going to be visible to us.
John 1:1,14 (CSB): “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God… The Word became flesh and dwelt among us. We observed his glory, the glory as the one and only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.”
John 14:8-9 (CSB): ” ‘Lord,’ said Philip, ‘show us the Father, and that’s enough for us.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Have I been among you all this time and you do not know me, Philip? The one who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, “Show us the Father”?’ “
Colossians 1:15 (CSB): “He (Jesus) is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.”
Hebrews 1:3 (CSB): “The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact expression of his nature, …”
Simply put, if you want to see God the Father, look at Jesus.
This is the beauty of the Gospels! Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John have recorded for us the teachings of Jesus. But, they also record for us how Jesus acted, how He interacted with people and circumstances, and so much more. Because of this, God the Father, who was shrouded in mystery in the Old Testament, has become much more understandable.
You want to observe what God the Father is like? Just read about Jesus.
You want to know God the Father? Then get to know Jesus.
You want to enjoy God the Father? Then enjoy Jesus.
You want to worship God the Father? Then worship Jesus.
Jesus not only came to make the payment for the sins of every single person who will trust in Him; He also came to make God the Father known to us.
I realize that what I have written may raise more questions in the minds of those who read this blog post. If so, feel free to leave a comment or question in the “Reply” section below. I will do the best I can to answer your questions.