“To whom, then, will you compare God? What image will you compare Him to?”
God makes it fairly clear in the Old Testament that we shouldn’t be worshiping gods other than Him. He is also very clear on how He feels about idols—images of things that He created. He is a jealous God. He doesn’t simply want what is best for us; He wants us! He wants our thoughts, our bodies, our emotions, our heart palpitations, our desires, our dreams, our physical lives we live here on Earth, and the essence of us (our spirits) that will live on in eternity because of Jesus’ work in our lives. He wants us!
Worshiping another god or an idol cripples us. Well, that’s not entirely true. It actually crushes us beneath its evil weight and holds us captive. Yet we continue to do it. How? Let me explain.
What image pops into your mind when you think of God? Is He a kindly old gentleman? A thick-thighed champion of immense proportions? A doddering, weak fool? A powerless, ineffectual man behind the curtains to which we should pay no attention? A vengeful punisher? A cherry-cheeked philanthropist? A fairy godfather just waiting to wave His magic wand and grant all our wishes? A safe, non-threatening, in-touch-with-His-feminine-side kinda guy?
Most of the images we worship simply are not true, whether we are comfortable with them or whether we aren’t. They are one-sided where God is many-faceted. They are too physical, too mythological, too based upon our experiences, too human.
God is a spirit; He does not have physical body parts. Any time someone in the Old Testament gets a glimpse of God (Moses, Isaiah, etc.), he does not see body parts. He sees white and fire and light and glory. “God is not a man that He should lie” (Numbers 23:19). God is not a man. There is no image of a man, however glorious, that we could conjure up that would be in any way like our God!
God talks about His strong right arm and His knees that bounce a child and His feet that consider Earth His footstool, but these are only visual aids to help us understand an infinite Spirit in our finite minds. Jesus said that God is spirit (John 4:24). There is nothing human that we can accurately compare Him to.
What image of God have you been worshiping? Take time to describe it to yourself. Then ask God to forgive you for worshiping an idol. As you spend time with Him in the Word and in prayer, He will be faithful to let you know what He is like. The physical, human descriptions will end, and God’s true character will become more obvious to you.
This a page from the book When God Roared. Each page will be published, one per day, on this website. We pray that God uses it mightily in your life to swaddle you in His love and heal your precious heart.