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Seeing God

When the Ten Commandments were first given, they were not given in pageantry. They were given in terrifying, first-person reality, three months after the Israelites left Egypt (Exodus 19). Thirty-nine years later, Moses recalled the events surrounding their declaration:

Then the LORD spoke to you out of the fire. You heard the sound of words but saw no form; there was only a voice. (Deuteronomy 4:12)

You saw no form of any kind the day the LORD spoke to you at Horeb out of the fire. Therefore watch yourselves very carefully… (Deuteronomy 4:15)

You were shown these things so that you might know that the LORD is God; besides him there is no other. (Deuteronomy 4:35)

Acknowledge and take to heart this day that the LORD is God in heaven above and on the earth below. There is no other. (Deuteronomy 4:39)

There are two reasons we are not to make images of God:

• He is not like any of His physical creation, so no creation can physically be like Him.
• He is not like any other god, because there is no other God.

God is not like anything or anyone. When the Bible describes Him, it is not in appearance, but in character:

• Holy—as the Ancient of Days in Daniel 7, where His clothing and hair are described gloriously.
• Where He dwells—“Heaven is my throne” (Isaiah 66:1).
• What He does—“The God of Heaven who made the sea and the land…” (Jonah 1:9); “Sing to the Lord, for He has done glorious things, let this be known to all the world” (Isaiah 12:5).

"Brothers and fathers, listen to me. The God of Glory appeared to our father Abraham" (Acts 7:2). The Bible depicts God in terms of who He is and what He does. He is the God of glory; He is the God of hope and the God of peace. Daniel described Him to Nebuchadnezzar this way: “There is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries” (Daniel 2:28). Jonah spoke of Him: “I worship the Lord, the God of heaven, who made the sea and the land” (Jonah 1:9). God is, and God acts. "Sing to the Lord, for He has done glorious things; let this be known to all the world" (Isaiah 12:5).

When we think of God, let us think of Jesus Christ in His glory:

So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. (2 Corinthians 5:16)

The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven. (Hebrews 1:3)

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. (Colossians 1:15)

Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?” (John 14:9)

They came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, with a request. “Sir,” they said, “we would like to see Jesus.”…Jesus replied, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.” (John 12:21, 23)

Glorified—this is how God wants to be “seen.” "And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began" (John 17:5).

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