What Does God Look Like?

Robin Stearns LeeBy Robin Stearns Lee5 Minutes

My nephew, Chad, has been blind from birth. It amazes me when I visit that he knows me before I even speak. Somehow his other senses can detect who I am. Without the gift of sight, he has learned to discern those around him. He knows their attributes by his prior experience. Chad feels love from his Aunt Robin even though I’m far away. He has no idea what I look like but feels secure in my embrace.

Made in His Image

Have you ever wondered what God looks like? We certainly know His attributes and feel His presence. But what does He really look like? The Bible tells us that God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness” (Genesis 1:26). Does that mean God looks like us?

We can go to God’s Word and discover many instances of encounters with God. Even though He said that no one can see His face and live (Exodus 33:20), God enjoyed fellowship with His creation. Can you imagine walking in the Garden of Eden in the cool of the evening with God? Adam and Eve (before sin entered the world) were likely the only humans on Earth who saw God in all His Glory. Since He walked with them, can we assume that God has legs?

The Bible also chronicles several instances when God speaks audibly. How incredible would it have been to witness the baptism of Jesus and hear God say, “This is my Son whom I love …” (Matthew 3:16-17). At creation, God formed man from dust (Genesis 2:7) and breathed into him the breath of life. Wouldn’t this require a mouth and hands?

Our Bible tells us often that God sees us and hears our prayers. Remember the story of God noticing Hagar’s son crying? Was Sarah embarrassed when God heard her laughing at having a child in her old age? Do you think that God has eyes and ears?

Being made in God’s image doesn’t necessarily mean we share only physical attributes. Man was God’s ultimate creation, above the other animals, so we alone were given the ability to reason, create, imagine, communicate, and show love and compassion, just as God does.

Invisible to Us

Although we can think of many occasions when God exhibited human traits, there are many more times that God is anything BUT human. He took on the forms of a dove, burning bush, angel, pillar of cloud or fire, a gentle breeze, and a man who wrestled with Jacob. God appeared to many in dreams or visions.

He created the world with just a spoken word, hung the stars, and spread out the seas. Jesus himself pronounced that God is Spirit (John 4:24) so He does not necessarily have a human form we can see. He is invisible to us, yet He is everywhere.

Consider the anything-but-human omni-words: Omniscience (all-knowing); Omnipresence (everywhere at once); Omnipotence (all powerful). No man can claim those attributes. God’s ways are so much higher than our ways (Isaiah 55:9). Job was reminded that it was God who laid the earth’s foundation, sends the lightning bolts on their way, and has the wisdom to count the clouds (Job 38:4,35,37).

It will only be when we see Him in heaven that we will see God’s true Glory. The Bible promises we will see His face (1 Corinthians 13:12, Revelation 22:4). His countenance will be so bright that there will be no more darkness.

I don’t know what God looks like. But I do know that it doesn’t matter to my nephew Chad. He asked the Lord Jesus to come into his heart after listening to a radio sermon. Chad heard the message that God loved him and accepted the invitation to follow Him. He trusts the promises and provision he has received. And Chad knows that when his life on earth is done, he will have a new body in Heaven. And he will see God’s face.

Should it matter to us what God looks like? Should we, like Chad, simply trust in God’s goodness, mercy, and grace? Are you clinging to the promise that one day we will see God’s face?