Imagine God…Creation Defines God

I was thinking about this idea of defining the image of God for a few months now…and here is where I am at…banter with me if you will. 

God is not an image we truly can know the looks of. God is One – alone – no one person to compare God to – we have no real frame of reference for the comparison. Humans, well we can compare away – there are billions of us. We can make sculptures and statues of men and women from times past – even when we are not sure their looks (we have something to compare them to). As for God, He is One…with no comparison.

But does God care to be imaged?

Exodus 20:4 “You shall not make for yourself an idol (or graven image), or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth

Is God a burning bush? Is God a still, small voice? Maybe God has human characteristics – as seen in the garden of eden “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness” (Gen 1:26). But you know what…in all of these instances…we are not given God’s image (but pieces of the image). 

I am under the assumption God does not want to be ‘seen’. Maybe this is all for the better – we humans would try to own God in some ‘image-making’ way.

God is mysterious – the unknown – even His name remains mysterious. I like that you know. I don’t want a God that I can define with an image – God is imageless. That’s an important point to make. Once we can define God (physically or whatever) – we cease looking to God – but to the image we have created (even the one in our minds).

Mistake…do not make God into an image…God is not an image…or at least one we can define.


3 thoughts on “Imagine God…Creation Defines God

  1. Don’t know if you’ve read much about Negative Theology. I find it interesting that most of the names we have for God describe God’s actions, not what/who God is. God’s essence is beyond comprehension but at least some of God’s actions aren’t perhaps?

    Last year Rabb and I had a discussion about coming to understand a God who contains all. I wrote the following afterwards:

    “Rabbi was talking about how with us we could never be perfect and imperfect at the same time. We are bound by time so we could be either one or the other but not both. God isn’t bound by time however, so God is able to contain both perfection and imperfection. I imagine I’ll be thinking about this one awhile and probably questioning further. It’s a bit beyond my comprehension right now.

    Some have major problems with the idea of God containing imperfection, but not me. I have no need of a perfect God. How in the world would I be able to wrestle with, and argue with a perfect God? What would be the point? God would always be right, I would always be wrong…might as well just give in from the start.

    In Torah, however, people do argue with God. After the incident with the Golden Calf, God told Moses God was going to destroy all of the people except for Moses and start over with him. Moses argued with God, “Let not Your anger blaze forth against Your people…Turn from Your blazing anger, and renounce the plan to punish Your people….And Adonai renounced the punishment Adonai had planned to bring upon Adonai’s people.” (Ex 32:11-14) If God was totally perfect, why did God get so mad but then cool down and not go through with God’s original intention? God relented, Moses was right, God was wrong. Not perfect and that’s great. And yet still containing perfection…I love this stuff.”

    How would it be possible to make an image that contained all that we consider both good and bad? Perhaps if we made one, we would come to hate it because we don’t want to think of God as anything other than what we find appealing?

  2. love it! love the post. That is why i choose not to use pronouns for God. to try to show that i have no need for images for God as God will break them sooner or later anyway. God has free will just as we do. as Ecclesiastes’s askes “who is to know what God will do?”

  3. “Perhaps if we made one, we would come to hate it because we don’t want to think of God as anything other than what we find appealing?” (Yael)

    And that’s part of the approach to this for me – God is not truly 100% defineable and it allows for your perspective to be looked at and considered (which I actually do mull about in my head). I am not sure God contains ‘evil’ per se but I do like the way you approach this subject – it leaves me room to think about it (since you make some interesting points on the subject).

    “That is why i choose not to use pronouns for God. to try to show that i have no need for images for God as God will break them sooner or later anyway” (Luke)

    I agree…it’s been the case for me also. I don’t want to construct an image of God – and for me – it makes no sense to. I see a God that is ‘without image’ – or one we have no knowledge about. I see Mormons claiming God is a person (like with human features and all) – and that is tantamount to making God in our images (not the other way around).

    But this is fairly common in Christian circles also – Jesus (not God but considered God) – is made into almost anything that the church see’s neccesary. Jesus drives a hot rod if that will win bikers over. Jesus also has blue eyes in most pics of him in the West (ie: identification with/for Europeans). People seem to want to justify their hobbies with Jesus’ life…funny really. I play a lot of rockband (x-box game) – I should start a ministry from that and say ‘Jesus loves it when we rock’. Fact is, we don’t know this at all and I admit ‘ I’d be sadly mistaken’.

    But to be honest, this is the human primal fear I am hitting on here – a God with no image…for humans that love to imagine everything (ie: make an image of it) – this is a tough one to obey.

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