When we try to imagine God, so often we think of some sort of superhuman. That, if God exists, He must be like us but stronger, faster and invincible. Maybe like some sort of Father Christmas or Father Time, old, bearded and benevolent. Or like Zeus, angry and vengeful like a warrior.
However, the Bible tells us that God is not human. We are made in His image – we are like Him in some aspects – and He revealed Himself to us as the man Jesus, but God the Father is not a man, He is a spirit (John 4:24). God does call Himself in the Bible a Father and there is mention of His hands and eyes and hears. But the Bible also uses animal imagery to try to describe God, it talks about God’s wings and Jesus is compared to both a lion and a lamb. And God also uses inanimate things to convey information about His attributes, like God being a pillar of fire and the cloud that the Israelites saw in the wilderness.
One of the things the Bible compares God to, is light. 1 John chapter 1 verse 5 reads: “This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all.” Jesus called Himself “The light of the world” (John 8:12). The book I am reading at the moment by Jeff Rhoades, with the rather long title of The Bible, Dimensions, and the Spiritual Realm: Are Heaven, Angels, and God Closer Than We Think? makes some fascinating observations about how the properties of light reveal to us more about God.
- What we can see is just part of the electromagnetic spectrum. Light waves in the form of radio waves, gamma rays, microwaves, ultraviolet, x-ray and infrared waves are around us all the time, even when it is dark. It is just that our eyes can only see a small spectrum of light that is visible light. In much the same way, God is always all around us, but undetectable except within the small bandwidth in which He has revealed Himself to us through nature, the Bible, Jesus Christ, visions and miracles.
- Light is constant and unchanging. Light moves at 186, 000 miles per second, and it is not impacted by space or time. God is eternal and never changing. He is not affected by space or time. “For I am the Lord, I do not change” He says in Malachi 3:6.
- Light is the force that helps atoms stick together. Electromagnetism is a form of light and it binds atoms to other atoms. The Bible describes God has holding all things together. “He [Jesus] existed before anything else, and He holds all creation together.” Colossians 1:17
- Light reveals things, nothing can hide in the light. In the same way, nothing is hidden from the Lord. In Revelation 2:23 Jesus (who is God) says, Then all the churches will know that I am the one who searches out the thoughts and intentions of every person. And I will give to each of you whatever you deserve.
- Einstein showed that space and time are linked; the faster a person moves through space, the more time slows down. At the speed of light, time stands still. The Bible describes God as not just LIKE light but that He IS light. Therefore, He is everywhere, and He able to move at the speed of light. So, that might be one way to explain how God different God’s relationship with time is to ours – He is unaffected by it.
- Rhoades writes, “Light has been studied for thousands of years, and scientists have learned much about light and its properties. Light is sometimes matter and sometimes energy. Light behaves strangely when observed. Light is a wave and a particle. However, despite how much scientists have learned, many aspects of light are still a mystery.” In the same way, God is mysterious, our minds cannot truly comprehend Him. “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:8-9.
That is one of the compelling things about Christianity for me – that God is so “other”, so beyond our little human understanding or ideas. So – in the true meaning of the word – awesome!