God is like a youth

Google a picture of God on the web and you’ll see returned mostly pictures of old men with beards.

We have a conception that God looks old and hirsute.

I can’t think of a single verse in the Bible that  says God has a beard, or indeed that says he looks old.

Revelation says the one on the throne (God) looks like Jasper and Carnelian:

And the one who sat there had the appearance of jasper and carnelian Rev 4:3

Jasper comes in many colours.

Red Jasper can look like this:

Green Jasper can look like this:

Carnelian is usually brownish-red, like this:

So if we go by the description in Revelation, God may look less like an old man in a pink nightgown,

and more like a polished version of this

OK don’t get your back up ‘cos I put up a picture of Hellboy, you read it up above, Revelation seems to describe God as being possibly a polished red in colour.

Ezekiel tells us the one on the throne looks like fire and glowing metal:

I saw that from what appeared to be his waist up he looked like glowing metal, as if full of fire, and that from there down he looked like fire; and brilliant light surrounded him.Ezekiel 1:27

So far, the way God is described in the Bible is more like what modern westerners think the devil looks like – all fiery and red lookin’

Daniel, though, says he wore all white and had white hair, but he had fire coming from his throne.

As I looked,

“thrones were set in place,
    and the Ancient of Days took his seat.
His clothing was as white as snow;
    the hair of his head was white like wool.
His throne was flaming with fire,
    and its wheels were all ablaze.
 A river of fire was flowing,
    coming out from before him.

And the Israelites thought God looked like fire too:

To the Israelites the glory of the LORD looked like a consuming fire on top of the mountain. Exodus 24:17

Hebrews also tells us:

Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our “God is a consuming fire”. Hebrews 12:28-29

These descriptions don’t portray God as old and wrinkly with a full beard.

I guess age portrays wisdom, which is certainly a characteristic of God, but, in my opinion, God is much more like a fiery youth than a wrinkly, decrepit old person.

God has many of the characteristics of a teenager who has not yet become cautious and  jaded with life.  The amazing thing is that he blends these characteristics with the wisdom, patience, forbearance and resilience which only comes with age.

Think about it:

God has never failed.

God has never been afraid.

God has never been wrong about anything.

God has never had to say sorry.

God has never compromised on anything.

God does know everything.

God has never felt ashamed.

God has never sinned.

God is strong.

God is self-confident

God is zealous.

God is pure.

Sounds like the characteristics of a young person to me.

Yet God is not impetuous or rash.

He doesn’t make foolish mistakes and he doesn’t get disillusioned with life.

His hope is eternal and he knows it will all turn out alright for him.

If we stick with him it will turn out alright for us too.

 

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4 thoughts on “God is like a youth

  1. Very interesting! Its kind of frightening to think of Him as all fiery and red.. I guess that’s just because its very different than how I’d always pictured him. But at the same time, I have wondered if I should really be picturing these old guys when thinking of God, because “we were made in His image, not He was made in our image” and it also seems like a form of idolatry to visualize some painting’s character to be God. Then again I understand little about idolatry. But – if man was made in God’s image, and God is red, would that not mean that man should be red? Or am I taking the “image” to be too literal there? (I am still learning these things…)

    1. Well, I’m sure many would argue that the imagery of God in the Bible is possibly metaphorical or symbolic anyway. He may not actually look the way he is described by the Bible’s writers.

      I’m sure we’ll find out once we get to heaven.

      Yes, if God is fiery and red, it is completely the opposite to the image of him we’ve been brought up with. The way we’ve been brought up, fiery and red has always been associated with evil and fear, but if God is indeed fiery and red, then maybe we need to rethink that because we know God is loving, caring, gentle, patient, kind and has an intimate relationship with us.

      To me it says God doesn’t just love us like a little girl loves a kitten, but he loves us ferociously and passionately and burns with an unquenchable love for us .

      1. Oooh, I like that last bit! Very interesting, and a much more pleasant way of thinking about it! And yes, negative associations with red and fire are perhaps misplaced judgements. Maybe I’ll take this as a lesson to be less judgmental in general, as it can be hard to see the true nature of some things. Its difficult to know when things are metaphorical or literal – especially when different people have differing views on the same thing! Thank you for this post and your reply. I’m learning :).

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