TBU: The Bible Unpacked: In-Depth Edition

I.   Basics

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Chapter 1  Part I

Basics

The concepts in the first half of this chapter are fundamental to understanding what God is like, as they concern basic attributes of his being. These include attributes which show God to be very different to us, but also attributes which indicate that he is like us in that he is a personal being.

God’s Form

See also:

God is one

See also:

In teaching that God is one, the Bible indicates that God is a single entity or being.

Deut 6:4  Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.a ▤ 

a Or The Lord our God is one Lord; or The Lord is our God, the Lord is one; or The Lord is our God, the Lord alone

Mark 12:29, 32  Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. ▤ 32And the scribe said to him, “You are right, Teacher. You have truly said that he is one, and there is no other besides him. ▤ 

Rom 3:29-30  Or is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles also? Yes, of Gentiles also, 30since God is one—who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith. ▤ 

Gal 3:20  Now an intermediary implies more than one, but God is one. ▤ 

James 2:19  You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder! ▤ 

God is spirit

God’s nature is spirit; he is a spiritual being. So God is not a physical being, in contrast to people and particularly to idols.

John 4:24  God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth. ▤ 

Isa 31:3a  The Egyptians are man, and not God, and their horses are flesh, and not spirit. ▤ 

The parallel phrases “man, and not God” and “flesh, and not spirit” imply that, in contrast to men, God is spirit.

Job 10:4  Have you eyes of flesh? Do you see as man sees? ▤ 

The direct implication here is that God does not have eyes of flesh. This points to the fact that God as a whole is not flesh – he is spirit.

Ps 139:7  Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? ▤ 

The correlation of “your presence” with “your Spirit” (cf. Ps 51:11) – or “your spirit” (NLT, NRSV) – arguably points to God being spirit.

  • God is not a metal or stone image made by man:

Acts 17:29  Being then God’s offspring, we ought not to think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and imagination of man. ▤ 

God cannot be seen by people . . .

Deut 4:12, 15  Then the Lord spoke to you out of the midst of the fire. You heard the sound of words, but saw no form; there was only a voice. ▤ 15“Therefore watch yourselves very carefully. Since you saw no form on the day that the Lord spoke to you at Horeb out of the midst of the fire, … ▤ 

God has no physical, observable form.

Job 9:11  Behold, he passes by me, and I see him not; he moves on, but I do not perceive him. ▤ 

Matt 6:6  But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you. ▤ 

One implication of God being “in secret” is that he is “unseen” (GNT, NIV).

John 1:18  No one has ever seen God; the only God,b who is at the Father’s side,c he has made him known. ▤ 

b Or the only One, who is God; some manuscripts the only Son

c Greek in the bosom of the Father

1 John 4:12a also states: “No one has ever seen God…”

John 5:37  And the Father who sent me has himself borne witness about me. His voice you have never heard, his form you have never seen, … ▤ 

In saying that they had never seen God’s form, Jesus may well have been meaning that like all people they had not “seen him face to face” (CEV, NLT; cf. GNT). As such it is pertinent to this subsection. But given the context, the second part of this verse may be referring more to the Jews’ lack of spiritual perception (cf. AMP), in particular in the face of God’s revelation through Jesus.

John 6:46  … not that anyone has seen the Father except he who is from God; he has seen the Father. ▤ 

Col 1:15  He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. ▤ 

1Tim 6:15-16a  … which he will display at the proper time—he who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords, 16who alone has immortality, who dwells in unapproachable light, whom no one has ever seen or can see. ▤ 

. . . In some sense, God is said to have been “seen”

See also:

Gen 16:13  So she called the name of the Lord who spoke to her, “You are a God of seeing,”d for she said, “Truly here I have seen him who looks after me.”e ▤ 

d Or You are a God who sees me

e Hebrew Have I really seen him here who sees me? or Would I have looked here for the one who sees me?

Verse 11 indicates that it was “the angel of the Lord” who spoke here to Hagar, rather than necessarily God himself. (Regarding the relationship to God of “the angel of the Lord”, see the comment below on Judg 6:22-23.) The rendering in the text note provides a further possible meaning.

Gen 32:30  So Jacob called the name of the place Peniel,f saying, “For I have seen God face to face, and yet my life has been delivered.” ▤ 

f Peniel means the face of God

Verses 24-30 appear to speak of Jacob encountering a manifestation of God, possibly in the form of an angel.

Ex 24:9-11  Then Moses and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel went up, 10and they saw the God of Israel. There was under his feet as it were a pavement of sapphire stone, like the very heaven for clearness. 11And he did not lay his hand on the chief men of the people of Israel; they beheld God, and ate and drank. ▤ 

The fact that the description of what they saw of God is restricted merely to what was under his feet, arguably suggests that they did not see the whole of God.

Ex 33:11, 20  Thus the Lord used to speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend. When Moses turned again into the camp, his assistant Joshua the son of Nun, a young man, would not depart from the tent. ▤ 20But,” he said, “you cannot see my face, for man shall not see me and live.” ▤ 

The phrase “face to face” (v. 11) may be a figure of speech emphasizing the directness and clarity of God’s communication with Moses. This is supported by v. 20, with God saying to Moses “you cannot see my face” (and v. 23 – “my face shall not be seen”). Note that like v. 20 there are other verses that refer to seeing God resulting in death (cf. Gen 32:30 ; Ex 24:9-11 ; Judg 6:22-23 ; Judg 13:21-22 ; Ex 19:21; 1Sam 6:19-20; Isa 6:5-7). Sinful, unworthy people cannot look upon the holy, almighty God and live.

Num 12:7-8  Not so with my servant Moses. He is faithful in all my house. 8With him I speak mouth to mouth, clearly, and not in riddles, and he beholds the form of the Lord. Why then were you not afraid to speak against my servant Moses? ▤ 

The phrase “mouth to mouth” (v. 8) is often translated “face to face”. Note that Moses is said to behold – or see (cf. GNT, NCV, NIRV, NIV, NKJV, NLT) – God’s “form”, which quite likely implies that he did not: see God in all his fullness; or necessarily see God’s face (cf. Ex 3:20 ).

Judg 6:22-23  Then Gideon perceived that he was the angel of the Lord. And Gideon said, “Alas, O Lord God! For now I have seen the angel of the Lord face to face.” 23But the Lord said to him, “Peace be to you. Do not fear; you shall not die.” ▤ 

Here and in 13:21-22 immediately below, it is the angel of the Lord who is seen. Although he is correlated with God (v. 23), possibly this is only in the sense that he is speaking on behalf of God (cf. Note: “The angel of the Lord” is identified with God).

Judg 13:21-22  The angel of the Lord appeared no more to Manoah and to his wife. Then Manoah knew that he was the angel of the Lord. 22And Manoah said to his wife, “We shall surely die, for we have seen God.” ▤ 

Heb 11:27  By faith he left Egypt, not being afraid of the anger of the king, for he endured as seeing him who is invisible. ▤ 

This may allude back to the expression earlier in Hebrews 11 of being “the conviction of things not seen” (v. 1), possibly meaning that Moses persevered “as if he could see” God (NCV; cf. GNT). Alternatively it may refer to Moses’ encounter with God at the burning bush and his ongoing close communication with God (cf. Ex 3:11, 20 ; Num 12:7-8 ).

  • The Lord’s visible appearance to Abraham, conversing with him:

Gen 18:1-2, 13-14, 25-26  And the Lord appeared to him by the oaksg of Mamre, as he sat at the door of his tent in the heat of the day. 2He lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, three men were standing in front of him. When he saw them, he ran from the tent door to meet them and bowed himself to the earth ▤ 13The Lord said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh and say, ‘Shall I indeed bear a child, now that I am old?’ 14Is anything too hardh for the Lord? At the appointed time I will return to you, about this time next year, and Sarah shall have a son.” ▤ 25[Abraham:] Far be it from you to do such a thing, to put the righteous to death with the wicked, so that the righteous fare as the wicked! Far be that from you! Shall not the Judge of all the earth do what is just?” 26And the Lord said, “If I find at Sodom fifty righteous in the city, I will spare the whole place for their sake.” ▤ 

g Or terebinths

h Or wonderful

As well as the use of the title “the Lord”, the content of the conversation suggests that this was an appearance of the Lord. Many commentators consider that this was quite likely the angel of the Lord.

God is everywhere, not just in temples

See also:

Prov 15:3  The eyes of the Lord are in every place, keeping watch on the evil and the good. ▤ 

Ps 139:5-10  You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me. 6Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high; I cannot attain it. 7Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? 8If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there! 9If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, 10even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me. ▤ 

Jer 23:23-24  Am I a God at hand, declares the Lord, and not a God far away? 24Can a man hide himself in secret places so that I cannot see him? declares the Lord. Do I not fill heaven and earth? declares the Lord. ▤ 

Num 14:21  But truly, as I live, and as all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the Lord, … ▤ 

God’s glory is often linked with his presence, and as such the sense of the latter part of the verse may be: “…my presence fills the earth” (GNT). With the future tense of the verse as it here (cf. AMP, NASB, NKJV, NRSV), the meaning may be that God’s glory and presence will become clearly manifested throughout the earth.

1Ki 8:27  But will God indeed dwell on the earth? Behold, heaven and the highest heaven cannot contain you; how much less this house that I have built! ▤ 

Acts 7:48-50  Yet the Most High does not dwell in houses made by hands, as the prophet says, 49“‘Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool. What kind of house will you build for me, says the Lord, or what is the place of my rest? 50Did not my hand make all these things?’ ▤ 

The first statement in v. 49 speaks of God being present in and even throughout heaven and earth – as opposed to merely within temples (vv. 48, 49b). Note that the fact that God has made all things (v. 50) points to the absurdity of any notion of him being confined to a building (cf. Acts 17:24 ).

Acts 17:24  The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man,i … ▤ 

i Greek made by hands

Acts 17:27-28  … that they should seek God, in the hope that they might feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us, 28for “‘In him we live and move and have our being’;k as even some of your own poets have said, “‘For we are indeed his offspring.’l ▤ 

k Probably from Epimenides of Crete

l From Aratus’s poem “Phainomena”

Following his assertion that God “he is actually not far from each one of us” (v. 27b), in v. 28a Paul appears to be quoting the Cretan poet Epimenides to illustrate that our existence and its continuation are dependent on God enveloping us.

Eph 4:6  … one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. ▤ 

Here “all” may well be speaking of all things (cf. NCV) – making the verse particularly pertinent to this subsection. However it may instead primarily be speaking of all believers.

Visions of God

Isa 6:1-4  In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the trains of his robe filled the temple. 2Above him stood the seraphim. Each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. 3And one called to another and said: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!”t 4And the foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of him who called, and the house was filled with smoke. ▤ 

s Or hem

t Or may his glory fill the whole earth

The “seraphim” (v. 2) are apparently a high order or class of angelic beings. Their presence and activity (vv. 2-4) accentuates God’s glory.

Ezek 1:26-28  And above the expanse over their heads there was the likeness of a throne, in appearance like sapphire;u and seated above the likeness of a throne was a likeness with a human appearance. 27And upward from what had the appearance of his waist I saw as it were gleaming metal, like the appearance of fire enclosed all around. And downward from what had the appearance of his waist I saw as it were the appearance of fire, and there was brightness around him.v 28Like the appearance of the bow that is in the cloud on the day of rain, so was the appearance of the brightness all around. Such was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord. And when I saw it, I fell on my face, and I heard the voice of one speaking. ▤ 

u Or lapis lazuli

v Or it

God is described in like-terms in 8:2 as part of another vision of God – “Then I looked, and behold, a form that had the appearance of a man. Below what appeared to be his waist was fire, and above his waist was something like the appearance of brightness, like gleaming metal.”

Ezek 43:1-3  Then he led me to the gate, the gate facing east. 2And behold, the glory of the God of Israel was coming from the east. And the sound of his coming was like the sound of many waters, and the earth shone with his glory. 3And the vision I saw was just like the vision that I had seen when hew came to destroy the city, and just like the vision that I had seen by the Chebar canal. And I fell on my face. ▤ 

w Some Hebrew manuscripts and Vulgate; most Hebrew manuscripts when I

The other visions referred to are in chs. 8-11 and chs. 1-3 (cf. Ezek 1:26-28 ) respectively.

Dan 7:9-10  As I looked, thrones were placed, and the Ancient of Days took his seat; his clothing was white as snow, and the hair of his head like pure wool; his throne was fiery flames; its wheels were burning fire. 10A stream of fire issued and came out from before him; a thousand thousands served him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him; the court sat in judgment, and the books were opened. ▤ 

Rev 4:2-5  At once I was in the Spirit, and behold, a throne stood in heaven, with one seated on the throne. 3And he who sat there had the appearance of jasper and carnelian, and around the throne was a rainbow that had the appearance of an emerald. 4Around the throne were twenty-four thrones, and seated on the thrones were twenty-four elders, clothed in white garments, with golden crowns on their heads. 5From the throne came flashes of lightning, and rumblingsx and peals of thunder, and before the throne were burning seven torches of fire, which are the seven spirits of God, … ▤ 

x Or voices, or sounds

The “twenty-four elders” (v. 4) are quite possibly a high order or class of angelic beings. The “seven spirits of God” (v. 5) is usually interpreted as referring to the Holy Spirit.

God’s presence has been manifested in a cloud

See also:

Ex 16:10-11  And as soon as Aaron spoke to the whole congregation of the people of Israel, they looked toward the wilderness, and behold, the glory of the Lord appeared in the cloud. 11And the Lord said to Moses, … ▤ 

This indicates that God spoke from the cloud (cf. Ex 19:9a ; Ex 24:16 ; Ex 33:9 ), affirming his presence within it.

Ex 19:9a, 16-17  And the Lord said to Moses, “Behold, I am coming to you in a thick cloud, that the people may hear when I speak with you, and may also believe you forever.” ▤ 16On the morning of the third day there were thunders and lightnings and a thick cloud on the mountain and a very loud trumpet blast, so that all the people in the camp trembled. 17Then Moses brought the people out of the camp to meet God, and they took their stand at the foot of the mountain. ▤ 

Ex 24:16  The glory of the Lord dwelt on Mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it six days. And on the seventh day he called to Moses out of the midst of the cloud. ▤ 

Ex 33:9-10  When Moses entered the tent, the pillar of cloud would descend and stand at the entrance of the tent, and the Lordy would speak with Moses. 10And when all the people saw the pillar of cloud standing at the entrance of the tent, all the people would rise up and worship, each at his tent door. ▤ 

y Hebrew he

Ex 34:5  The Lord descended in the cloud and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the Lord. ▤ 

Ex 40:34-38  Then the cloud covered the tent of meeting, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. 35And Moses was not able to enter the tent of meeting because the cloud settled on it, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. 36Throughout all their journeys, whenever the cloud was taken up from over the tabernacle, the people of Israel would set out. 37But if the cloud was not taken up, then they did not set out till the day that it was taken up. 38For the cloud of the Lord was on the tabernacle by day, and fire was in it by night, in the sight of all the house of Israel throughout all their journeys. ▤ 

The cloud of God’s glory and presence, which had filled the tabernacle (vv. 34-35), guided the Israelites during all their travels (vv. 36-38).

Lev 16:2  … and the Lord said to Moses, “Tell Aaron your brother not to come at any time into the Holy Place inside the veil, before the mercy seat that is on the ark, so that he may not die. For I will appear in the cloud over the mercy seat. ▤ 

1Ki 8:10-12  And when the priests came out of the Holy Place, a cloud filled the house of the Lord, 11so that the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud, for the glory of the Lord filled the house of the Lord. 12Then Solomon said, “The Lordz has said that he would dwell in thick darkness. ▤ 

z Septuagint The Lord has set the sun in the heavens, but

Just as the cloud of God’s glory and presence had filled the movable tabernacle (cf. Ex 40:34-35 ) to accompany the Israelites in their travels, it likewise later filled the completed temple in Jerusalem. Note that “thick darkness” can be rendered “dark cloud” (CEV, NCV, NIRV, NIV, NKJV; cf. NASB).

Matt 17:5  He was still speaking when, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my beloved Son,a with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.” ▤ 

a Or my Son, my (or the) Beloved

Here God speaks from a bright cloud on the occasion of Jesus Christ’s transfiguration.

Acts 1:9  And when he had said these things, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. ▤ 

A number of commentators consider this cloud to be, as in the above references, a manifestation of God’s presence.

Ps 18:11-12  He made darkness his covering, his canopy around him, thick clouds dark with water. 12Out of the brightness before him hailstones and coals of fire broke through his clouds. ▤ 

The description here appears to be figurative, although the writer is possibly alluding to earlier manifestations of God’s presence in a cloud (as per the above references).

God’s presence has been manifested with fire

See also:

Ex 3:2-6  And the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush. He looked, and behold, the bush was burning, yet it was not consumed. 3And Moses said, “I will turn aside to see this great sight, why the bush is not burned.” 4When the Lord saw that he turned aside to see, God called to him out of the bush, “Moses, Moses!” And he said, “Here I am.” 5Then he said, “Do not come near; take your sandals off your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.” 6And he said, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God. ▤ 

The “angel of the Lord” (v. 2) is identified with God (v. 4). God’s presence is here manifested in fire from within a bush.

Ex 13:21  And the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of cloud to lead them along the way, and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, that they might travel by day and by night. ▤ 

Ex 19:18  Now Mount Sinai was wrapped in smoke because the Lord had descended on it in fire. The smoke of it went up like the smoke of a kiln, and the whole mountain trembled greatly. ▤ 

Ex 24:17  Now the appearance of the glory of the Lord was like a devouring fire on the top of the mountain in the sight of the people of Israel. ▤ 

Deut 4:11-12  And you came near and stood at the foot of the mountain, while the mountain burned with fire to the heart of heaven, wrapped in darkness, cloud, and gloom. 12Then the Lord spoke to you out of the midst of the fire. You heard the sound of words, but saw no form; there was only a voice. ▤ 

Deut 5:22  These words the Lord spoke to all your assembly at the mountain out of the midst of the fire, the cloud, and the thick darkness, with a loud voice; and he added no more. And he wrote them on two tablets of stone and gave them to me. ▤ 

Lev 9:24  And fire came out from before the Lord and consumed the burnt offering and the pieces of fat on the altar, and when all the people saw it, they shouted and fell on their faces. ▤ 

This is not necessarily saying that the fire was a manifestation of God’s presence, but it does at least associate the fire with God’s presence (cf. NIV, NLT).

  • God’s Holy Spirit was manifested in what looked like “tongues of fire”:

Acts 2:3-4  And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and restedb on each one of them. 4And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance. ▤ 

b Or And tongues as of fire appeared to them, distributed among them, and rested

Note: God primarily dwells in heaven . . .

See also:

Verses which speak of God being in heaven are not understood to indicate that he is in any way confined to one location. But they do suggest that his form is such that his primary presence is in heaven. Note that some verses suggest that God is present throughout the earth through his Holy Spirit (cf. The Holy Spirit is correlated with God’s presence).

Deut 26:15  Look down from your holy habitation, from heaven, and bless your people Israel and the ground that you have given us, as you swore to our fathers, a land flowing with milk and honey. ▤ 

1Ki 8:30b  And listen in heaven your dwelling place, and when you hear, forgive. ▤ 

2Chr 20:6a  … and said, “O Lord, God of our fathers, are you not God in heaven? ▤ 

Job 22:12a  “Is not God high in the heavens? ▤ 

Ps 20:6  Now I know that the Lord saves his anointed; he will answer him from his holy heaven with the saving might of his right hand. ▤ 

Ps 73:25  Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you. ▤ 

Eccl 5:2  m Be not rash with your mouth, nor let your heart be hasty to utter a word before God, for God is in heaven and you are on earth. Therefore let your words be few. ▤ 

m Ch 5:1 in Hebrew

Isa 63:15a  Look down from heaven and see, from your holy and beautifuln habitation. ▤ 

n Or holy and glorious

Matt 6:9  Pray then like this: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.o ▤ 

o Or Let your name be kept holy, or Let your name be treated with reverence

Acts 7:55  But he, full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. ▤ 

Gen 28:17  And he was afraid and said, “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven.” ▤ 

Jacob was speaking after having a dream of a stairway reaching up to heaven, with God being above the stairway (cf. vv. 12-13).

Isa 40:22  It is he who sits above the circle of the earth, and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers; who stretches out the heavens like a curtain, and spreads them like a tent to dwell in; … ▤ 

. . . God’s temple is in heaven

There have been earthly temples of God. But as heaven is where God primarily dwells, that which is spoken of as ultimately being God’s temple is in heaven.

Ps 11:4  The Lord is in his holy temple; the Lord’s throne is in heaven; his eyes see, his eyelids test the children of man. ▤ 

Heb 8:5  They serve a copy and shadow of the heavenly things. For when Moses was about to erect the tent, he was instructed by God, saying, “See that you make everything according to the pattern that was shown you on the mountain.” ▤ 

The priests served at a sanctuary – initially in the tabernacle and then later the temple – which was set up to reflect God’s heavenly sanctuary or temple.

Rev 11:19  Then God’s temple in heaven was opened, and the ark of his covenant was seen within his temple. There were flashes of lightning, rumblings,p peals of thunder, an earthquake, and heavy hail. ▤ 

p Or voices, or sounds

The ark of the covenant signifies God’s presence (cf. The Ark of the Covenant and God’s Presence). The background to this reference is the ark of the covenant that was made according to God’s directions to Moses. It was kept in the Most Holy Place in the tabernacle and later in the temple. It contained the stone tablets on which were written the Ten Commandments. Together these tablets were also referred to as the “witness” (cf. Rev 15:5 ) – or “testimony” (NIV®) – as they “witnessed” to God’s covenant to Israel, which was based on the Ten Commandments.

Rev 15:5, 8  After this I looked, and the sanctuary of the tentq of witness in heaven was opened, ▤ 8and the sanctuary was filled with smoke from the glory of God and from his power, and no one could enter the sanctuary until the seven plagues of the seven angels were finished. ▤ 

q Or tabernacle

This sanctuary appears to denote a/the temple of God (cf. CEV, GNT, NASB, NCV, NIRV, NIV, NKJV, NLT, NRSV).

Jonah 2:4, 7  Then I said, ‘I am driven away from your sight; yet I shall again look upon your holy temple.’ ▤ 7When my life was fainting away, I remembered the Lord, and my prayer came to you, into your holy temple. ▤ 

In v. 4, “temple” appears to refer to the temple in Jerusalem, with Jonah speaking of looking towards it. Contrastingly, in v. 7 “temple” may refer to God’s heavenly temple, with Jonah speaking of his prayer rising to God and to his “temple”. The Israelites closely correlated these two temples. Note that although the following references do not actually mention heaven, like v. 7 here they appear to be speaking of heaven as God’s temple.

Ps 18:6  In my distress I called upon the Lord; to my God I cried for help. From his temple he heard my voice, and my cry to him reached his ears. ▤ 

Mic 1:2  Hear, you peoples, all of you;r pay attention, O earth, and all that is in it, and let the Lord God be a witness against you, the Lord from his holy temple. ▤ 

r Hebrew all of them

Hab 2:20  But the Lord is in his holy temple; let all the earth keep silence before him. ▤ 

  • God dwells in heaven but is also present on earth:

Isa 57:15  For thus says the One who is high and lifted up, who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: “I dwell in the high and holy place, and also with him who is of a contrite and lowly spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly, and to revive the heart of the contrite. ▤ 

That God dwells in heaven but is present on earth too is also implied in 66:1a – ‘Thus says the Lord: “Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool’.

Pray for persecuted Christians

God’s Glory

See also:

Scripture often speaks of God’s glory in reference to his wondrous being. In doing so, it has in view God’s essence and/or his attributes. Regarding his essence, God’s glory pertains to his essential being itself, such that his presence is on occasions perceived as his glory and spoken of in terms of it. Regarding his attributes, God’s glory emanates in part from his attributes – such as his power – which in a sense reflect the glory of God’s essence and presence.

Glory is a prominent and key attribute of God

Ps 24:7-8, 10  Lift up your heads, O gates! And be lifted up, O ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in. 8Who is this King of glory? The Lord, strong and mighty, the Lord, mighty in battle! ▤ 10Who is this King of glory? The Lord of hosts, he is the King of glory! Selah ▤ 

The mighty God is “the King of glory” (cf. Acts 7:2b ; Eph 1:17 ), for his glory far exceeds that of anyone or anything else, and in him glory has its ultimate expression.

Ps 104:31  May the glory of the Lord endure forever; may the Lord rejoice in his works, … ▤ 

This points to the fact that God’s glory will indeed endure forever.

Ps 138:5  … and they shall sing of the ways of the Lord, for great is the glory of the Lord. ▤ 

Jer 2:11  Has a nation changed its gods, even though they are no gods? But my people have changed their glory for that which does not profit. ▤ 

The phrase “their glory” refers to God – “their Glory [God]” (AMP). Referring to God as such reflects that glory is a prominent and key part of his being.

Hab 2:14  For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea. ▤ 

Acts 7:2b  The God of glory appeared to our father Abraham when he was in Mesopotamia, before he lived in Haran, … ▤ 

“The God of glory” – as with the similar titles “the King of glory” (Ps 24:7-8, 10 ) and “the Father of glory” (Eph 1:17 ) – appears to indicate one or more of the following: glory is a central attribute of God, permeating or encompassing his entire being; God is the ultimate source of all glory; and God is the one to whom all glory belongs (cf. Rev 19:1 ).

Rom 3:23  … for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, … ▤ 

In their sinful state, people are not compatible with God’s wondrous glory. The fact that it is God’s glory that people are measured by or compared to, underlines that glory is a key attribute of God.

2Cor 4:6  For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. ▤ 

This is speaking of God enabling believers to know his glory through his revelation of himself in Jesus Christ, largely as seen in Jesus Christ’s mission. Jesus Christ emulated and revealed God in his person, words and deeds; in a sense Jesus Christ personified God.

Eph 1:17  … that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, … ▤ 

Heb 1:3a  He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. ▤ 

In speaking of Jesus Christ being like God, the only attribute of God that is specifically mentioned is his glory (cf. 2Cor 4:6 ). This highlights that glory is a prominent and key attribute of God.

Jude 1:25  … to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen. ▤ 

In ascribing glory to God (cf. Rev 19:1 ; [Reasons for which to exalt God:] God’s glory) the writer appears to both acknowledge God’s glory and bestow glory on God, the latter being akin to a blessing.

  • Glory belongs to God:

Rev 19:1  After this I heard what seemed to be the loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, crying out, “Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God, … ▤ 

Ultimately glory only truly belongs to God. No other glory is comparable or lasting.

God’s glory is an integral aspect of God’s presence

See also:

Ps 26:8  O Lord, I love the habitation of your house and the place where your glory dwells. ▤ 

In speaking of where God’s “glory dwells” – and also in view of the earlier reference to “your house” – this correlates God’s glory with his presence.

Ps 85:9  Surely his salvation is near to those who fear him, that glory may dwell in our land. ▤ 

The reference to “glory” is likely to God’s glory – “his glory” (NCV™, NIV®, NLT, NRSV). The verse may mean that on accomplishing their salvation, God’s glorious presence – God himself – would remain with his people in the land (cf. AMP, GNT). Alternatively, or additionally, it could be speaking of God’s glory being manifested in effecting his people’s salvation.

Isa 58:8  Then shall your light break forth like the dawn, and your healing shall spring up speedily; your righteousness shall go before you; the glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard. ▤ 

This appears to allude to the cloud of God’s presence, which guided and protected Israel during all their desert travels. The expression “the glory of the Lord” speaks of God himself, his very presence.

Ezek 3:12-13  Then the Spiritc lifted me up, and I heard behind me the voiced of a great earthquake: “Blessed be the glory of the Lord from its place!” 13It was the sound of the wings of the living creatures as they touched one another, and the sound of the wheels beside them, and the sound of a great earthquake. ▤ 

c Or the wind; also verse 14

d Or sound

The term “its place” likely denotes God’s dwelling place (cf. NIV). The context (cf. Ezek 1:26-28 ; Ezek 3:22-23 ) further suggests that “the glory of the Lord” is correlated with God’s presence.

2Pet 1:17  For when he received honor and glory from God the Father, and the voice was borne to him by the Majestic Glory, “This is my beloved Son,e with whom I am well pleased,” … ▤ 

e Or my Son, my (or the) Beloved

Peter is speaking of Jesus Christ’s transfiguration where God, “the Majestic Glory”, spoke from a bright cloud that enveloped Jesus and the disciples with him (cf. Matt 17:5). The reference to God as “the Majestic Glory” speaks of and emphasizes the glory of his presence (cf. ESB).

Jude 1:24  Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, … ▤ 

Num 14:21  But truly, as I live, and as all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the Lord, … ▤ 

As noted earlier, this may be linking God’s glory with his presence – which may also be the case in Isaiah 6:3 below.

Isa 6:3  And one called to another and said: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!”f ▤ 

f Or may his glory fill the whole earth

Rev 21:2-3, 10-11  And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling placeg of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people,h and God himself will be with them as their God. ▤ 10And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great, high mountain, and showed me the holy city Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God, 11having the glory of God, its radiance like a most rare jewel, like a jasper, clear as crystal. ▤ 

g Or tabernacle

h Some manuscripts peoples

i Some manuscripts omit as their God

God will dwell with his people in the new Jerusalem (v. 3). As such God’s glory will be there (v. 11).

God’s glory manifests his presence . . .

See also:

Ex 16:10-11  And as soon as Aaron spoke to the whole congregation of the people of Israel, they looked toward the wilderness, and behold, the glory of the Lord appeared in the cloud. 11And the Lord said to Moses, … ▤ 

Verse 1 indicates that God spoke from the cloud, affirming his presence in it – thus showing his glory to be a manifestation of his presence. Exodus 24:15-17, Numbers 14:10-11, Numbers 20:6-7, Ezekiel 1:26-28 and Ezekiel 8:4-5b below similarly speak of the appearance of God’s glory along with God speaking, showing his glory to be indicative of his presence.

Ex 24:15-17  Then Moses went up on the mountain, and the cloud covered the mountain. 16The glory of the Lord dwelt on Mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it six days. And on the seventh day he called to Moses out of the midst of the cloud. 17Now the appearance of the glory of the Lord was like a devouring fire on the top of the mountain in the sight of the people of Israel. ▤ 

Ex 33:18-22  Moses said, “Please show me your glory.” 19And he said, “I will make all my goodness pass before you and will proclaim before you my name ‘The Lord.’ And I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy. 20But,” he said, “you cannot see my face, for man shall not see me and live.” 21And the Lord said, “Behold, there is a place by me where you shall stand on the rock, 22and while my glory passes by I will put you in a cleft of the rock, and I will cover you with my hand until I have passed by. ▤ 

Verses 19-20, 22b indicate that God’s presence is in view. As such God’s glory (vv. 18, 22) is here closely associated with God’s presence, seemingly manifesting it.

Lev 9:4-6, 23-24  … and an ox and a ram for peace offerings, to sacrifice before the Lord, and a grain offering mixed with oil, for today the Lord will appear to you.’” 5And they brought what Moses commanded in front of the tent of meeting, and all the congregation drew near and stood before the Lord. 6And Moses said, “This is the thing that the Lord commanded you to do, that the glory of the Lord may appear to you.” ▤ 23And Moses and Aaron went into the tent of meeting, and when they came out they blessed the people, and the glory of the Lord appeared to all the people. 24And fire came out from before the Lord and consumed the burnt offering and the pieces of fat on the altar, and when all the people saw it, they shouted and fell on their faces. ▤ 

Verses 4, 6 correlate God’s appearance with his glory by speaking of the “Lord” appearing and “the glory of the Lord” appearing as being the same thing. Verses 23, 24 similarly correlate “the glory of the Lord” (v. 23) with his presence (v. 24b; cf. NIV).

Num 14:10-11  Then all the congregation said to stone them with stones. But the glory of the Lord appeared at the tent of meeting to all the people of Israel. 11And the Lord said to Moses, “How long will this people despise me? And how long will they not believe in me, in spite of all the signs that I have done among them? ▤ 

Num 20:6-7  Then Moses and Aaron went from the presence of the assembly to the entrance of the tent of meeting and fell on their faces. And the glory of the Lord appeared to them, 7and the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, … ▤ 

Ezek 1:26-28  And above the expanse over their heads there was the likeness of a throne, in appearance like sapphire;j and seated above the likeness of a throne was a likeness with a human appearance. 27And upward from what had the appearance of his waist I saw as it were gleaming metal, like the appearance of fire enclosed all around. And downward from what had the appearance of his waist I saw as it were the appearance of fire, and there was brightness around him.k 28Like the appearance of the bow that is in the cloud on the day of rain, so was the appearance of the brightness all around. Such was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord. And when I saw it, I fell on my face, and I heard the voice of one speaking. ▤ 

j Or lapis lazuli

k Or it

Ezek 8:4-5a  And behold, the glory of the God of Israel was there, like the vision that I saw in the valley. 5Then he said to me, “Son of man, lift up your eyes now toward the north.” ▤ 

Ezek 3:22-23  And the hand of the Lord was upon me there. And he said to me, “Arise, go out into the valley,l and there I will speak with you.” 23So I arose and went out into the valley, and behold, the glory of the Lord stood there, like the glory that I had seen by the Chebar canal, and I fell on my face. ▤ 

l Or plain; also verse 23

Acts 7:55  But he, full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. ▤ 

Here “the glory of God” is correlated with “God” himself – and so God’s presence.

. . . God’s glory is spoken of as manifesting his presence in his temples

1Ki 8:10-12  And when the priests came out of the Holy Place, a cloud filled the house of the Lord, 11so that the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud, for the glory of the Lord filled the house of the Lord. 12Then Solomon said, “The Lordm has said that he would dwell in thick darkness. ▤ 

m Septuagint The Lord has set the sun in the heavens, but

As noted earlier, the “thick darkness” (v. 12) refers to the cloud (vv. 10-11).

Ezek 43:1-5  Then he led me to the gate, the gate facing east. 2And behold, the glory of the God of Israel was coming from the east. And the sound of his coming was like the sound of many waters, and the earth shone with his glory. 3And the vision I saw was just like the vision that I had seen when hen came to destroy the city, and just like the vision that I had seen by the Chebar canal. And I fell on my face. 4As the glory of the Lord entered the temple by the gate facing east, 5the Spirit lifted me up and brought me into the inner court; and behold, the glory of the Lord filled the temple. ▤ 

n Some Hebrew manuscripts and Vulgate; most Hebrew manuscripts when I

This is from Ezekiel’s vision of a future temple in Jerusalem.

Rev 15:8  … and the sanctuary was filled with smoke from the glory of God and from his power, and no one could enter the sanctuary until the seven plagues of the seven angels were finished. ▤ 

God’s heavenly temple appears to be in view.

Ex 40:34-35  Then the cloud covered the tent of meeting, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. 35And Moses was not able to enter the tent of meeting because the cloud settled on it, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. ▤ 

Prior to Solomon building the first temple of God, the tabernacle was the place of God’s sanctuary. (It was a movable structure, which accompanied the Israelites in their travels.) It likewise signified God’s presence and here God’s glory is spoken of as manifesting his presence in it.

God is resplendent with light

One can infer from the following verses that one aspect or effect of God’s glory is that God is resplendent with light.

1Tim 6:15-16  … which he will display at the proper time—he who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords, 16who alone has immortality, who dwells in unapproachable light, whom no one has ever seen or can see. To him be honor and eternal dominion. Amen. ▤ 

Ps 104:2  … covering yourself with light as with a garment, stretching out the heavens like a tent. ▤ 

The use of “light” here may be figurative (cf. Ps 18:12 ), portraying God’s interaction with his creation. But even if this is the case, it probably alludes to the actual light of God’s glory and presence.

Isa 60:19-20  The sun shall be no more your light by day, nor for brightness shall the moon give you light;o but the Lord will be your everlasting light, and your God will be your glory.p 20Your sun shall no more go down, nor your moon withdraw itself; for the Lord will be your everlasting light, and your days of mourning shall be ended. ▤ 

o Masoretic Text; Dead Sea Scroll, Septuagint, Targum add by night

p Or your beauty

This speaks of the renewed Jerusalem, and is reflected in Revelation 21:11, 23 below, which speaks of the new Jerusalem of the afterlife.

Ezek 1:27-28a  And upward from what had the appearance of his waist I saw as it were gleaming metal, like the appearance of fire enclosed all around. And downward from what had the appearance of his waist I saw as it were the appearance of fire, and there was brightness around him.q 28Like the appearance of the bow that is in the cloud on the day of rain, so was the appearance of the brightness all around. Such was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord. ▤ 

q Or it

Ezek 43:1-2  Then he led me to the gate, the gate facing east. 2And behold, the glory of the God of Israel was coming from the east. And the sound of his coming was like the sound of many waters, and the earth shone with his glory. ▤ 

The earth shone “with the dazzling light” (GNT) of God’s glory.

Dan 2:22  … he reveals deep and hidden things; he knows what is in the darkness, and the light dwells with him. ▤ 

The meaning of the final clause is debatable, but it may well be speaking of the light that emanates from God’s glory (cf. GNT, NCV, NLT).

Luke 2:9  And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with fear. ▤ 

The angel who appeared to the shepherds to announce Jesus Christ’s birth was accompanied by a manifestation of God’s glory (cf. Rev 21:23 ), indicative of God’s presence, which shone around them. Such was the light that, along with the angel, it evoked fear.

Rev 21:23  And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb. ▤ 

Rev 22:5a  And night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light … ▤ 

Deut 33:2  He said, “The Lord came from Sinai and dawned from Seir upon us;r he shone forth from Mount Paran; he came from the ten thousands of holy ones, with flaming fires at his right hand. ▤ 

r Septuagint, Syriac, Vulgate; Hebrew them

s The meaning of the Hebrew word is uncertain

The appearance of God’s glory at Sinai is in view (cf. Ex 24:15-17). God “dawned” as in “rose like the sun” (GNT, NCV; cf. Hab 3:4 ). Psalms 50:2 also speaks of God shining forth – “Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God shines forth.”

Ps 18:12  Out of the brightness before him hailstones and coals of fire broke through his clouds. ▤ 

As in Habakkuk 3:4 below, the description here appears to be figurative, although quite possibly alluding to the writer’s understanding of God’s actual presence.

Hab 3:4  His brightness was like the light; rays flashed from his hand; and there he veiled his power. ▤ 

  • God is light:

1Jn 1:5  This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. ▤ 

Here “light” appears to be used as a metaphor for God’s holiness and truth, but it may also allude to the light of God’s presence (cf. ZBC) which would make the verse particularly pertinent here.

God has great splendor and majesty

Verses speaking of God’s splendor and/or majesty are reflective of God’s glory. Similar to and in conjunction with God’s glory, God’s splendor and majesty are spoken of as being descriptive of his presence and also on occasions as emanating from his pre-eminent attributes, partly in his exercising of them.

Ps 96:6  Splendor and majesty are before him; strength and beauty are in his sanctuary. ▤ 

Ps 104:1  Bless the Lord, O my soul! O Lord my God, you are very great! You are clothed with splendor and majesty, … ▤ 

Ps 145:5  On the glorious splendor of your majesty, and on your wondrous works, I will meditate. ▤ 

Isa 2:10, 19  Enter into the rock and hide in the dust from before the terror of the Lord, and from the splendor of his majesty. ▤ 19And people shall enter the caves of the rocks and the holes of the ground,t from before the terror of the Lord, and from the splendor of his majesty, when he rises to terrify the earth. ▤ 

t Hebrew dust

Hab 3:3  God came from Teman, and the Holy One from Mount Paran. His splendor covered the heavens, and the earth was full of his praise. Selah ▤ 

Possibly the appearance of God’s glory at Mount Sinai is in view here (cf. Ex 19:16-19). God’s splendor is depicted as covering the heavens and bringing him praise and renown throughout the earth.

Deut 33:26  There is none like God, O Jeshurun, who rides through the heavens to your help, through the skies in his majesty. ▤ 

This poetically depicts the dynamic power and majesty of God.

1Chr 29:11  Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, for all that is in the heavens and in the earth is yours. Yours is the kingdom, O Lord, and you are exalted as head above all. ▤ 

Job 37:22  Out of the north comes golden splendor; God is clothed with awesome majesty. ▤ 

Ps 29:4  The voice of the Lord is powerful; the voice of the Lord is full of majesty. ▤ 

Ps 93:1a  The Lord reigns; he is robed in majesty; the Lord is robed; he has put on strength as his belt. ▤ 

Heb 1:3b  After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, … ▤ 

As well as indicating that God has great majesty, the title “Majesty” alludes to God’s supremacy (cf. GNT) and probably also his glory (cf. 2Pet 1:17 ).

Ex 15:7, 11  In the greatness of your majesty you overthrow your adversaries; you send out your fury; it consumes them like stubble. ▤ 11“Who is like you, O Lord, among the gods? Who is like you, majestic in holiness, awesome in glorious deeds, doing wonders? ▤ 

Akin to the theme of the following subsection, God’s majesty is manifested in his great power (v. 7; cf. Isa 2:10, 19 ; Ps 8:1 ). It is also in part due to his holiness (v. 11). Note that this and the following references speak of God as being “majestic”, indicative of his great majesty.

Ps 8:1  O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory above the heavens. ▤ 

Ps 76:4  Glorious are you, more majestic than the mountains of prey. ▤ 

2Pet 1:17  For when he received honor and glory from God the Father, and the voice was borne to him by the Majestic Glory, “This is my beloved Son,u with whom I am well pleased,” ▤ 

u Or my Son, my (or the) Beloved

God’s glory is reflected in his powerful deeds

See also:

Note that the following two subsections in part also speak of God’s glory being reflected in his powerful deeds. God’s creation is largely in view in the following subsection and in the subsequent one God’s emphatic intervention at the end of the age is prominent.

Ps 24:8  Who is this King of glory? The Lord, strong and mighty, the Lord, mighty in battle! ▤ 

God’s power seen in his deeds against enemies, exhibits his glory – pointing to him being the “King of glory”.

Ps 66:2-3  … sing the glory of his name; give to him glorious praise! 3Say to God, “How awesome are your deeds! So great is your power that your enemies come cringing to you. ▤ 

This speaks both of God’s glory being evidenced in his power and deeds and of him being glorified in people praising him because of his power and deeds.

Ps 138:5  … and they shall sing of the ways of the Lord, for great is the glory of the Lord. ▤ 

The “ways” of the Lord are inclusive of what he has done (cf. CEV, GNT, NCV, NIrV) and reflect his great glory.

Ps 145:11-12  They shall speak of the glory of your kingdom and tell of your power, 12to make known to the children of man yourv mighty deeds, and the glorious splendor of your kingdom. ▤ 

v Hebrew his; also next line

These verses associate the glory and glorious splendor of God’s kingdom with God’s mighty acts, arguably suggesting that the latter evidences the former.

Ezek 39:6, 13, 21  I will send fire on Magog and on those who dwell securely in the coastlands, and they shall know that I am the Lord. ▤ 13All the people of the land will bury them, and it will bring them renown on the day that I show my glory, declares the Lord God. ▤ 21“And I will set my glory among the nations, and all the nations shall see my judgment that I have executed, and my hand that I have laid on them. ▤ 

John 11:40-44  Jesus said to her, “Did I not tell you that if you believed you would see the glory of God?” 41So they took away the stone. And Jesus lifted up his eyes and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. 42I knew that you always hear me, but I said this on account of the people standing around, that they may believe that you sent me.” 43When he had said these things, he cried out with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out.” 44The man who had died came out, his hands and feet bound with linen strips, and his face wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Unbind him, and let him go.” ▤ 

God’s glory was seen or reflected in the raising of Lazarus from the dead, with Jesus effectively calling on his Father in raising Lazarus.

Rom 6:4  We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. ▤ 

This indicates that God’s glory – encompassing his “glorious power” (GNT, NLT; cf. AMP, NCV) – was evident in his raising of Jesus Christ from the dead.

Ex 15:6  Your right hand, O Lord, glorious in power, your right hand, O Lord, shatters the enemy. ▤ 

Just as God’s glory is reflected in his powerful deeds, God’s power expressed in his deeds shows him to be glorious.

Luke 9:43  And all were astonished at the majesty of God. But while they were all marveling at everything he was doing, Jesusw said to his disciples, … ▤ 

w Greek he

Akin to his glory, God’s majesty was reflected in Jesus Christ’s powerful deeds, which were done with God’s power.

  • God’s dealings with humankind make known “the riches of his glory”:

Rom 9:22-23  What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, 23in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory— ▤ 

Paul may be saying that God makes “the riches of his glory” (v. 23a) known to those who are “vessels of mercy” by bearing with great patience those who are “vessels of wrath”. Alternatively, Paul may mean that God makes “the riches of his glory” known by bestowing these riches on the “vessels of mercy” in contrast to the destruction that he will inflict on the “vessels of wrath”.

God’s glory is evidenced throughout the earth and the heavens

See also:

God’s glory is evidenced throughout the earth and the heavens – for God so wonderfully created them, reflecting his glory.

Ps 8:1  O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory above the heavens. ▤ 

Ps 19:1-4a  The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky abovex proclaims his handiwork. 2Day to day pours out speech, and night to night reveals knowledge. 3There is no speech, nor are there words, whose voice is not heard. 4Their voicey goes out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. ▤ 

x Hebrew the expanse; compare Genesis 1:6-8

y Or Their measuring line

Ps 97:4-6  His lightnings light up the world; the earth sees and trembles. 5The mountains melt like wax before the Lord, before the Lord of all the earth. 6The heavens proclaim his righteousness, and all the peoples see his glory. ▤ 

This may well be simply speaking of dramatic physical occurrences in nature pointing to God’s reign, illustrating that with the expression of his power in nature, God’s glory is apparent to “all the peoples” (v. 6).

Isa 6:3  And one called to another and said: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!”z ▤ 

z Or may his glory fill the whole earth

God’s glory will be explicitly revealed throughout the earth, to all nations

See also:

The following references either refer to or have an application to the end of the age when God will impose his authority over all the earth, unequivocally revealing his glory in his deeds and displaying to all nations the glory of his presence.

Num 14:21  But truly, as I live, and as all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the Lord, … ▤ 

Ps 57:11  Be exalted, O God, above the heavens! Let your glory be over all the earth! ▤ 

The prayer here and the similar one in 72:19 below are in a sense anticipatory of what would or will happen in the future, expressing the desire that God’s glory be revealed throughout all the earth.

Ps 72:19  Blessed be his glorious name forever; may the whole earth be filled with his glory! Amen and Amen! ▤ 

Ps 102:15-16  Nations will fear the name of the Lord, and all the kings of the earth will fear your glory. 16For the Lord builds up Zion; he appears in his glory; … ▤ 

A future time appears to be in view (cf. Isa 24:23 ), as reflected in other translations.

Isa 35:1-2  The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad; the desert shall rejoice and blossom like the crocus; 2it shall blossom abundantly and rejoice with joy and singing. The glory of Lebanon shall be given to it, the majesty of Carmel and Sharon. They shall see the glory of the Lord, the majesty of our God. ▤ 

In v. 2b, “they” quite possibly refers to the nations. In the future renewal of Israel, “they” would and/or will see the glory of Israel’s God.

Isa 40:5  And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together, for the mouth of the Lord has spoken. ▤ 

This initially refers to God’s deliverance of the Jews from captivity in Babylon. It is also understood to apply to his redemption that would come through Jesus Christ, in his first advent. It likewise is readily applicable to the consummation of this redemption at the end of the age.

Isa 66:18  For I knowa their works and their thoughts, and the time is comingb to gather all nations and tongues. And they shall come and shall see my glory, … ▤ 

a Septuagint, Syriac; Hebrew lacks know

b Hebrew and it is coming

Ezek 39:21  And I will set my glory among the nations, and all the nations shall see my judgment that I have executed, and my hand that I have laid on them. ▤ 

Hab 2:14  For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea. ▤ 

The revelation of God’s glory in the destruction of Babylon (cf. vv. 12-13) may initially be in view, but the verse probably also has a final fulfillment at the end of the age. As such, some commentators assert that this is speaking primarily of the glory of God’s presence being manifested throughout the earth.

  • God’s glory will be evident when he reigns in Jerusalem:

Isa 24:23  Then the moon will be confounded and the sun ashamed, for the Lord of hosts reigns on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem, and his glory will be before his elders. ▤ 

Pray for persecuted Christians

God’s Personhood

God is not a “thing” but a personal being that one can interrelate with. God thinks, has a will, has feelings and has character. Furthermore, God is active, communicates and interacts with people.

God has a mind – knowing and comprehending things

See also:

1Sam 2:3  Talk no more so very proudly, let not arrogance come from your mouth; for the Lord is a God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed. ▤ 

God knows and examines things (cf. Jer 20:12 ).

1Chr 28:9a  “And you, Solomon my son, know the God of your father and serve him with a whole heart and with a willing mind, for the Lord searches all hearts and understands every plan and thought. ▤ 

Job 28:23  God understands the way to it [wisdom], and he knows its place. ▤ 

The suggestion is that God alone knows the way to wisdom (cf. AMP, CEV, GNT, NCV, NIRV, NIV).

Job 38:18  Have you comprehended the expanse of the earth? Declare, if you know all this. ▤ 

Here God is speaking to Job. The implication is that, unlike Job, God does know and comprehend the extent of the earth.

Ps 139:1-3  O Lord, you have searched me and known me! 2You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar. 3You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways. ▤ 

Jer 20:12  O Lord of hosts, who tests the righteous, who sees the heart and the mind,c let me see your vengeance upon them, for to you have I committed my cause. ▤ 

c Hebrew kidneys

Jer 29:23  … because they have done an outrageous thing in Israel, they have committed adultery with their neighbors’ wives, and they have spoken in my name lying words that I did not command them. I am the one who knows, and I am witness, declares the Lord. ▤ 

God has a will

1Cor 1:1  Paul, called by the will of God to be an apostle of Christ Jesus, and our brother Sosthenes, … ▤ 

Eph 1:9, 11  … making knownd to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ ▤ 11In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, … ▤ 

d Or he lavished upon us in all wisdom and insight, making known . . .

Col 1:9  And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, … ▤ 

James 1:18  Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures. ▤ 

Isa 14:26-27a  This is the purpose that is purposed concerning the whole earth, and this is the hand that is stretched out over all the nations. 27For the Lord of hosts has purposed, and who will annul it? ▤ 

Isa 55:11  … so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it. ▤ 

Eph 3:10-11  … so that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places. 11This was according to the eternal purpose that he has realized in Christ Jesus our Lord, … ▤ 

Acts 1:24  And they prayed and said, “You, Lord, who know the hearts of all, show which one of these two you have chosen … ▤ 

Here the disciples ask God to reveal his choice, and thus his will.

God has feelings and character . . .

See also:

Ex 20:5-6  You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, 6but showing steadfast love to thousandse of those who love me and keep my commandments. ▤ 

e Or to the thousandth generation

Regarding God’s jealousy, see the introductory comment on Jealousy.

Judg 2:18  Whenever the Lord raised up judges for them, the Lord was with the judge, and he saved them from the hand of their enemies all the days of the judge. For the Lord was moved to pity by their groaning because of those who afflicted and oppressed them. ▤ 

2Chr 36:15  The Lord, the God of their fathers, sent persistently to them by his messengers, because he had compassion on his people and on his dwelling place. ▤ 

Ps 5:5-6  The boastful shall not stand before your eyes; you hate all evildoers. 6You destroy those who speak lies; the Lord abhors the bloodthirsty and deceitful man. ▤ 

Isa 5:25  Therefore the anger of the Lord was kindled against his people, and he stretched out his hand against them and struck them, and the mountains quaked; and their corpses were as refuse in the midst of the streets. For all this his anger has not turned away, and his hand is stretched out still. ▤ 

Isa 62:4-5  You shall no more be termed Forsaken,f and your land shall no more be termed Desolate,g but you shall be called My Delight Is in Her,h and your land Married;i for the Lord delights in you, and your land shall be married. 5For as a young man marries a young woman, so shall your sons marry you, and as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so shall your God rejoice over you. ▤ 

f Hebrew Azubah

g Hebrew Shemamah

h Hebrew Hephzibah

i Hebrew Beulah

Jer 31:3b, 20  I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you. ▤ 20Is Ephraim my dear son? Is he my darling child? For as often as I speak against him, I do remember him still. Therefore my heartj yearns for him; I will surely have mercy on him, declares the Lord. ▤ 

j Hebrew bowels

James 5:11b  You have heard of the steadfastness of Job, and you have seen the purpose of the Lord, how the Lord is compassionate and merciful. ▤ 

. . . God feels emotional pain

See also:

Judg 10:16  So they put away the foreign gods from among them and served the Lord, and he became impatient over the misery of Israel. ▤ 

This appears to suggest that God was “troubled over Israel’s distress” (GNT).

2Sam 24:16a  And when the angel stretched out his hand toward Jerusalem to destroy it, the Lord relented from the calamity and said to the angel who was working destruction among the people, “It is enough; now stay your hand.” ▤ 

This may suggest that God “was grieved” (Jer 42:10 NIV®) because of the calamity.

Isa 63:9  In all their affliction he was afflicted,k and the angel of his presence saved them; in his love and in his pity he redeemed them; he lifted them up and carried them all the days of old. ▤ 

k Or he did not afflict

Hos 11:8  How can I give you up, O Ephraim? How can I hand you over, O Israel? How can I make you like Admah? How can I treat you like Zeboiim? My heart recoils within me; my compassion grows warm and tender. ▤ 

Here God aches over Israel’s looming punishment.

God is active

See also:

Ps 22:28  For kingship belongs to the Lord, and he rules over the nations. ▤ 

Ps 75:7  … but it is God who executes judgment, putting down one and lifting up another. ▤ 

Ps 115:3  Our God is in the heavens; he does all that he pleases. ▤ 

Isa 43:13b  I work, and who can turn it back? ▤ 

Dan 2:21  He changes times and seasons; he removes kings and sets up kings; he gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding; … ▤ 

John 5:17  But Jesus answered them, “My Father is working until now, and I am working.” ▤ 

Acts 14:17  Yet he did not leave himself without witness, for he did good by giving you rains from heaven and fruitful seasons, satisfying your hearts with food and gladness. ▤ 

Rom 8:30  And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified. ▤ 

Eph 3:20  Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, … ▤ 

Phil 1:6  And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. ▤ 

God communicates . . .

See also:

Gen 35:11, 14a  And God said to him, “I am God Almighty:l be fruitful and multiply. A nation and a company of nations shall come from you, and kings shall come from your own body. ▤ 14And Jacob set up a pillar in the place where he had spoken with him, a pillar of stone. ▤ 

l Hebrew El Shaddai

m Hebrew from your loins

Ex 33:11a  Thus the Lord used to speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend. ▤ 

Ex 29:42  It shall be a regular burnt offering throughout your generations at the entrance of the tent of meeting before the Lord, where I will meet with you, to speak to you there. ▤ 

Isa 46:9b-10  I am God, and there is none like me, 10declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose,’ … ▤ 

Jer 36:2  Take a scroll and write on it all the words that I have spoken to you against Israel and Judah and all the nations, from the day I spoke to you, from the days of Josiah until today. ▤ 

Obad 1:1  The vision of Obadiah. Thus says the Lord God concerning Edom: We have heard a report from the Lord, and a messenger has been sent among the nations: “Rise up! Let us rise against her for battle!” ▤ 

Zec 7:12  They made their hearts diamond-hard lest they should hear the law and the words that the Lord of hosts had sent by his Spirit through the former prophets. Therefore great anger came from the Lord of hosts. ▤ 

Eph 1:9  … making knownn to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ … ▤ 

n Or he lavished upon us in all wisdom and insight, making known . . .

Phil 3:15  Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you. ▤ 

Heb 1:1-2  Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, 2but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. ▤ 

Job 33:14  For God speaks in one way, and in two, though man does not perceive it. ▤ 

Note that this points out that people do not necessarily perceive that God has spoken.

. . . and people can communicate with God

See also:

Num 7:89  And when Moses went into the tent of meeting to speak with the Lord, he heard the voice speaking to him from above the mercy seat that was on the ark of the testimony, from between the two cherubim; and it spoke to him. ▤ 

Ezra 8:21  Then I proclaimed a fast there, at the river Ahava, that we might humble ourselves before our God, to seek from him a safe journey for ourselves, our children, and all our goods. ▤ 

Ps 5:3  O Lord, in the morning you hear my voice; in the morning I prepare a sacrifice for youo and watch. ▤ 

o Or I direct my prayer to you

Ps 66:3  Say to God, “How awesome are your deeds! So great is your power that your enemies come cringing to you. ▤ 

Dan 6:10-11  When Daniel knew that the document had been signed, he went to his house where he had windows in his upper chamber open toward Jerusalem. He got down on his knees three times a day and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as he had done previously. 11Then these men came by agreement and found Daniel making petition and plea before his God. ▤ 

Dan 9:3  Then I turned my face to the Lord God, seeking him by prayer and pleas for mercy with fasting and sackcloth and ashes. ▤ 

Heb 5:7  In the days of his flesh, Jesusp offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to him who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverence. ▤ 

p Greek he

God interacts with people, responding to their requests and needs

See also:

Ex 3:7-8  Then the Lord said, “I have surely seen the affliction of my people who are in Egypt and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters. I know their sufferings, 8and I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land to a good and broad land, a land flowing with milk and honey, to the place of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites. ▤ 

1Chr 5:20  And when they prevailed over them, the Hagrites and all who were with them were given into their hands, for they cried out to God in the battle, and he granted their urgent plea because they trusted in him. ▤ 

Ps 91:15  When he calls to me, I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will rescue him and honor him. ▤ 

Here God speaks of his care for one who loves him (cf. v. 14) and calls to him for help.

Zec 13:9b  They will call upon my name, and I will answer them. I will say, ‘They are my people’; and they will say, ‘The Lord is my God.’ ▤ 

Isa 58:9a  Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer; you shall cry, and he will say, ‘Here I am.’ ▤ 

Rom 10:12-13  For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. 13For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” ▤ 

2Cor 1:3-4  Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, 4who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. ▤ 

Phil 4:19  And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. ▤ 

James 4:8, 10  Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. ▤ 10Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you. ▤ 

Pray for persecuted Christians

God’s Eternity

God is alive

Num 14:28  Say to them, ‘As I live, declares the Lord, what you have said in my hearing I will do to you: … ▤ 

1Ki 1:29  And the king swore, saying, “As the Lord lives, who has redeemed my soul out of every adversity, … ▤ 

2Sam 22:47  The Lord lives, and blessed be my rock, and exalted be my God, the rock of my salvation, … ▤ 

Josh 3:10a  And Joshua said, “Here is how you shall know that the living God is among you … ▤ 

Matt 16:16  Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” ▤ 

John 6:57  As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever feeds on me, he also will live because of me. ▤ 

God has always been alive, the first of all things . . .

See also:

Ps 93:2  Your throne is established from of old; you are from everlasting. ▤ 

God has “always existed” (NIrV®).

Hab 1:12a  Are you not from everlasting, O Lord my God, my Holy One? ▤ 

Job 36:26  Behold, God is great, and we know him not; the number of his years is unsearchable. ▤ 

Isa 44:6  Thus says the Lord, the King of Israel and his Redeemer, the Lord of hosts: “I am the first and I am the last; besides me there is no god. ▤ 

Rev 21:6a  And he said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. ▤ 

Alpha and Omega are the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet. They are used here to emphasize that God is the beginning and end of everything – nothing exists or occurs outside or apart from him (cf. Isa 41:4 ).

Isa 41:4  Who has performed and done this, calling the generations from the beginning? I, the Lord, the first, and with the last; I am he. ▤ 

. . . God existed before the world began

Ps 90:2  Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God. ▤ 

Gen 1:1  In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. ▤ 

Prov 8:23  Ages ago I was set up, at the first, before the beginning of the earth. ▤ 

The speaker here is Wisdom, set up by God before the world began. Thus the verse implies or indicates that God existed before the world began.

John 17:5, 24  And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed. ▤ 24Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world. ▤ 

Eph 1:4a  … even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. ▤ 

God chose believers “in” Jesus Christ before the world began.

1Pet 1:20  He was foreknown before the foundation of the world but was made manifest in the last times for the sake of you … ▤ 

That Jesus Christ was foreknown by God before the foundation of the world, indicates that God existed and was active before the world began.

God will live forever

See also:

Rev 4:9-10a  And whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to him who is seated on the throne, who lives forever and ever, 10the twenty-four elders fall down before him who is seated on the throne and worship him who lives forever and ever. ▤ 

Gen 21:33  Abraham planted a tamarisk tree in Beersheba and called there on the name of the Lord, the Everlasting God. ▤ 

Deut 32:40  For I lift up my hand to heaven and swear, As I live forever, … ▤ 

Deut 33:27a  The eternal God is your dwelling place,q and underneath are the everlasting arms.r ▤ 

q Or a dwelling place

r Revocalization of verse 27 yields He subdues the ancient gods, and shatters the forces of old

Here “arms” is used figuratively to portray God’s support – as similarly is “rock” in Isaiah 26:4 immediately below. The term “everlasting arms” reflects the fact that God and his traits are everlasting.

Isa 26:4  Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord God is an everlasting rock. ▤ 

Ps 41:13  Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting! Amen and Amen. ▤ 

Isa 40:28  Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. ▤ 

Ps 102:24-27  “O my God,” I say, “take me not away in the midst of my days— you whose years endure throughout all generations!” 25Of old you laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands. 26They will perish, but you will remain; they will all wear out like a garment. You will change them like a robe, and they will pass away, 27but you are the same, and your years have no end. ▤ 

Dan 4:34  At the end of the days I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted my eyes to heaven, and my reason returned to me, and I blessed the Most High, and praised and honored him who lives forever, for his dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom endures from generation to generation; … ▤ 

Dan 6:26  I make a decree, that in all my royal dominion people are to tremble and fear before the God of Daniel, for he is the living God, enduring forever; his kingdom shall never be destroyed, and his dominion shall be to the end. ▤ 

1Tim 1:17  To the King of ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever.s Amen. ▤ 

s Greek to the ages of ages

Rev 15:7  And one of the four living creatures gave to the seven angels seven golden bowls full of the wrath of God who lives forever and ever, … ▤ 

Isa 44:6  Thus says the Lord, the King of Israel and his Redeemer, the Lord of hosts: “I am the first and I am the last; besides me there is no god. ▤ 

God is “the last” in that no one will outlast God. Nothing will exist beyond him, for he exists forever.

Rev 1:8  “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.” ▤ 

This emphasizes God’s eternity. He is the beginning and end (cf. Rev 21:6a ); the one who perpetually exists, who always has been and who always will be – existing as the all-powerful God.

Rev 21:6a  And he said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. ▤ 

God transcends time

1Cor 2:7  But we impart a secret and hidden wisdom of God, which God decreed before the ages for our glory. ▤ 

God was active before time began. As well as operating in the world, in the realm of time, God operates outside of time.

2Pet 3:8  But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. ▤ 

God dwells outside of the limitations of time, not bound by its finite perspective. From his eternal perspective, diverse periods such as a day and a thousand years are both small, even insignificant (cf. Ps 90:4 ). To God the distinction between them is merely relative. Note that with the use of “Lord”, Peter may be referring primarily to Jesus Christ.

Ps 90:4  For a thousand years in your sight are but as yesterday when it is past, or as a watch in the night. ▤ 

God is self-existing

John 5:26  For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself. ▤ 

Ex 3:14  God said to Moses, “I am who I am.”t And he said, “Say this to the people of Israel, ‘I am has sent me to you.’” ▤ 

t Or I am what I am, or I will be what I will be

God’s name – “I am who I am” and its shortened form “I am” – implies that God is self-existent and self-sufficient. This is perhaps more clearly implied by the alternative rendering in the text note.

Acts 17:25  … nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything. ▤ 

God is never in need. He is not dependent on anyone for anything, for after all he is the one who gives everything to all people.

God does not change

See also:

Ps 102:27  … but you are the same, and your years have no end. ▤ 

God stays the same.

Mal 3:6  For I the Lord do not change; therefore you, O children of Jacob, are not consumed. ▤ 

James 1:17  Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.u ▤ 

u Some manuscripts variation due to a shadow of turning

Hab 3:6  He stood and measured the earth; he looked and shook the nations; then the eternal mountains were scattered; the everlasting hills sank low. His were the everlasting ways. ▤ 

God does not change his ways. They are the same now as they were throughout the past and will be throughout eternity.

Isa 40:28  Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. ▤ 

God does not ever get tired out; his strength and alertness do not vary.

Pray for persecuted Christians