Bookmark Label (optional)
Max. 20 characters
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.
[Jesus, quoting Moses:] Listen, Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. … 32The expert in the law said to him, “That is true, Teacher; you are right to say that he is one, and there is no one else besides him. Mark 12:29b, 32 NET
God is a single entity. He is only one being.
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.
“I am a God who is near,” says the Lord. “I am also a God who is far away.” 24“No one can hide where I cannot see him,” says the Lord. “I fill all of heaven and earth,” says the Lord. Jeremiah 23:23-24 NCV™
Note that “Lord” is the personal name of God.
The Bible 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.
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.
Here “the glory of God” is correlated with “God” himself – and so God’s presence.
[Ezekiel, describing a vision of God:] I then saw what looked like a throne made of sapphire, and sitting on the throne was a figure in the shape of a human. 27From the waist up, it was glowing like metal in a hot furnace, and from the waist down it looked like the flames of a fire. The figure was surrounded by a bright light, 28as colorful as a rainbow that appears after a storm. I realized I was seeing the brightness of the Lord’s glory! Ezekiel 1:26-28a CEV
God is not a “thing” but a personal being with who we can interrelate.
[David:] And you, Solomon my son, obey the God of your father and serve him with a submissive attitude and a willing spirit, for the Lord examines all minds and understands every motive of one’s thoughts. 1 Chronicles 28:9a NET
[Paul, to believers:] In the Messiah we were also chosen when we were predestined according to the purpose of the one [God] who does everything according to the intention of his will, … Ephesians 1:11 ISV
After God spoke long ago in various portions and in various ways to our ancestors through the prophets, 2in these last days he has spoken to us in a son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he created the world. Hebrews 1:1-2 NET
[King Nebuchadnezzar:] I extolled the Most High, and I praised and glorified the one who lives forever. For his authority is an everlasting authority, and his kingdom extends from one generation to the next. Daniel 4:34b NET
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. To God the distinction between them is merely relative.