How Does God Describe Himself?

Why this morning, and this moment, and this place were the right time to address the subject, I’m not sure. But in a candid moment of frustration, I said out loud, “I have three-quarters of an inch of information about who God is stored in my file cabinet and I still don’t have a concept of His character that is big enough for my condition. I think I’d better start over.” And so I thought to myself, I know what the theologians say about God, but what do I know about Him from the Bible?

It says, His eyes roam to and fro, which means He looks around.

He collects my tears in a bottle. Evidently, He is sentimental.

On a number of occasions His anger burned. That’s plain enough: He gets mad!

He decided to forgive, Isaiah writes, for His own sake. It seems He chooses to forgive because it is in His best interest to do so.

He sought solitude to think, pray, and ponder. He cried when Lazarus died, so He obviously let His emotions show.

He gathers His people like a mother hen does her brood. He feels a protective obligation.

Earth is His footstool. Apparently, He kicks back and takes it easy.

Revelation says He is going to return to Earth riding a white horse. He must like animals and have them in heaven.

He leads us in His triumph. Sounds like He enjoys a big parade.

A sparrow does not die without His notice. Watching birds is a pastime of His I suppose.

He taught by parables. Obviously, a great story is something He appreciates.

He came to the disciples walking on the water. What a great prank! No one could pull this off except Him. I’ll bet He—and the disciples—laughed time and again about that event.§

This process—the process of fresh thinking forming in my mind—continued for several minutes as I returned to the office. At first I was thinking to myself, then mumbling, then speaking out loud as my enthusiasm grew with the vision unfolding before me.

I have a hard time getting my arms around omniscient and omnipotent. I can’t really grasp immutable and magnificent, but I can relate to forgiveness, sentimentality, compassion, relaxation, birds, stories, pranks, and parades.

So, how big is God, I wonder?


§ Ref. 2 Chron. 16:9; Ps. 56:8; Deut. 29:27; Is. 43:25; Mk. 1:35; Jn. 11:35; Lk. 13:34; Is. 66:1; Rev. 19:11; 2 Cor. 2:14; Mk. 10:29; Mt. 22:1; Mt. 14:25