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What Is God Like? What Are the Attributes of God?

In trying to describe what God is like, people need look no further than the Bible. Without it and the authority with which it possesses, trying to describe what God is like would simply be one's opinion, which would be a mistake in attempting to describe God (Job 42:7). Needless to say, everyone should attempt to understand what God is like. Those who do not often end up chasing and worshipping false gods that are opposite of His will (Exodus 20: 3-5), which inevitably leads to trouble in most aspects of one's life.

What God Chooses to Reveal
Despite our desire to know everything about God, ultimately we will know only what He chooses to reveal to us. One of God's greatest attributes is "light," meaning He and He alone reveals information of Himself (James 1:17, Isaiah 60:19). An important point to remember is that because God has chosen to reveal knowledge of Himself to us, it is something we on Earth should not take for granted or neglect (Hebrews 4:1). It is always important to remember the main things in our lives that help us to know what God is like, such as:

  • Creation
  • The Bible
  • Jesus Christ

God is Our Creator
To begin to understand the awesomeness of God, it is important to consider several aspects of Creation including:

  • Beauty
  • Complexity
  • Order
  • Vastness

Only through giving each of these aspects proper thought and reverence can we begin to appreciate what God has given us. This all starts by remembering God is our Creator and we are part of His creation (Genesis 1:1, Psalm 24:1). Man should also never forget that although creation was marred by the fall, he nevertheless was given dominion over it and given a look into God's works (Genesis 1:26-28, Romans 1:19-20).

The Many Names of God
God has been given many names, and their meanings offer much insight into helping us understand what He is like. Some of the names are:

  • Elohim (Elohay) - "Strength or Power" (Genesis 1:1) 1st name of God used in the Bible.

"EL" is another shorter name for God and is often combined with others words to describe God:

  • EL Shaddai - "All-Sufficient One" and "Lord God Almighty" (Genesis 17:1)
  • EL Emet - "The God of Truth" (Psalm 31:6)
  • EL Roi - "The God Who Sees" (Genesis 16:13)
  • EL Olam - "The Everlasting or Eternal God" (Genesis 21:33) (Isaiah 40:28)
  • EL Echad - "The One God" (Malachi 2:10)
  • Immanu EL - "God Is With Us" (Isaiah 7:14)
  • Adonai - "Lord or Master" (Genesis 15:2)
  • YHVH / Yaweh / Jehovah - "LORD" (Exodus 3: 14-15) Is used approximately 7,000 times; more than any other name for God in the Bible; God revealed this special name to Moses at the burning bush.

By studying these names (there are many more) and pondering their meanings, much insight can be gained on God's true meaning.

God is Eternal
One of the most comforting aspects of knowing God is that He is eternal, with no beginning and no end. Immortal and infinite (Psalm 90:2, 1 Timothy 1:17, Deuteronomy 33:27), God can be counted on to be absolutely trustworthy and reliable in good times and bad (Numbers 23:18, Malachi 3:6). Incomparable, unequaled and perfect, there is no one else like Him (Matthew 5:48, Isaiah 40:25, 2 Samuel 7:22).

God's Presence
Because God knows all and sees all, His presence can be a very powerful and at times overwhelming force. Yet it is always important to remember he shows no favoritism (Psalm 18:30) and can do whatever pleases Him, but will always keep his actions in direct accord with his character (Revelation 19:6, Jeremiah 32:17,27). God knows what we are thinking at any given moment, and also knows the past, present and future. While He is present everywhere, this does not mean God is everything (Jeremiah 23:23, Psalm 139:7-13). Rather, it means His justice will be administered in a fair manner (Proverbs 5:21).

He and He Alone
Only God is worthy of our worship and devotion (Deuteronomy 6:4), and is able to meet the longings and needs our hearts possess. He will not overlook wrongdoing, and because of his righteousness and justice our sins will be forgiven. Of course, for our sins to be forgiven, Jesus had to experience God's wrath by having our sins placed upon Him (Romans 3:21-26, Matthew 27:45-46, Exodus 9:27).

God Is Supreme and Holy
A great comfort to us all is knowing nothing can thwart God's purpose (Jeremiah 23:20, Psalm 93:1 and 95:3). While God is an invisible spirit (John 1:18 and 4:24), he is equal in power and glory while also being the same in substance. Most of all, God is the truth and is incorruptible while never lying to us (1 Samuel 15:29, Psalm 117:2). Being holy, God notices all evil and is angered by it. Known as a consuming fire (Hebrews 12:29, Habakkuk 1:13, Isaiah 6:3), He is still kind and merciful with His grace. Most of all, He wants to know each of us personally (Psalm 31:19, Exodus 34:6, John 3:16).

Due to God's infinity, no human is now nor ever will be capable of fully understanding all aspects of God. However, by studying His word and incorporating it into our daily lives, we can gain a much greater understanding of who God is and what He is like. We can learn about his many attributes, see how He uses them and then learn to let them enter into our own lives. But most of all, we should always continue to seek Him (Jeremiah 29:13).

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