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A Heart For God: God in Human Terms

Sunday, March 02, 2008

God in Human Terms

"The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and His ears are attentive to their cry" (Psalm 34:15). Of course, the Lord doesn't have "eyes" or "ears." These are what's called "anthropomorphisms," which is just a big word for when God is described using human terms. This is how the Bible Encyclopedia defines anthropomorphism: "[It's a] figure of speech whereby the deity is referred to in terms of human bodily parts or human passions. ...Exodus 24:10 speaks of the feet of God. The commandments were written witht he finger of God (Ex. 31:18). Moses sees God's 'back' but not His 'face' (33:23). Actually, this last instance is questionable. The Heb. word here is not the regular word for 'back' but can mean 'after effects.' That is, Moses saw the glory, but not the essence of God. ...The Psalms illustrate the use of anthropomorphisms. The highly poetic Psalm 18 pictures God as breathing forth smoke (v. 8) uttering a voice of thunder (v. 13) and whose breath is the wind (v. 15). God's eyes and eye lids test the children of men (Ps. 11:4). Second Chronicles pictures the eyes of the Lord as running throughout the earth (16:9)" (Zondervan Pictorial Bible Encyclopedia, Vol I; 177-78). Now coming back to Psalm 34:15 for a moment. What we gain as far as application for our own lives as regards the "eyes" of the Lord on the righteous and His "ears" attentive to their cry - again, God doesn't have eyes and ears in a literal sense, but He does perceive in a very real way what each of us is dealing with in the present and He's ever ready, willing and able to respond to our needs. He's concerned and working on our behalf, beloved. It's a good word from the "mouth" of God! Did you need to hear it today?

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