The appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord.

morgan-freeman

What does God look like?

Good question.

I have an office full of Bible commentaries and theological texts, but to answer this question I went to the most reliable source I could think of:

Google Image Search.

So, here’s the first picture that came up:

Cima_da_Conegliano,_God_the_Father

There you have it.  The stereotypical old white guy with the beard, looking down lovingly from heaven. A classic!

But then I noticed this guy:

Ludovico_Mazzolino_-_God_the_Father

Umm, why is God bald here?  Moving on…

There’s this guy…

God-02

And this guy…

God

But, I’d be tempted to go with this one:

images

(That’s the Monty Python version of God).

Now, not every picture of God on Google was of an aging bearded white guy.

There were lots of pictures of God depicted as…Jesus!

Like this…

weneedneedgraphic

And this…

Jesus-creation

and this…

our-great-god-jesus

There are a lot of pictures like the ones above.  You can go see for yourself.

So is that it?  Is this what God looks like?

The title of this devotion comes from the book of Ezekiel.  Ezekiel had a dramatic, almost surrealistic experience of being in the presence of God.   What he describes looked something like this:

ezekiel-vs

Or this…

the_first_vision_of_ezekiel_

Or this…

63-hesekiel1

Actually, they all look a little like the cover of a Boston album from the 70’s, if you ask me.

hqdefault

Whatever Ezekiel was describing, this vision of God was ultimately beyond description.

Thus the words, “This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord.”

The        appearance
of the     likeness
of the     glory
of the     Lord.

Did you catch that?  That’s at least 3 times removed from a definitive God sighting!   But even that was enough to send him bowing to the ground in awe.

I don’t know what comes into your mind when you try to picture God, but chances are it’s an incomplete picture.

That is as it should be.

Let Ezekiel be a reminder that we see only the appearance of the likeness of God’s glory.

And let Google remind us…

to keep on searching.

Have a great week,

Mitch

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Yahoogle

From there you will seek the Lord your God, and you will find him if you search after him with all your heart and soul. –Deut. 4:9

Let’s pretend it’s 1985.

I tell you I’m a genius.  You can ask me anything.

So you give it a shot:  “The weather today in Botswana?”  Clear and 61 degrees.  “The Russian word for ‘rope’?”  верёвка.  “How many McDonalds restaurants in Council Bluffs, Iowa?”  Three.  The most common ground squirrel in New England?  Ahh, trick question.  In New England, ground squirrels aren’t nearly as prevalent as tree squirrels.

In 1985, I would be hot stuff.   Probably rich.  Maybe an advisor to the president.

But here in 2014, I’m just a dude with access to the Internet.

Nowadays everybody has access to just about all the information there is.  Books, facts, charts, pictures, it’s all a few keystrokes away.   It’s exciting!  Enough to make you want to shout, “Yahoogle!”

However, sometimes I wonder if there’s a downside.   The fact that I can instantly access scores for high school baseball games played in Guam seems a tad much.   The notion that if I wanted to, I could read reviews for the movie Captain America in Ireland is just…strange.   It used to be that information was a commodity, a prize to be accumulated and treasured.

Now?  We’re way past information overload.   Now information is just….there.  Constant.   Like a constant buzzing sound in your ear.

I don’t know.  Maybe this is what the world looks like when it’s populated by geniuses.   Everyone has access to all there is to know, but somehow we still have the same problems.  “Smart” people still argue over the facts when it comes to political issues.   The rich still get richer and the poor still get poorer.   I guess I’m disappointed the search engine hasn’t saved us all.

One thing you can’t find on Yahoo! or Google is the meaning of life.

Oh, there are a number of opinions on the subject (47,000,000 to be exact) but when knowledge moves from the realm of facts to the realm of faith, the answers become more elusive.   If you want to know God, or your place in the world, or how humans should treat each other, there are plenty of articles you can read.   But truly finding that kind of Truth comes from searching your heart (not to mention the Good Book) and growing your faith.  There’s more to it than typing in keywords.

It doesn’t take a genius to know that as our technology increases, we must make sure our wisdom and our faith don’t lag behind.  The Internet may surely be a cause to shout Yahoogle!  But without a filter of faith…

It all sounds like nonsense.

Have a Great Week,

Mitch

 

 

 

 

(This devotion was first published in 7/11)

Yahoogle!

From there you will seek the Lord your God, and you will find him if you search after him with all your heart and soul. –Deut. 4:9

It’s 1985, and  I tell you I’m a genius.  You can ask me anything.

So you give it a shot:  “The weather today in Botswana?”  Clear and 61 degrees.  “The Russian word for ‘rope’?”  верёвка.  “How many McDonalds restaurants in Council Bluffs, Iowa?”  Three.  The most common ground squirrel in New England?  Ahh, trick question.  In New England, ground squirrels aren’t nearly as prevalent as tree squirrels.

In 1985, I would be hot stuff.   Probably rich.  Maybe an advisor to the president.

But here in 2011, I’m just a dude with access to the Internet.

Nowadays everybody has access to just about all the information there is.  Books, facts, charts, pictures, it’s all a few keystrokes away.   It’s exciting!  Enough to make you want to shout, “Yahoogle!”

However, sometimes I wonder if there’s a downside.   The fact that I can instantly access scores for high school baseball games played in Guam seems a tad much.   The notion that if I wanted to, I could read reviews for the movie Captain America in Ireland is just…strange.   It used to be that information was a commodity, a prize to be accumulated and treasured.

Now?  We’re way past information overload.   Now information is just….there.  Constant.   Like a constant buzzing sound in your ear.

I don’t know.  Maybe this is what the world looks like when it’s populated by geniuses.   Everyone has access to all there is to know, but somehow we still have the same problems.  “Smart” people still argue over the facts when it comes to political issues.   The rich still get richer and the poor still get poorer.   I guess I’m disappointed the search engine hasn’t saved us all.

One thing you can’t find on Yahoo! or Google is the meaning of life.  Oh, there are a number of opinions on the subject (47,000,000 to be exact) but when knowledge moves from the realm of facts to the realm of faith, the answers become more elusive.   If you want to know God, or your place in the world, or how humans should treat each other, there are plenty of articles you can read.   But truly finding that kind of Truth comes from searching your heart (not to mention the Good Book) and growing your faith.  There’s more to it than typing in keywords.

It doesn’t take a genius to know that as our technology increases, we must make sure our wisdom and our faith don’t lag behind.  The Internet may surely be a cause to shout Yahoogle!  But without a filter of faith…

It all sounds like nonsense.

Have a Great Week,

Mitch

Photo Credit: Will Lion