“As the appearance of the rainbow in the clouds on a rainy day, so was the appearance of the surrounding radiance. Such was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord” (Ezekiel 1:28).
What does God look like? The fire in the bush? The lightning on the storm? Maybe even the rainbow that follows?
Or is it plainer than that? One singer from the 90s queried, “What if God was one of us? Just a slob like one us? Just a stranger on the bus, trying to make his way?”
While no true Christian would seek to describe God in this manner, the point is that it’s difficult to imagine God beyond the many images we have crafted over the years. The old man with the beard comes to mind. Thanks, Michelangelo.
Even in this verse, we must remember that Ezekiel is having a vision, which almost always is representative of something else. To suggest that God actually looks like a rainbow is to miss the point of the verse.
Perhaps it’s not even valid to ask, “What does God look like?” An invisible, immaterial Being cannot be seen with human eyes.
And yet, how can we not? The insatiable curiosity of the human mind finds the question irresistible. Looking at a burning bush wasn’t enough for Moses. He had to see God.
And even still, when the moment came, the moment when God “passed by,” Moses never really got to look into the face of God. Instead, he only caught a glimpse of his back.
In the New Testament, Jesus tells Phillip that anyone who has seen Jesus has seen the Father. That’s pretty provocative. Shall we assume that seeing Jesus’ physical appearance is the same, exact thing as seeing the physical appearance of the Father? Haven’t we already said that such a thing wasn’t possible?
As a follower of Jesus Christ, what I crave more than anything else is a deeper, more realistic connection with Him. 1 Corinthians 13 says that today we see through a mirror darkly, but later, face to face.
Today, I offer no answers. Only the eager cry of a man who longs look into the eyes of the One who made me.