Why Can't We See God? (2023)


If you could see God, you would not need faith. In this clip from Dr. Peterson's Exodus series, they discuss why we can't see God and the different forms of prayer.

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I think if you could see God clearly, you wouldn't need Faith right.

So it's a precursor in a lot of ways to Freedom.

If you could see God, it would be so undeniable, like first you die, but then, additionally, everything that he would say would have to be absolute and that's a kind of authoritarianism.

And so it's like the faith of the belief, is what allows the freedom to keep falling and drinking wine and picnicking and making golden calves and every time he's out of sight, there's a fall and then there's a movement back again so you're suggesting if there wasn't a veil there there'd be everything would be so understandable to us that we could just follow it like automatons.

That right then you're back to the Pharaoh in a way.

I think it's important also to to keep keep in mind here that the the distinction between, even though they're very closely related, Revelation and ritual- and you can have we all know this lives- you can have it.

You have an epiphany.

Oh, you know I'm going to do this or oh I, you know I feel I'm called to be live this kind of life, but that's just one moment moment right and the question of mediation, of how you know the highest ends up in the lowest has to do with ritual.

It has to do with the rhythms of life we adopt in relation to or in order to orient ourselves in relation to the Thai things to bring an Aristotle uh who's been taking a bit of a hard time.

In this conversation, Aristotle in in the ethics, he brilliantly says how how how you know the virtues are established by repetition, right you, you, you become Strong by lifting heavy things right you become Courageous by by facing difficulty, and and if you, if you want to live in relation to the highest, you need every day to break that down into the you might say, the habits of Holiness or the habits of orientation.

You you can't spend your days as, as I have been tempted to do.

You know distracted on the Internet or scrolling this or being busy and from one thing to the next and then think you know what happened to the highest you've got to start very intentionally and build habits into your life or you'll always be at the situation of you know on again off again, oh there's a revelation.

That's exactly and again, I think that you see that again you're about we're about to see that in the narrative, when you talk about the big question, which is you guys just received five minutes ago, a revelation at on this mountain from Moses and God, and you are about to sin in the most egregious way possible within five minutes of seeing that and the idea in Judaism has always been the weakest form of faith is based on seeing Miracles and when you see a miracle, it's easy to to.

You know rationalize that away, and it's easy to think of any memory in your life, and you say: can you recreate the feeling that you had at that moment in your life? And the answer is no I mean it's almost impossible to recreate a moment that happened when you fell in love with your wife for the first time.

Can you recreate like right now the feeling that you had just sitting here and the answer is no, you can't you can't do that on command right.

It feels a certain way in the moment.

Then it doesn't feel that way, 20 years later, how it was exactly in that moment it feels something different.

It's the rituals of everyday life that make you fall in love with your wife every single day and continue that love going and the same thing is God.

It's it's not the the Revelation on Sinai.

That makes you think okay! Well, this is what God is it's the living with God every day with him in your midst.

It allows True Romance to actually to actually Bloom one of the things you do with people in Psychotherapy as a behaviorist is you you find those things they're, afraid of or disgusted by under avoiding, and then you help them Implement a practice of voluntary confrontation, voluntary incremental confrontation and the practice transforms them.

It makes them into someone who's no longer intimidated in retreating, in the face of either disgust or paralyzed in the face of disgust or of fear, and it is that practice and I think we've lost that in our modern culture, like people say well, I wish I was more courageous or I wish.

I was more trusting or I.

May they don't say this very often, but maybe they wish they were more humble, less prideful and it's as if we think of that's as that's something that's homogeneous that could just descend on you on Mars, instead of something that you practice like you practice trust with people.

If you're wise you practice, courageous trust and humility is a practice you have to.

You have to get better and better at it.

If you can it's not like that's an easy thing to do, but you don't get better at it without practicing it in a ritualistic manner and that's what prayer is is fundamentally asking what is highest to help you on that journey and that it it.

It involves fundamentally the humility to station yourself in relation to that which you need and asking it for its help Day by his help.

Everyone configure that ours is a culture without prayer, yeah, I I, remember as a student um, a lecturer who was giving a lecture on the stoics, and he said the great difference between you and your ancestors, whether they were pagans or Christians, is they prayed and, and he meant these rituals of prayer prayers at meal times prayers.

You know, uh punctuating life I mean I.

Think that is a very interesting observation about the modern world and you know the the and why it might have lost transcendants well, I think they just lost it, because we've got to secularized world view.

You know we live as Peter Berger says in a world without windows.

So traditionally the Unseen was not unreal than the modern world.

The Unseen is unreal and the real world is politics, technology and so on.

It's funny is people still believe in a secular manner that still has an implicit Transcendence that there's something that they can communicate with.

That will guide them because people often in trouble, will well, let's say they'll- hope they do the right thing, but you think about what that means is that it means they know they're not doing the right thing at the moment and then they're opening themselves up to the possibility that there is a right thing and that there's a source of information that would reveal the right thing and then they generally it's easy for them to attribute the discovery of the right thing then to themselves they thought it up, but they act as if they're talking with something speaking with something, that's Transcendent that has the capacity to determine what constitutes what's right and so and I I was thinking to Jonathan here about the Jesus prayer.

So you, maybe if you would just recite that for a second that there's something I could say about it.

The Lord Jesus Christ Son of God have mercy on me a sinner okay, so you say well, why would people repeat that to themselves over and over and I would say? Well people? Maybe people won't know that it's a it's a prayer, that's repeated, uh, mentally and sometimes amongst actually do it all the time, even in their sleep, and then they they there's a breathing which comes with that breathing and a posture, an attentive attending to the heartbeat, which creates this kind of Rhythm that fills the the person's life with this prayer.

Okay, so I think people don't pray in part because they don't know how or what it means.

But this prayer, for example, as far as I can tell means something like the probability that I'm taking aim probably properly optimally and hitting the target constantly is very, very low and to sin means to miss the mark, and so knowing that I want to keep in mind that that's the case, because the degree I keep in mind that that's the case is going to be precisely proportionate to the degree that I might open myself up to learn.

So one thing you want to do perhaps is remind yourself constantly that one thing that could get in the way of your continued adaptation would be your unrecognized pride and so that injunction there.

That plea to to to note to admit to your sins: I, don't see how that's any different than opening yourself up to the revelation of something: that's Transcendent, because you're only deeming yourself unworthy in relationship to at least an implicit ideal, because otherwise what are you in unworthy in relationship to and if there's nothing worthy beyond that that could correct you, then there's no consideration of what constitutes unworthy at all, and then you might also ask well if you're not unworthy, then why the hell are you suffering so stupidly, foreign.


Why Can't We See God? ›

"We can't see God because it's easy for you to see somebody and believe he or she is real. God wants us to be strong and not see but still believe and for us to have faith in him."

Does the Bible say we Cannot see God? ›

Your friends have probably read the few verses in the Bible that say that man can't see God (see Exodus 33:20; John 1:18; 1 Timothy 6:14–16; 1 John 4:12).

Why there is no image of God? ›

In a number of places the ancient texts assert that God has no shape or form and is utterly incomparable; thus no idol, image, idea, or anything in creation could ever capture God's essence.

Where can we see God? ›

Feel His presence as you serve your fellow man

There are few better ways to find God than in service. When you serve others, you will feel His love and presence and how proud He is of your desire to help people. This will also let you share His love with others—they will see His spirit through you.

How do we know that God exists? ›

As mentioned earlier, evidence for God's existence is widely available through creation, conscience, rationality and human experience. What is more, the biblical faith—unlike other traditional religions—is checkable; it opens itself up to public scrutiny.

Who saw the face of God? ›

Moses saw God face-to-face upon an unknown mountain sometime after he spoke to the Lord in the burning bush but before he went to free the children of Israel from Egypt (see Moses 1:1–2, 17, 25–26, 42; see also Exodus 3:1–10).

What does God actually look like according to the Bible? ›

Genesis 18:1-3 explained that God appeared to Abraham as a man, and in Ezekiel 1:26-28, it's a similar scenario: “And above the firmament that was over their heads was the likeness of a throne, as the appearance of a sapphire stone: and upon the likeness of the throne was the likeness as the appearance of a man above ...

What does it mean that God is invisible? ›

Colossians 1:15 tells us that Jesus is the image of God. We are able to recognize what is unseen — the invisible God — by what was seen: Jesus. Hebrews 1:3 tells us that. He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power.

What is the name of the invisible God? ›

In Colossians 1:15, Paul reminds us that Jesus Christ is “the image of the invisible God.” Again, “For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily” (Col. 2:9). It is “in the face of Jesus Christ” that we can know God (2 Cor.

Did we lose the image of God? ›

Early Christians recognized that the image of God was corrupted by sin. The Genesis 9 text, however, confirms that the image of God is not destroyed by sin, for the image remains in humanity after the fall and flood.

What does God see in us? ›

We Are Precious and Honored in His Eyes

In Isaiah 43:4, it says, “Since you are precious and honored in my sight and because I love you, I will give people in exchange for you, nations in exchange for your life.” In God's eyes, we are precious and honored.

Where is God's place? ›

[As the house of God, the church is the dwelling place of God. Ephesians 2:22 says, “In whom you also are being built together into a dwelling place of God in spirit. '' The word “you'' here refers to the local saints.

Why did God create us? ›

He created people out of love for the purpose of sharing love. People were created to love God and each other. Additionally, when God created people, he gave them good work to do so that they might experience God's goodness and reflect his image in the way they care for the world and for each other.

Why do people believe in God? ›

Mercier and colleagues divide the proximate causes of religious belief into three types: cognitive, motivational, and societal. One cognitive factor is an analytical thinking style. People who tend to act according to reason rather than intuition are also less likely to believe in God.

Is Jesus is God? ›

In Christianity, Jesus is the Son of God as written in the Bible's New Testament, and in mainstream Christian denominations he is God the Son, the second Person in the Trinity.

How many heavens are there? ›

In religious or mythological cosmology, the seven heavens refer to seven levels or divisions of the Heavens. The concept, also found in the ancient Mesopotamian religions, can be found in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam; a similar concept is also found in some other religions such as Hinduism.

Who saw the back of God's head? ›

Moshe (Moses) asks God “Show me your glory.” God responds that He cannot be seen by any human being. But, God tells Moshe, “Stand in the cleft of the rock” and “you will see My back, but My face must not be seen.” (Exodus 33: 17-23) What does this mean?

Who saw heaven in the Bible? ›

While on Patmos, God gave John a vision of the final days of earth, and a peak at heaven. In the vision, John saw the Holy City, Jerusalem, coming down from heaven to the new earth, for the old earth had been destroyed.

What is God's real name? ›

Jehovah (/dʒɪˈhoʊvə/) is a Latinization of the Hebrew יְהֹוָה‎ Yəhōwā, one vocalization of the Tetragrammaton יהוה‎ (YHWH), the proper name of the God of Israel in the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament.

Does God the Father have a body? ›

"The Father has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man's; the Son also; but the Holy Ghost has not a body of flesh and bones, but is a personage of Spirit.

Is Jesus the exact image of God? ›

“He is the image of the invisible God.” Jesus Christ is the perfect, exact, complete, and absolute image of God.

Can a man hide himself from God? ›

We read in Jeremiah 23:24, “Can a man hide himself in secret places so that I cannot see him? declares the LORD. Do I not fill heaven and earth? declares the LORD.”

What is it called when you see Jesus? ›

Theophany (from Ancient Greek (ἡ) θεοφάνεια theophaneia, meaning "appearance of a deity") is a personal encounter with a deity, that is an event where the manifestation of a deity occurs in an observable way.

What is God's secret name? ›

In Exodus 3:14, appearing before Moses as a burning bush, God reveals his name referring to himself in Hebrew tongue as “Yahweh” (YHWH) which translates to “I am who I am.” The Church decided that this name needed to be replaced with the words “God” and “Lord” and so “Yahweh” was stricken from all the passages and the ...

What is God's highest name? ›

Yahweh is the principal name in the Old Testament by which God reveals himself and is the most sacred, distinctive and incommunicable name of God.

Who is silent God? ›

God is sometimes silent because He knows we aren't willing to obey. He is always ready to show us His will, but He shows His will only to those who really want to do it. Jesus said in John 7:17, "If anyone wants to do His will, he shall know concerning the doctrine." Obedient people always hear the voice of God.

Do unbelievers have the image of God? ›

The Holy Spirit is missing in the soul of the unbeliever, therefore the unbeliever is a carnal person, he is an imperfect being, and he possesses the image [of God] in his formation but does not receive the likeness [of God] through the Spirit.

What does Jesus look like? ›

For many scholars, Revelation 1:14-15 offers a clue that Jesus's skin was a darker hue and that his hair was woolly in texture. The hairs of his head, it says, "were white as white wool, white as snow. His eyes were like a flame of fire, his feet were like burnished bronze, refined as in a furnace.”

How does God feel about images? ›

God condemns the sin of idolatry, whether it is in the form of worshipping statues or any other created thing that can become an idol. In Exodus the Lord forbids the carving of graven images for the purpose of idolatry: “You shall have no other gods before me.

What God does when we cry? ›

The God of all comfort keeps watch over your weeping. He gathers up all your tears and puts them in his bottle (Psalm 56:8).

How does God see me in his eyes? ›

God sees each of us through eyes of unconditional love, and He loves everyone—it doesn't matter what they do, where they work, how much money they have, how educated they are or what they look like. We need to do the same. We need to learn to see others as God sees them.

What does God say about unbelievers? ›

Do not be bound together with unbelievers,” says Paul in 2 Corinthians 6:14, “for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness?” Believers can and should relate to unbelievers' situations, but we must never emulate their lifestyles of separation from God.

What is there in heaven? ›

It is primarily God's dwelling place in the biblical tradition: a parallel realm where everything operates according to God's will. Heaven is a place of peace, love, community, and worship, where God is surrounded by a heavenly court and other heavenly beings.

Where is God's favorite place on earth? ›

Viola points to the little town of Bethany just a couple of miles from Jerusalem as Jesus' preferred resting place while He was on earth in human form. Bethany was a place where Jesus was accepted and adored; therefore, Jesus chose to "rest" in Bethany rather than Jerusalem, where He was rejected.

Where does God live in us? ›

If you are a Believer, then the Bible calls you God's temple because God's Spirit dwells in you. As children of God, we literally have the Spirit of God living inside of us. Do you need help in your life? The Holy Spirit is on our side.

How do you go to heaven? ›

You enter heaven by forgiveness and through the righteousness that Jesus gives you. You do not enter into heaven by the Christian life. It's always true that where faith is birthed, works will follow, but salvation is by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone.

How to talk to God and hear him? ›

6 Tips on How to Hear from God
  1. Position yourself close to God. Samuel set his bed up in the temple, “where the ark of God was” (v. ...
  2. Find a place of regular service to God. In v. ...
  3. Listen for God's voice. ...
  4. When God calls, respond eagerly. ...
  5. When God speaks, obey Him. ...
  6. Read and study the Word of God.
Feb 15, 2016

How to get close to God? ›

8 Ways to Draw Closer to God
  1. Read the Bible daily. The best way to draw closer to God in suffering is to listen to his voice. ...
  2. Meditate on God's Word. ...
  3. Identify prayer prompts. ...
  4. Listen to worship music. ...
  5. Start a daily gratitude list. ...
  6. Intercede for others. ...
  7. Connect with a small group.

What is God made of? ›

Trinitarians believe that God is composed of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

What was God doing before creation? ›

He was working on concepts like air, water, gravity, sex, etc, when He decided to create the world so that there would be a place where those concepts could be put to good use.

Why did God say I am that I am? ›

When the people of Israel were enslaved in Egypt, they cried out to God for deliverance. Then God answered their cry, using the expression “I am who I am” (Exod 3:14) to introduce himself as their deliverer. In English, that sounds like a philosophical statement about God's existence.

Can you believe in God and not go to church? ›

Most people who stop attending church services still believe in God, according to new research commissioned by the Church of Scotland. Many who no longer attend church choose to express their faith in new ways, said Scotland's national Church.

When did humans start believing in God? ›

Prehistoric evidence of religion. The exact time when humans first became religious remains unknown, however research in evolutionary archaeology shows credible evidence of religious-cum-ritualistic behavior from around the Middle Paleolithic era (45–200 thousand years ago).

What religion was Jesus? ›

He was born of a Jewish mother, in Galilee, a Jewish part of the world. All of his friends, associates, colleagues, disciples, all of them were Jews. He regularly worshipped in Jewish communal worship, what we call synagogues. He preached from Jewish text, from the Bible.

What language did Jesus speak? ›

Aramaic is best known as the language Jesus spoke. It is a Semitic language originating in the middle Euphrates. In 800-600 BC it spread from there to Syria and Mesopotamia. The oldest preserved inscriptions are from this period and written in Old Aramaic.

Who is the Holy Spirit? ›

For the majority of Christian denominations, the Holy Spirit is the third Person of the Holy Trinity – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and is Almighty God. As such he is personal and also fully God, co-equal and co-eternal with God the Father and Son of God.

Where in the Bible does it say there is no God? ›

Of course, having said that, a well-known verse immediately comes to mind: “The fool says in his heart, 'There is no God'.” The verse in fact occurs in two passages in the book of Psalms (at 14:1 and 53:1, verses in this article are from the RSV translation).

Where in the Bible does it say the invisible God was made visible? ›

Colossians 1:15-20 English Standard Version 2016 (ESV)

For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him.

Did Jacob see God face to face? ›

According to one Christian commentary of the Bible incident described, "Jacob said, 'I saw God face to face'. Jacob's remark does not necessarily mean that the 'man' with whom he wrestled is God.

What is the meaning of Exodus 33 11? ›

Exodus 33:11 Reminds Us We Can Have Communion with God

Every single one of us, who has put our faith in Jesus, has the privilege of communion with God. Communion with God; God face-to-face in this sense, to know God as your friend and we don't even have to go somewhere.

What does the Bible say about tattoos? ›

But in the ancient Middle East, the writers of the Hebrew Bible forbade tattooing. Per Leviticus 19:28, “You shall not make gashes in your flesh for the dead, or incise any marks on yourselves.”

Who said theres no God? ›

Psalm 14:1 The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” Christians believe in God using the gift of faith - which they receive from God, when they believe in him.

Is there any God besides me? ›

Was it not I, the LORD? And there is no God apart from me, a righteous God and a Savior; there is none but me. "Turn to me and be saved, all you ends of the earth; for I am God, and there is no other.

Where has God revealed himself? ›

God completely revealed himself to us in Jesus, and he inspires his Church and her Sacred Tradition to help us remember who God is and what he has done for us.

Are we still in the image of God? ›

Humans do not currently just exist in the pure image of God, because of the reality of sin. Irenaeus claims that one must "grow into" the likeness of God. This is done through knowingly and willingly acting through one's body. Because of sin, humans still require the Son's salvation, who is in the perfect image of God.

Who is the first person of God? ›

ADAM (1) ADAM1 was the first man. There are two stories of his creation. The first tells that God created man in his image, male and female together (Genesis 1: 27), and Adam is not named in this version.

Who was the first person to see an angel? ›

Hagar, a non-Israelite, a woman with no power or status, is the first person in Scripture to be visited by an angel and the only person in Scripture to give God a name—El Roi, “the God who sees me.” In the midst of her pain and struggle, Hagar receives God's blessing and promises.

Why did God touched Jacob's hip? ›

Jacob had been relying on his own physical strength and mind, instead of on God. His limp not only generated his surrender, but also was a physical reminder of his struggle against God.

What does Exodus 33 teach us? ›

Exodus 33:14–16 Shows Us That We Can do Nothing Apart From God. That's what God said at the beginning of Exodus 33, but what Moses did is he stood in the gap before God and he said, “God, I can't go forward. These people can't go forward without you. We need you.

Why did Moses cover his face in Exodus 3? ›

f. Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look upon God: God told Moses to do what was appropriate for a creature before their Creator – to revere and recognize His holiness. Moses responded as a man who knew he was not only a creature, but also a sinful creature – he hid his face.

Why is Exodus 32 important? ›

In Exodus 32, we see a failure of leadership, and the contrast between Aaron and Moses is stark. While Moses was at the top of Mount Sinai with God, the people at the base camp grew restless. They demanded that Aaron make them “gods who shall go before us” (Exodus 32:1).

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