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Don Stewart :: Why Does the Bible Portray God through Various Occupations?

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Why Does the Bible Portray God through Various Occupations? (Artist, Teacher, Warrior, Shepherd)

God and Us – Question 3

For the benefit of human beings, the God of the Bible is compared to a number of things to which we can personally relate. This includes a father, mother, husband and groom and friend.

He is also compared to people who hold various occupations or vocations. These comparisons also provide further insight into His character. They include the following.

1. God Is Like an Artist

The Bible compares God to an artist. This is seen in a number of special ways. They include the following.

He Formed the Heavens

He is one who creates and fashions things. Indeed, the universe Himself is the great work of art of the Creator. The psalmist wrote,

The heavens tell of the glory of God. The skies display his marvelous craftsmanship. (Psalm 19:1 NLT)

When we look around the heavens we see His craftsmanship everywhere.

While the God of the Bible is compared to an artist, He is unlike other artists. Indeed, He merely speaks and things appear. Peter wrote about this unique ability which only the Lord, the God of the Bible, has.

They will say this because they want to forget that long ago the heavens and the earth were made at God’s command. The earth came out of water and was made from water. (2 Peter 3:5 CEV)

This entire universe, with all its splendor and beauty, came about through the spoken Word of God. He commanded and the universe appeared!

The psalmist also wrote of this. He said,

The LORD merely spoke, and the heavens were created. He breathed the word, and all the stars were born. He gave the sea its boundaries and locked the oceans in vast reservoirs. Let everyone in the world fear the LORD, and let everyone stand in awe of him. For when he spoke, the world began! It appeared at his command. (Psalm 33:6-9 NLT)

The artist work of the Lord was accomplished by His spoken Word.

He Is the Potter, We Are the Clay

In another illustration of God’s ability as an artist, we humans are His craftsmanship. Indeed, we are also His work of art. Isaiah uses the illustration of God being the potter and we are the clay. He wrote,

But now, LORD, you are our Father. We are the clay, and you are our potter. We are the work of your hands. (Isaiah 64:8 God’s Word)

We are the work of loving hands. He forms us in the way in which He wishes. We have no say-so in the matter. We do not form ourselves.

In the Book of Jeremiah, we read,

People of Israel, I, the LORD, have power over you, just as a potter has power over clay. (Jeremiah 18:6 CEV)

As the potter has complete power over the clay so the Lord has complete authority over those who are His.

This is also illustrated in the New Testament with that which Paul wrote to the Ephesians. He put it this way.

For we are His creation, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared ahead of time so that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2:10 HCSB)

We are His work of art. Indeed, each of us is a one of a kind work of art. Thus, He has made us in a particular way so that we will fulfill our own unique calling.

2. The Lord Is like a Teacher

The Lord is not only an artist who has formed and fashioned the universe, as well as we human beings, we also find the Lord comparing Himself to a Teacher. He is One who instruct us. In the Book of Isaiah we read,

Many people will come and say, “Let’s go to the mountain of the LORD God of Jacob and worship in his temple.” The LORD will teach us his Law from Jerusalem, and we will obey him. (Isaiah 2:3 CEV)

We are all constantly learning. It should be our desire to have the Lord as our teacher.

God desires to teach His people. The same truth is found in the Book of Jeremiah. It records the following promise of God.

“But this is the promise that I will make to Israel after those days,” declares the LORD: “I will put my teachings inside them, and I will write those teachings on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people.” (Jeremiah 31:33 God’s Word)

The Lord desires to put His teachings inside each of our hearts.

Therefore, we are His students and we are to learn from His teachings. We are to listen and then obey.

Jesus repeated the same thing in the New Testament. He said that we to come to Him and that we are to learn from Him.

If you are tired from carrying heavy burdens, come to me and I will give you rest. Take the yoke I give you. Put it on your shoulders and learn from me. I am gentle and humble, and you will find rest. (Matthew 11:28-29 CEV)

The Lord is our Teacher. We need to learn from Him.

3. God Is like a Warrior or Soldier

The Bible also compares God to a warrior or a soldier. The psalmist made this comparison of the Lord whom he called the “King of glory.”

Who is this King of glory? The LORD, strong and mighty, the LORD, mighty in battle. (Psalm 24:8 HCSB)

Thus, we find that the Bible compares the Lord, the God of the Bible to a warrior. This brings up the question, “In what sense is the Lord a warrior?” Simply put, the Lord fights the battles for those who are His. This is truly a comforting and encouraging thought.

4. The Lord Is like a Shepherd

One of the most famous biblical analogies is the comparison of God to a shepherd. Indeed, the idea that the Lord is a shepherd to His people is a common theme in the Old Testament.

The well-known passage, Psalm 23, portrays the Lord as the good shepherd who meets all of our needs. It begins by saying the following comforting words.

The LORD is my shepherd. I am never in need. (Psalm 23:1 God’s Word)

At every moment of our life, the Lord, the shepherd is with us. Consequently, we are never really in need for the Good Shepherd meets our needs.

We are also told that the Lord is a shepherd to Israel, His chosen people. In the Book of Ezekiel we read the following.

“You, my sheep, are the sheep in my pasture. You are mortal, and I am your God, declares the Almighty LORD.” (Ezekiel 34:31 God’s Word)

In the New Testament, Jesus said that He Himself is the good shepherd who gives His life for His sheep.

“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives his life for the sheep.” (John 10:11 God’s Word).

As is true with the other images, or analogies, which the Lord provides of Himself, the idea of a Good Shepherd constantly watching over His sheep is of the utmost comfort. Indeed, the sheep are always protected whenever the shepherd is near.

Conclusion: These Images Are Reassuring to Believers

The fact that the Lord has portrayed Himself with images such as an artist, teacher, warrior and shepherd are reassuring to believers. We can take comfort in these images of a God who cares about us and provides for us.

Summary – Question 3
Why Does the Bible Portray God through Various Occupations? (Artist, Teacher, Warrior, Shepherd)

The Bible compares God to a number of different vocations or occupations. All of these help us better understand His character.

For one thing, He is compared to an artist. The entire universe is a testimony to His grand design. The Bible says that the heavens give testimony to His glory and majesty. Every time we look around we see His handiwork.

The Lord is also a Teacher. He instructs His people in the right paths. Jesus, for example, said that we are to learn from Him.

Another encouraging illustration is that the Lord is compared to warrior. He fights the battles for His people. This tells us that we are not alone. Furthermore, there is no way in which we can lose if the Lord is fighting the battle.

One of the commonest comparisons is the Lord to a shepherd. This is found in both testaments. In the New Testament, the Lord Jesus is the “Good Shepherd” who gives His life for His sheep.

Indeed, as long as the shepherd is near the sheep are safe. The Bible says that the Good Shepherd is always near His sheep.

These comparisons are very encouraging to believers. They help us better understand the God of Scripture and how He looks after us. We get a glimpse of His great care and concern for us with these analogies.

Why Does the Bible Portray God through Family and Personal Relationships? ← Prior Section
What Is the Significance of God Being a Rescuer or Deliverer of His People? Next Section →
CONTENT DISCLAIMER:

The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.


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