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Study Resources :: Text Commentaries :: Don Stewart :: The Personal Attributes of God

Don Stewart :: Why Is God Compared to Human Relationships and Occupations?

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Why Is God Compared to Human Relationships and Occupations?

The Personal Attributes of God – Question 21

The Bible compares God to a number of things both living and non-living. They include human beings, animals as well as inanimate objects such as a tower, the sun, and a fountain.

There is still more. The God of Scripture is compared to a number of things that are human such as human relationships as well as human occupations.

1. Father

The God of the Bible is likened to a Father. This description is rare in the Old Testament but is used quite often in the New Testament. In one instance, Moses asked the nation of Israel the following question.

Is this the way you repay the Lord, O foolish and unwise people? Is he not your Father, your Creator, who made you and formed you? (Deuteronomy 32:6 NIV)

The Lord God is the Father, the Creator.

2. Husband

The God of the Bible is also likened to a husband. This comparison is found in the Old Testament. Isaiah the prophet wrote,

“For your husband is your Maker—His name is Yahweh of Hosts—and the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer; He is called the God of all the earth.” (Isaiah 54:5 HCSB)

The Lord was the husband to the nation of Israel. Unfortunately, they were a faithless wife on too many occasions.

3. Shepherd

The Lord is also like a shepherd. David made this comparison in the famous 23rd Psalm where he wrote these memorable words.

The LORD is my shepherd; I have everything I need. (Psalm 23:1 NLT)

This is a familiar analogy. Believers are compared to sheep and the Lord is our Shepherd. As sheep cannot exist without a shepherd we cannot function properly in the spiritual realm without the care of the Good Shepherd.

4. Doctor or Healer

The Lord is also compared to a doctor, or a healer. We read in Exodus that it is the Lord who heals the diseases of the people.

He said, “If you will carefully obey the LORD your God, do what is right in His eyes, pay attention to His commands, and keep all His statutes, I will not inflict any illness on you I inflicted on the Egyptians. For I am the LORD who heals you.” (Exodus 15:26 HCSB)

He is the One who heals our diseases. Indeed, He is our Great Physician.

5. Architect and Builder

The God of the Bible is called an architect and builder. The writer to the Hebrews, in speaking of Abraham, wrote,

For he looked forward to the city that has foundations, whose architect and builder is God. (Hebrews 11:10 NRSV)

God is the One who builds a city with eternal foundations. Indeed, when He builds the house the house remains stable. The psalmist wrote,

Unless the Lord builds the house, its builders labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchmen stand guard in vain. (Psalm 127:1 NIV)

We certainly want the Lord to build the house seeing that He is the Great Builder and Architect.

6. Judge and King

The Lord is also compared to both a Judge and a King. Isaiah declared that the Lord is all of these things to us.

For the Lord is our judge, the Lord is our ruler, the Lord is our king; he will save us. (Isaiah 33:22 NRSV)

He will rule as both judge and king over the nations.

7. Warrior

The Lord is also compared to a warrior. In the Book of Exodus, we read this description of Him.

The Lord is a warrior; the Lord is his name. (Exodus 15:3 NRSV)

The Lord fights for those who are His. When He fights He always wins the battle.

These human relationships, to which the God of the Bible is compared, give us a further understanding of His character and His actions. As with the other comparisons we find in Scripture we can take much comfort in these illustrations.

Summary – Question 21
Why Is God Compared to Human Relationships and Occupations?

As we search the Word of God we find that the Lord is compared to many different things. These comparisons are given to help us gain a better understanding of who He is as well as what He does.

Among other things, we find the God of the Bible compared to human relationships. This includes such things as a father and a husband. He was a Father to His people Israel in the Old Testament and today He is the Father to those who believe in Him through God the Son, Jesus Christ.

We also find the Lord compared to a husband to the nation of Israel. He was always the faithful husband while the nation was often a faithless wife.

Scripture also illustrates the character and actions of the Lord by means of a number of human occupations. They include such as a shepherd, doctor, a judge, a king, and a warrior.

He is the Good Shepherd to believers who are His sheep. As sheep desperately need the shepherd we desperately need Him to watch over us. The Lord is also the Great Physician. He is the One who heals our diseases.

The God of Scripture is also compared to the occupation of a Judge. Contrary to human judges, the Lord never makes the wrong decision.As a King the Lord rules over His Kingdom. His rule is based upon righteousness. This, of course, is in contrast to all earthly rulers.

Finally, we have the comparison to a warrior. The Lord fights the battles for His people. Again, in contrast to human warriors, the Lord always wins the battle.

All of these descriptions are given as helpful reference points for humans to better understand God. While each description reflects something of His character, God is not exactly like anything in the created universe. This is something which we must appreciate.

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