Praise the Lord, my soul.

Lord my God, you are very great;
    you are clothed with splendor and majesty.

The Lord wraps himself in light as with a garment;
    he stretches out the heavens like a tent
    and lays the beams of his upper chambers on their waters.
He makes the clouds his chariot
    and rides on the wings of the wind.
He makes winds his messengers,
    flames of fire his servants.

Psalm 104:1-4

It’s worth pointing out that the Bible, in all my reading, has never once attempted to describe God’s face. Bearded or clean shaven? Brown eyes, hazel, blue? Strong nose or cute little button? Round cheeks or sculptural cheekbones?

You get the idea.

What we do know about is God’s fashion choices and his modes of transport. He’s frequently depicted with his throne, sometimes carried like a litter or palanquin (such as in Ezekiel’s vision). He wears white, or his clothes glow white-hot. His body is said to glow from within like heated metal.

But these things are symbols for human understanding, the God of Heaven is beyond mortal comprehension. In that way, whatever face was given to him in the Bible would probably be contextual and symbolic as well. So that begs the question, what is being said by intentionally omitting God’s face from Scripture? We could make statements about idolatry or what discrimination could be enacted with that information.

The answer to why is it omitted is simply this: we look to God and we don’t see a man like us, we see a supreme presence, one that we can’t even fully look at unaided, like the Sun.

What does God look like? Pure, unavoidable, unfiltered glory.

Ethan Kirl