It is obvious that God is hidden from our view.
But do you realize that this is on purpose?
He has no physical form by which we can recognize Him or see Him at work. But this is no accident – He planned it this way. He could have created an environment where He would be continually “in plain sight” – after all, on the Last Day, in “the new heaven and the new earth,” there will be no trouble seeing Him in all His majesty.
Yet His choice has been a visible universe in which He would be invisible – why? why has He created it this way? And how then are we – indeed all Creation – to catch any glimpses of Him?
Evidently He decided that right from the beginning “faith” would be required in human existence: “Now faith is … the evidence of things not seen” [Hebrews 11:1]. Although unseen, the Creator would leave His footprints all over the universe by which we could follow His activity:
For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. Ever since the creation of the cosmos His invisible nature, namely, His eternal power and deity, has been clearly perceived in the things that have been made. Romans 1:19-20
Yet this is not enough. Yes, we can see His power and deity, but where might His creatures find His heart?
Then God said, "Let us make man in Our Image, after Our likeness; and let them have dominion …" Genesis 1:26
There is a way by which He can be “seen”, although not directly. He designs a mirror, something that would reflect Him, something that would bear His “Image,” something that would represent Him before all Creation. He fashions a man from the dust of the ground and places into his nostrils His own Breath [Genesis 2:7].
Here is one of the great mysteries about the great Jehovah, something we would never have imagined. On one hand, He is supremely self-sufficient – He obviously needs no one to accomplish His will: He does not need angels and, for that matter, He really doesn’t need us either. In fact, one might think that we humans too often get in His way and are too much of a bother and a liability for what He wants to do.
Yet His design is to make us be an essential partner in what He does. He chooses to have humans be His physical representatives before Creation. Here is to be demonstrated those characteristics of the Creator that cannot be found in the stars and the planets, nor in the mountains and the seas, nor in the plants and animals. Here is to be the Image of God’s heart.
Think about it: what activity among humanity does God do that does not depend on using people? Whether it be clothing the naked, feeding the hungry, sheltering a stranger, touching the hurts of a person, taking ecological care of Creation, or whatever the task may be, people are the visible means by which these things are accomplished. He does not use angels for such activities (at least visibly), and He will not do it in any other way. In fact, we are so essential, that when we will not do what He wants, it just will not get done, even in such crucial things as demonstrating forgiveness, portraying love, or making disciples of all nations – somewhere a person must be involved if these things are to going to happen.
It is not surprising then that His Commandments [Exodus 20:4; Leviticus 26:1; Deuteronomy 4:16] forbid any other image than this living one which He has placed upon the human – nothing else can match His design.
Binocular – Male and Female
So God created man in His own Image, in the Image of God He created him; male and female He created them. Genesis 1:26-27
We have two eyes, almost identical, and not very much apart from each other. At first, one might think that this is unnecessary redundancy, yet the two eyes with that fixed distance between them makes all the difference: it allows us to see in three dimensions. Now we become aware of depth and visual perspectives.
The male and the female provide a dual view of “the Image of God,” and their differences together give depth and perspective to the great Jehovah. Truly, one eye by itself can do a very good job, and so also the male or the female individually can provide an important perception of God’s activity in our world. However, when the two are put together, there is a richness and a fullness in added dimensions which just is not there individually.
The Full Image
Therefore, although invisible, God can now be seen – if the mirror is clear and clean. Unfortunately, the mirrors have become distorted and those glimpses of Him in the human are sometimes very obscure – “we see as in a mirror dimly” [ I Corinthians 13:12].
Yet what is surprising is that the Creator has not abandoned His plan! His design does not crumble nor is negated by human rebellion. He chooses to make defective humans still essential, they are still to be His way by which His Image is broadcast into this universe. There still are things which He just will not do unless they are done by the hand of humans. There still are boundless privilege and enormous responsibility held by those who are to be in “the Image of God.”
On this basis, it is very important then to rediscover the blueprint upon which humanity was modeled.