Limited? Language is limited. There are constraints, bonds, limits… How can you describe A Concept that is literally BEYOND words?
I read in Exodus: And it came to pass, when Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the two tables of testimony in Moses’ hand, when he came down from the mount, that Moses did not know that the skin of his face shone while he talked with him. And when Aaron and all the children of Israel saw Moses, behold, the skin of his face shone; and they were afraid to come near him. And Moses called to them; and Aaron and all the rulers of the congregation returned to him: and Moses talked with them. And afterwards all the children of Israel came near: and he gave them in commandment all that the Lord had spoken with him on Mount Sinai. And until Moses had finished speaking with them, he put a veil on his face. But when Moses went in before the Lord to speak with him, he took the veil off, until he came out. And he came out, and spoke to the children of Israel what he was commanded. And the children of Israel saw the face of Moses, that the skin of Moses’ face shone: and Moses put the veil on his face again, until he went in to speak with him. Ex 34:29-35
We read above about The Essence of God casting an AMAZING brightness – Amazing! The people of Isreal were too frightened to come near Moses.
Yet, Moses did not see God, but fellowship with God. If we are asked to define God, it is not easy to do. We can offer definitions, but these definitions usually describe attributes. We can say that God is omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent, holy, perfect, pure, wise, etc. We understand these concepts, but that does not mean we are accurately describing the essence of what God is. But this is to be expected because God is completely different from what we are. He is “wholly other.” This means he is not physical like we are. He is not limited to space and time as we are. He’s different–not the same as us. So, when we describe him, we can only describe him in ways with which we are familiar even if these descriptions can never be totally sufficient.
Take, for example, humanity. How would we properly define the essence of humanness? We recognize what it is, but we can’t define it perfectly without citing attributes. For example, to be human means to be able to reason, to know, to love, to hate, to interact with others in sophisticated conceptual constructs dealing with morality, justice, and love. But those are attributes. How do we describe the very essence of what it is we are? We can’t. Does this mean humanness doesn’t exist? Of course not.
Here a very significant example is raised. Moses, though described as the most humble individual… “Now Moses was a very humble man, more humble than anyone else on the face of the Earth. Numbers 12:3
Yet, Moses had a temper!
First we read of is the slaying of the guard for which he ran from Egypt.
Moses had to flee Egypt, because he took it on himself to punish an Egyptian who beat a Hebrew. The Bible doesn’t say that Moses did this in anger. Perhaps he didn’t. It also doesn’t say that God told Moses to do this. It seems that Moses’s first encounter with God took place later. (Exodus 3)
Exodus 11:8 says that Moses left Pharaoh’s presence in anger. This was near the end of the plagues that God sent on Egypt, and there was reason for the anger–Pharaoh had promised to let the Israelites go over and over, and had recanted every time. God himself was angry with Pharaoh.
In Numbers 20:10-13, the Bible describes Moses striking the rock at Meribah, to bring out water for the Israelites. He may have been angry at this time. He didn’t give God glory, according to this passage, and didn’t believe in God’s power.
Having a temper isn’t necessarily sinful — Jesus got angry at the people having a flea market at the temple, for example. But a selfish anger is sinful, and even Moses got caught by that.
This just begins to ‘scratch’ the surface of the possibilities of this share!
Love does NOT have a temper. What has been spoken is! We have the choice to listen/follow or not. The story has been written! You are 100% in charge of your decisions. No finger pointing allowed.
We can look further at individuals who challenge our belief to prove their point…
Atheists often ask Christians to define what God is and not by attributes but by describing his essence. When the Christian fails, the atheist complains that even the Christian can’t define who God is. Therefore, they often say that talking about God is more or less meaningless. However, I believe this is nothing more than an attempt to continue to deny God and his existence.
When I ask atheists to define what humanity is without using attributes, they sidestep the question either by ignoring it or changing the topic. But if it is okay for atheists to ask Christians to define God without using attributive qualities, then why isn’t it all right to ask the atheist to define humanity with the same criteria? And if they cannot, does it mean humanity does not exist, or that discussion about humanity is meaningless? Of course not. The same would go for discussions about God. Not being able to describe the essence of what God is without citing his attributes does not mean a discussion about God and what God is would be meaningless.