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The Life of Faith

30 Descriptions of God in the Bible that Show Who He is

Everyone in the whole world, who has ever lived, has wondered who God is. Everyone. The attributes of God seem to change in definition as people form conclusions about who He is based on their personal experiences, but in reality, the Bible is the only place you can go to find accurate descriptions of God. Why?

Because that is where God, Himself, put them for you.

In both the Old Testament and the New Testament, God’s people process their understanding of and experiences with God through their own descriptions, but there are many instances where God, Himself, describes His nature, His attributes, and His character.

So much of what people struggle with in acknowledging, accepting or submitting to the Lord has to do with their own misconceptions or ignorance about Him.

“Seek and you will find,” Jesus said. (Matthew 7:7)

So much of what people struggle with in acknowledging, accepting or submitting to the Lord has to do with their own misconceptions or ignorance about Him.

~Alicia Purdy

If you truly want to know God more, you can seek in His Word and you will find Him there. Through His Holy Spirit, the Word of God is eternally alive (Hebrews 4:12) and that is why God’s Word can speak.

As you seek the Word about the attributes of God, His divine nature, and God’s character, the Lord will reveal new aspects of Himself to you that will meet you right where you are.

There is no better description of God than those which He has given Himself.

mountains and clouds

What Does God Look Like?

Hebrews 11:17 notes that God is invisible. So, how can anyone see Him? Or know what God looks like? In

Exodus 33:20, the Lord told Moses that it would not be possible to see Him because because God’s glory was too brilliant, and too powerful for a person in the natural flesh to behold. There is much about God that the human mind cannot comprehend or rationalize, but God, in His great love, does not stay aloof and apart from people.

He sent His own Son, Jesus Christ, to show people who He really is- His character, His attributes, and His nature. They are all seen in the person of Christ Jesus who bears God’s image.

  • Jesus showed the character of God: slow to anger, rich in mercy, filled with compassion
  • Jesus showed God’s nature: loving, jealous God, loyal to His people, fierce against His enemies
  • Jesus showed the attributes of God: a righteous right hand, the king over the flood, provider, healer, counselor, Father

According to John 1:18, “No one has seen God at any time. The only Son, who is at the Father’s side, has made Him known.” (MEV) And in Colossians 1:15 the Apostle Paul wrote that Christ Jesus is, “the image of the invisible God.” 

Seeing the Attributes of the Invisible God in Jesus Christ

Because Jesus Christ, the son of God, bears the image of God, you can look to Him to see God insomuch as God can be seen. You cannot see God with natural eyes. You must have spiritual vision to see Him.

Remember, trying to define God apart from His own definitions or trying to understand God with human thinking and reasoning, or trying to know God without knowing His Word are all ways the world attempts to comprehend their life experiences, their mortality, and their resistance to needing a Savior from sin.

You cannot see God with natural eyes. You must have spiritual vision to see Him.

~Alicia Purdy

Revelation of God’s character unfolds over time as you seek Him because He is not any one thing at any given point in time – a concept that all people struggle to grasp and many people stumble on it. But there is no better definition of God than those He has already spoken in His Word.

The God of the Bible has made Himself known through the life and Gospel and death of Jesus Christ who came in human form and was crucified to save all who would believe. Jesus Christ is the Word of God. (John 1:1-5) God will show Himself to you in His Word before you see Him anywhere else. 

Can You Really Praise and Worship Without Knowing God’s Character?

Everyone wants to know who God is, even if that wondering looks different within each person and even if people come to different conclusions. God’s nature is to reveal Himself to people. Everyone asks themselves: 

  • Why am I here?
  • Is there something bigger than me out there? 
  • Who is God? 

Those questions only have answers for those who seek God for them.

When you study the Word of God regularly, the Lord will reveal to you the attributes of God that He knows you need in every season of your life, because how can you praise a God you don’t really know?

The point of praise and worship are the ministry of thanksgiving to the Lord through a willing sacrifice. But many people praise the Lord without knowing Him at all, and that’s when praise becomes a routine that is performative and dead.

…many people praise the Lord without knowing Him at all, and that’s when praise becomes a routine that is performative and dead.

~Alicia Purdy

All believers have a reason to praise the Lord, but how can anyone be grateful for something they don’t understand or even appreciate? 

  • God’s character is why believers have personal testimonies to praise Him for! 
  • The attributes of God reveal the glorious splendor of the creator of all things who is worthy to be praised for His greatness. 
  • The revelation of Jesus Christ has brought salvation to the lost and dying world, reconciling sinful mankind with holy God. 
  • The Holy Spirit breathes God’s Word to life and lives inside of you.

But even as people sing, or even lift their hands at church, many still aren’t fully persuaded of the reasons why they’re told to praise the Lord. Why is that?

Learn more about the 7 Hebrew Words for Praise and how each one helps create strength, intimacy, and fresh revelation as you understand more about God’s plan for praise in your life!

Acts 17 tells the account of Paul’s journey through Athens where he encountered a pagan, idol-worshipping culture that was teeming with people searching for the unknown God. Some were even worshipping Him, but they didn’t realize it! They were spiritually confused and asking, “Who is God?” 

The Athenians had realized that other gods had no power and that “something” must be out there with a greater power than idols, but:

  • they did not know Him
  • they could not see Him
  • they did not understand how to find Him 

Through Paul’s revelation of the Gospel of Christ finally showed the people who God was. (Acts 17:16-34) If you want to know God, get to know Jesus Christ in God’s Word. True praise and worship can only come from a grateful heart to a God you know personally.

Understanding the characteristics of God is one of the biggest stumblingblocks to the unsaved world, and many times to people’s faith because He is unknowable to the human mind. (Rom. 11:33)

True praise and worship can only come from a grateful heart to a God you know personally.

~Alicia Purdy

People want to see God as proof He exists, but He is invisible. (Colossians 1:15) He is too vast and complex to understand, and yet He wants to know you – and He wants you to know Him

How Does the Bible Describe God? 

You cannot help but worship someone or something even if you worship yourself, or the idea’s of flawed mankind, or your family, your accomplishments, your own ideas, a relationship, money, a false idol or a career – but it is a dead end. Idols are dead. 

  • The greatest characteristic of God is His unfailing love
  • The greatest aspect of God’s nature is His inherent power
  • The greatest attribute of God is that He is eternally alive

Use these Scriptures, below, to remind yourself of who God is to you, personally.

  • Learn more about God’s character that others have experienced.
  • Study God’s attributes that are seen in the person of Jesus Christ.
  • Declare God’s Word and the good news of God’s love, His mercy, and lovingkindness to your spirit.

The descriptions of God in the Bible are too numerous to put on any list because the entire Bible describes God’s character and it is through the entirety of God’s Word that you’ll have a better understanding of who He is. 

Bible with green leaves

30 Bible Verses with Powerful Descriptions of God in the Bible

1. “God is our refuge and strength, a well-proven help in trouble.” (Psalm 46:1)

2. “…for the Lord your God is a merciful God…” (Deuteronomy 4:31)

3. “The LORD is a man of war...” (Exodus 15:3)

4. “He is mighty in strength and wisdom.” (Job 36:5)

5. “For the Lord your God is the God of gods and Lord of lords, the great, the mighty, and the fearsome God who is unbiased and takes no bribe.” (Deuteronomy 10:17)

6. “God is Spirit…” (John 4:24)

7. “Thus says the Lord the King of Israel, and his Redeemer the Lord of Hosts: I am the first, and I am the last; besides Me there is no God.” (Isaiah 44:6)

8. “…the Lord God is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in goodness and truth.” (Exodus 34:6)

9. “He is your praise, and He is your God.” (Deuteronomy 10:21)

10. “He is good, for His mercy endures forever.” (Psalm 106:1 and Psalm 136:1)

11. “Gracious is the Lord, and righteous…” (Psalm 116:5)

12. “He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9; 1 Corinthians 10:13)

13. “God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all.” (1 John 1:5)

14. “For the Lord God is a sun and shield the Lord will give favor and glory.” (Psalm 84:11)

15. “For the Lord your God is a consuming fire. He is a jealous God.” (Deuteronomy 4:24)

16. “He is a shield to all those who take refuge in Him.” (Psalm 18:30)

17. “The Lord is my pillar, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge; my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my high tower.” (Psalm 18:2)

18. “The Lord is good to all and His compassion is over all His works.” (Psalm 145:9)

19. “O taste and see that the Lord is good…” (Psalm 34:8)

20. “…the Lord is at hand, be anxious for nothing…” (Philippians 4:5-6)

21. “The Lord your God is in your midst, a Mighty One, who will save.” (Zephaniah 3:17)

22. “Hear, O Israel: The Lord is our God. The Lord is one God!” (Deuteronomy 6:4)

23. “Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6)

24. “The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath you are the everlasting arms.” (Deuteronomy 33:27)

25. “He is patient with us, because He does not want any to perish, but all to come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9)

26. “God is love…” (1 John 4:8)

27. “The Lord is my Shepherd I shall not want…” (Psalm 23:1)

28. “Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly I say to you, before Abraham was born, I AM.” (John 8:58)

29. “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End… Who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.” (Revelation 1:8)

30 “I am the First and the Last. I am He who lives, though I was dead. Look! I am alive forevermore.” (Revelation 1:17-18)

Reminding yourself of God’s characteristics is how you stir your heart of gratitude. Celebrating and lauding God’s attributes is how Christians encourage one another in praise. 

Your faith in the Lord is a lifelong journey and developing a daily habit of acknowledging God’s attributes, giving Him thanks for who He is, what He has done, and praising His name that is above every other name will keep you humble. 

Reminding yourself of God’s characteristics is how you stir your heart of gratitude.

~Alicia Purdy

The enemy would love nothing more than to draw your heart away from God. He knows you probably won’t backslide, but idolatry is entirely another issue and is much easier to slip into if you’re not actively praising the Lord.

Use these descriptions of God in the Bible to start a daily habit of praise, thanksgiving and confession before Him, and enter into His presence with thanksgiving to keep you soul, spirit, and mind safe and strong!

When the Israelites got impatient awaiting God’s appearance or movement through Moses, they fashioned a statue from their most valuable items. In reality, it is no different today than it was back then. Sinful human beings get impatient with God and fall into idolatry through unbelief that comes from a lack or ignorance of God’s Word.

Even when God sent Jesus in human flesh to bear His own image, people still preferred their idols and traditions, worshipping anyone and anything else in hopes of finding a spiritual connection because people were made to worship.

If you don’t intentionally worship God, you are unintentionally worshipping someone or something else. That is the essence of idolatry.

That is what the dark, fallen world pursues – spiritual connections to “the created thing instead of the Creator.” (Romans 1:25) When the world shuns the authority of God, they become enslaved to the gods of the darkness. Why? Because they, too, were created to worship.

If you don’t intentionally worship God, you are unintentionally worshipping someone or something else. 

~Alicia Purdy

The fact is, you cannot worship a God you don’t know – not rea​lly. Anyone can pretend, but God sees the heart. (Isaiah 29:13)

Psalm 115:4-8 points out that the whole world desires to worship, but by refusing to worship the Lord, they have no knowledge of God’s characteristics. They forget His mighty attributes. They misunderstand His nature. They brow impatient with His timing and they fall into idolatry:

“…Their idols are silver and gold. The work of men’s hands. They have mouths, but they do not speak;
Eyes they have, but they do not see; They have ears, but they do not hear; Noses they have, but they do not smell; They have hands, but they do not handle; Feet they have, but they do not walk; Nor do they mutter through their throat. Those who make them are like them. So is everyone who trusts in them.” (MEV)

The only God worthy of praise is the True and Living God. The children of God cannot forget who He is, not what He has done, because the Ancient of Days (Daniel 7:9) is the great I AM. There is nothing your heavenly Father cannot defeat, provide, heal, restore, or bring back to life.

Don’t get caught up in what you see around you- that’s how faith falters!

Keep your eyes on the “one who is invisible” as Abraham did. How do you do that? By looking into the Word of God where the Holy Spirit will show you what you need to see. 

And remember, praise goes before, during, and after God’s promises are fulfilled as an act of faith, thanksgiving, and testimony! There is always a reason to praise the Lord!

Continue Exploring the Word of God for More of His Attributes: “Knowing God More: 10 Things That are Not in His Nature”