I was trying to think of a picture to illustrate seeing God or not and all I could come up with was nothing. I do have a picture on my computer that has the text, ‘God’s beauty is beyond anything seen.’ It is entirely black.
Let me start with the definition of the problem.
Matt 5:8 (KJ2000) ” 8 Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God. ”
Exod 33:20 (KJ2000) ” 20 And he said, You can not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live. ”
One solution: Only the righteous can see God only the pure in heart.
Exod 33:17 (KJ2000) ” 17 And the LORD said unto Moses, I will do this thing also that you have spoken: for you have found grace in my sight, and I know you by name. ”
1John 3:2-3 (KJ2000) ” 2 Beloved, now are we the children of God, and it does not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. 3 And every man that has this hope in him purifies himself, even as he is pure.”
Another solution: “Hence, there is no contradiction, as God can speak face to face with men, but not while in all His glory; otherwise, sinful man would die.”
[(1) The invisibility of God is inseparably linked to our faith, our hope, and our love.
Faith, hope, and love are the three prominent themes of the Bible. Paul speaks of these in 1 Corinthians 13:13. Notice how the New Testament writers link each of these three crucial elements of our Christian faith and life to the invisibility of God.
1 Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. 2 For by it the men of old gained approval. 3 By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible (Hebrews 11:1-3).
24 For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one also hope for what he sees? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it (Romans 8:24-25).
8 And though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory (1 Peter 1:8).]
“then they were seeing God Almighty but not the Father. It was someone else in the Godhead. I suggest that they were seeing the Word before He became incarnate. In other words, they were seeing Jesus.” – https://carm.org/bible-difficulties/genesis-deuteronomy/has-anyone-seen-god-or-not
GE 12:7, 17:1, 18:1, 26:2, 32:30, EX 3:16, 6:2-3, 24:9-11, 33:11, NU 12:7-8, 14:14, JB 42:5, AM 7:7-8, 9:1 God is seen.
EX 33:20, JN 1:18, 1JN 4:12 God is not seen. No one can see God’s face and live. No one has ever seen him.
No man hath seen God at any time. —John 1:18
For I have seen God face to face. —Genesis 32:30
I don’t think it is remarkable that a person can believe the contradiction or the solutions. This happens in many areas of human thinking.
I am interested in how to settle the matter for myself.
Do I only rely on my own intellect to settle it and decide? I haven’t seen God so obviously no one can.
Do I rely only on faith? I will try to believe the unbelievable.
Honestly my mind is not perplexed because I understand that I can see God and live if I am pure. I am not pure so that is why I haven’t seen Him. This solves the apparent contradiction to me because people who were more pure than me saw more of Him than I do.
I suppose this answers it for me because I have a christian mind and I think it will not answer it for someone who doesn’t.
This seems unfortunate and I am sad when someone wanders farther and farther away from God. Building defenses against Him and letting lies creep in such as the bible has no relevance or good to bring to them.
But then I remember that my sad is for myself mostly.
‘Father forgive me for letting the importance of Your word in the bible slip from my heart. Thank you for the amazing revelation that you have given to me. Renew my heart to appreciate you. Make me pure so that I can see You.’