It is one of the most basic truths set forth in the Bible: the God of heaven is not a human. He never has been and never will be. The prophet Samuel described Jehovah as “the Strength of Israel” who “is not a man” (1 Samuel 15:29). Balaam declared, “God is not a man, that He should lie, nor a son of man, that He should repent” (Numbers 23:19). Because God does not change, those facts about Him are still true today. No, “God is not a man.”
The Lord God created man in His own image (Genesis 1:26,27), and the Bible is super plain in setting forth the truth that since the Lord created us, He is above us. He is the Creator; we are the created. He is the Master; we are the servants. He is the Potter; we are the clay (Isaiah 64:8).
Those who attempt to bring God down to man’s level err greatly. In the same way, those who try to elevate themselves or other humans up to God’s level make a huge mistake. God is not a man, and man is not God. It is blasphemous to say otherwise.
If the Lord is not a human, then why do we read in the Scriptures about Him having body parts? The Bible speaks of God’s hand (1 Peter 5:6), His eyes (Jeremiah 16:17), and His ears (1 Peter 3:12). What is that all about? When the Bible uses such language, it is a case of “anthropomorphism.” What in the world does that mean? That is what we call it when we take human characteristics and attribute them to God. God moves things, hears, and sees. If we put those abilities into human language, then we think about hands, ears, and eyes. The Bible affirms that God is a spirit-Being rather than flesh and blood like you and me (John 4:24).
The Holy Spirit guided Paul to say that “we are the offspring of God” (Acts 17:29). If God is not a human, then how can it be true that humans are His offspring? God made Adam and Eve in His image. Adam is said to have been “of God” or “the son of God” (Luke 3:38). We came from Adam, who came from God. Thus, He is the Source of humanity.
Since God is not a man, then we should not expect Him to think like humans do. His ways and thoughts are far above ours (Isaiah 55:8,9). Some people seem to assume that the Lord ought to think and act like they do, and when they learn that such is not the case, they are not happy. Now what right would any human ever have to get upset with God over His plans or actions? Absolutely none.
Because God is not a man, we should not envision Him as a grandfather-looking figure with a long, white beard. He is God “from everlasting to everlasting” (Psalm 90:2), but He cannot be humanized and made to appear like an old man.
When we speak about God, we ought to do so with the greatest reverence. “Holy and awesome is His name . . . “Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised . . .” (Psalm 111:9; 145:3). Regardless of who might do it, whether it is said in a joking or serious manner, it is disrespectful and degrading to refer to the Almighty as “the man upstairs,” “the big guy upstairs,” or “the big fellow in the sky.” Never should such words come forth from the lips of one whose heart adores Him and wants to praise Him. As Christians approach His throne in prayer and as we tell others about Him, He is our Father in heaven whose name is to be revered (Matthew 6:9). Always.
The majestic, eternal God is not some “cool dude.” “Dude” – “SLANG: any man or boy: often used as a casual term of address, as from one young man to another” [www.yourdictionary.com]. Coming before the Lord with, “Hey, Dude” may sound modern and have a ring of closeness to it, but let us recall that God is neither a man nor a boy. He deserves more dignity than being called “Dude.”
When some Jews of Malachi’s day failed to show a proper attitude toward God and the worship which He desired, He said, “A son honors his father, and a servant his master. If then I am the Father, where is My honor? And if I am a Master, where is My reverence?” (Malachi 1:6). God is worthy of respect, and that is exactly what He expects to receive from each of us at all times in all places. He is not a man. He is the Almighty.
— Roger D. Campbell