What Is God Like?


by John C. Westervelt


     My quest for an understanding of what God is like began as a boy and has continued for a lifetime.

     I listened to Old Testament stories of prophets who heard from God. In the New Testament, Jesus said that God is my Father and that God is Spirit.

     I read David’s 23rd Psalm as a boy. Reading this Psalm year after year, has made it a memory verse.

     David was God’s man. He was God’s leader of Israel. While in this favored position, David committed the sins of adultery and murder. I might have given up on David, but God did not. After David repented for his sins, God forgave him. More than any other writer, David shares with me what God is like. David used Old Testament imagery that people of his day would understand. Those same words are meaningful to me today. Read the Twenty-Third Psalm to better understand what God is like.


“The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.

He makes me lie down in green pastures,

He leads me beside quiet waters,

He restores my soul.

He guides me in paths of righteousness for His name's sake.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.

You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.

Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.”


     My heart is filled with peace, knowing I shall not want. As a widower, I once walked through the valley of the shadow of death, and I was comforted. Now in my senior years, I seek daily the comfort of God’s rod and staff. I thank David for putting concrete substance in his description of how God touches me in my time of need.

     I encourage you to ask God to touch you with His rod and His staff as you deal with the cares of your day.


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