Isaiah 59:1- The LORD’S hand [arm niv] is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy [dull niv], that it cannot hear.
This verse is one of the best examples in the Bible of what theologians call an anthropomorphism (Greek Anthropos [man] +morphe [form]. This big word describes the way biblical writers often described God in human terms. Isaiah in this verse said God has a powerful hand that can deliver His people and an ear that is always ready to hear their prayers.
God is a spiritual being (see John 4:24). He does not have human characteristics. So the biblical writers are speaking metaphorically when they speak of God’s mouth or eyes. But these metaphors express profound truths in words and images that we humans can understand.
HUMAN CHARACTERISTICS ASSIGNED TO GOD
- When sin multiplied on the earth, God felt deep sadness is His heart (Genesis 6:6).
- God declared that no person could look upon His face and live to tell about it (Exodus 33:20).
- God told Moses that His hand was not short; He had unlimited power to perform miracles on behalf of His people (Numbers 11:23).
- Moses declared that people are sustained by God’s law, or the words “that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD” (Deuteronomy 8:3)
- The psalmist stated that God sees and judges all people with His eyes (Psalm 11:4)