Pretty much like the infinitude of God, the divine transcendence also means that He is above all, beyond all, outside of it all. It is one of God’s attributes that distinguishes the One True God from the non-Gods. He is far above all created things, beyond all experiences and understanding, unknowable apart from His self-initiated revelations about Himself.

HIGH AND LOFTY ONE. The prophet Isaiah describes the Lord as “The high and lofty One who lives in eternity” (Isa. 57:15a). He is exalted far above the created universe, so far above that human thought cannot imagine it.

The phrase “far above” doesn’t refer to physical distance. God is non-physical, He is omnipresent, He is with us all the time. Therefore, He can never be really far from us. God being high and far above all creations means that He, forever, stands apart from all created things — wholly incomparable with anyone or anything; not suited to any category of thought or language that could accurately describe His being.

THE FEAR OF THE LORD. Wherever God appeared to men in the Bible, the results were all the same — “an overwhelming sense of terror and dismay, a wrenching sensation of sinfulness and guilt,” says Tozer. For instance, when the Lord appeared to Abraham, he bowed low to the ground as he met Him (Gen. 18:1-2). When Moses saw the Lord in the burning bush, he hid his face because he was afraid to look at Him (Ex. 3:6).

Having the knowledge that God is a transcendent God, Abraham, Moses, and many other men and women of faith in the early years served the Lord and walked with the Lord with fear. They look at the Lord as Someone who is awesome and dreadful at the same time. I love this definition of “the fear of God” by Aiden Tozer:

Clearly, the Lord our God is not all horrible and scary. He is a magnificent God—a kind, loving, faithful, merciful, gracious, absolutely perfect God; all-knowing and all-powerful. He is entirely unknowable in His transcendence, but He has made it possible for us to know Him by the revelations He’s made about Himself. It is Him who puts it in our hearts to desire to seek Him, and He is pleased with even our tiniest efforts to make Him known.

May everyone who has been reached by this article find it in their hearts the longing, the thirst, and the hunger to seek and know God so that they may understand what it is to have the fear of the transcendent Lord.

“The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life, turning a person from the snares of death” (Prov. 14:27, NIV).


This is an updated edition of an article originally published on

Featured Image by Sergio Souza