As European descendants, we are used to big churches & cathedrals with stained glass windows and some apostles names named after – we see form. We always see form. We were trained to see form; we think in form; everything about us is form. Hebrew people see function. Let me give you an example…
It says this: “And while My glory passes by, I will put you in a cleft of the rock and cover you with My hand until I have passed by.” Ex 33:20 All of us are form-thinkers; so all of us would have images in our head. We’d have a big cave, you have Moses in there; and then primarily the focus of that particular sentence in scripture is the Hand of God; so you have: Moses, a big cave, and God’s hand. Everybody pictures a big giant hand. It’s really big, right; it’s the hand of God.
But the question is: does God have a hand? The answer is: no, God’s a spirit. God doesn’t have a hand like we have. Wait a minute, what about: the mighty hand of God; the strong arm of the Lord? Again, Greek people think form; Hebrew people think function. When a Hebrew person writes something like ‘the hand of God‘, or ‘the strong arm of the Lord’, they’re thinking: what does a hand do? A hand holds, a hand comforts, a hand hides, a hand does all of these things; so when a Hebrew person reads ‘and God hid Moses in the crevasse of the rock with His hand’, they’re thinking: what’s God doing to Moses in that cave? He’s hiding him; comforting him; touching him. The focus is not on the form; it’s on the function.
Another example: Ps 91:1(AMP): “HE WHO dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall remain stable and fixed under the shadow of the Almighty.” In other passages of the bible we read that God is light and that there is no darkness in Him (1 John 1:5). Well, if God is light, right – then how can He have a shadow that someone can sit under? Form. If we think function, we see a hot desert with one lonely tree in the distance. For a Middle-Eastern person taking a journey through the hot desert, the pinnacle of a refreshing rest will be in the shadow of a tree where they can drink some water and rejuvenate for the way ahead. So what the Psalmist is saying is: ‘when your journey is long in life and you cannot go on anymore, He is your comforting shadow and refreshing new life!’.