Awesomeness Beyond Comprehension

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Tuesday, March 8, 2016 0 comments

by Bill Seng

“His glory covered the heavens and his praise filled the earth. His splendor was like the sunrise; rays flashed from his hand, where his power was hidden. Plague went before him; pestilence followed his steps. He stood and shook the earth; he looked, and made the nations tremble…His ways are eternal.” ~Habakkuk 3:3b-6

We were sitting in class with Dr. Staats, a professor at Winebrenner Theological Seminary, talking about who is qualified to be a deacon or elder inside the church, when some controversial disqualifiers came up. Being a class full of people who were already serving as pastors at churches, there were many interesting situations to learn from. One disqualifying lifestyle that made much headway in the discussion was that of unmarried couples living together. It was agreed upon unanimously in the class that such people are not qualified to hold offices inside of the church. Capping off that discussion, Dr. Staats made the remark that “Too many people have no idea of who the God of the Bible is.” Powerful and too true.

If you were to ask a group of people (whether they are Christians or not) to draw a picture to describe God, I think most people’s descriptions would be very similar to one another’s. I would expect rainbows, clouds, outreached hands, hugs, and generally serene imagery. The love of God is what brings you comfort in hard times. He’s your buddy; your friend. Morgan Freeman portrayed God in Bruce Almighty and Evan Almighty. That was probably an accurate interpretation of God, right? I don’t think we (including me) grasp the true awesomeness of God.

David Crowder Band gets it right with their song How He Loves:

He is jealous for me,
Loves like a hurricane, I am a tree
Bending beneath the weight of his wind and mercy.
When all of a sudden,
I am unaware of these afflictions eclipsed by glory,
And I realize just how beautiful you are,
And how great your affections are for me.

God’s love is powerful and frightening! Maybe the reason we don’t understand God in our culture is because our concept of love is all screwed up. Back in Biblical times, marriages were more or less arranged. Think about that. In present day America we get to choose to marry whoever we want. You would think that would eliminate strife between the married couples today, but it doesn’t. If you never knew someone, or barely knew someone, and had to get married to them, what sorts of troubles do you think you would run into? Don’t miss my point here.

We are talking about God’s awesome love! I think of Isaac and Rebekah, who got married on the spot without any previous knowledge of one another’s existence. As you read their story, it is clear there was plenty of strife inside of their relationship, but they loved one another nonetheless. Today, when we feel that marriage is too hard we quit. The love we know does not endure hardship, only the good times. Not God, though. His love never fails (1 Corinthians 13:8). He never walks out or bails out. He fights for those he loves.

I want to say that God’s love is vicious but I am wanting a different word. Within the span of two verses Habakkuk goes from saying “His praise fills the earth” to “Plague went before him; pestilence followed his steps.” Certainly, the latter imagery is describing judgment, but that’s just it. His love must also include judgment. Casting pestilence and plague upon those who hate his followers is pretty vicious. The enemy is oppressive and cruel, so God must be as a heroic and terrifying warrior to overcome the powers of evil.

At the end of one of the movie renditions of Ivanhoe, Ivanhoe’s beloved is about to be burned at the stake and he comes charging in on a horse. His task is that he must defeat the king’s best knight to secure the release of his beloved. It is a brutally violent battle and he emerges the victor. Is that not the story of salvation?

We stand condemned awaiting an eternity of fire. The king of this world has usurped the throne (in a manner of speaking) of its rightful King. Our lives are like a breath; here today and gone tomorrow. We stand upon the scaffolding waiting to be lit ablaze, but God has sent Jesus in on a white horse to secure our deliverance. Don’t believe me? Read Revelation 19:11-21.

His love, his awesomeness is so amazing I can’t begin to find words or example of how to describe it. He is not a wimpy feel-good God. He is a mighty warrior, ready for combat to rescue the one he loves. On the other hand, you better be on his side because his wrath is swift and powerful. Ask yourself, do you want to behold his glory like the sunrise or be caught up in the plagues and pestilence of those who fight against him? He loves you viciously, so make the right choice.

This forum is meant to foster discussion and allow for differing viewpoints to be explored with equal and respectful consideration.  All comments are moderated and any foul language or threatening/abusive comments will not be approved.  Users who engage in threatening or abusive comments which are physically harmful in nature will be reported to the authorities.