The Greatness of God

Assemble the people to Me, that I may let them hear My words so they may learn to fear Me all the days they live on the earth ~Deuteronomy 4:10

Fear is a strange and powerful emotion. Because fear, as I consider it, is so intense, it is impossible to maintain. Perhaps I equate it too closely with terror. Real biblical fear is more like recognizing God's unmatched and unimaginable superiority. Biblical fear of God, as we see in the opening verse, is also something we learn which comforts me because I don't think I fear God enough. When our culture thinks of God, it focuses on His love and on His forgiveness which are true and beautiful attributes, but to focus on them alone leaves only a partial picture. God is raw, unmatched, holy power.

A lesser example so that we can try to wrap our puny brains around the concept is that of our sun. Our sun seems benevolent – it gives us light and color, warmth, and even life. Without its glow we would be plunged into cold blackness in just a few minutes. Conversely, anything that strays too close to it is mercilessly pulled into an inferno. Its heat is so intense that the numerical number assigned to it is meaningless in our everyday experience – it is simply beyond our comprehension yet we know that our sun, as compared to other stars is rather small, cool, and ordinary. We stretch ourselves to simply begin to understand our small, cool burning sun that God simply spoke spoke into existence along with the entire cosmos.

God's knowledge and power are just as impressive if you turn your mind from the grandiose to the miniscule. Jesus tells us that “the very hairs on your head are numbered” (Matthew 10:30) and not one sparrow “will fall to the ground apart from the Father” (Matthew 10:29), God knows every nucleic acid in your genetic code and every stray thought that you try to leave incomplete because it reveals a hard and ugly heart. God knows all of this and we can no more grasp His greatness in the minutiae of detail than in the vastness of the universe.

God deals with things smaller than we can imagine, manages with ease things greater than we can imagine and we find ourselves, each individual me, an insignificant blip on a scale that, from our view, has infinity stretching out on either side. Yet we are somehow vastly important to this unimaginable God who is so powerful and so holy. Even in the infinite vastness of His creation we are unable to fade into insignificance because He loves us in spite of who and what we are. He therefore demands nothing less of us than everything. It is here that I begin to learn how love and fear are merged in the worship of almighty God.

For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is His lovingkindness toward those who fear Him. ~Psalm 103:11

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