Over the next number of days, we will be examining the attributes of our awesome God. This word, awesome, has been cheapened nowadays through overuse and misapplication. People will have a relaxing holiday and say, “I had an awesome time.” Ladies who go to the hairdresser will have friends gaze admiringly and say “it’s awesome.” Men who watch an exciting sporting match will loudly declare “that was awesome.” This cheapens the word. The earliest use of the word awesome comes in the late 16th century and meant “filled with awe.”
One of God’s names is El Shaddai which means God Almighty. God’s power can helpfully be examined under three headings.
- IN CREATION – In Jeremiah 32:17 the prophet declares “Ah, Sovereign LORD, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and outstretched arm. Nothing is too hard for you.” In Job 38 the Lord finally interrupts the never-ending round of speeches by Job and his friends by taking Job on a tour of creation. In vrs 31 God says, can you bind the beautiful Pleiades? Can you loose the cords of Orion? The distance between two stars in Orion’s belt is over 600 light years – a vast distance! God is so awesome that he can loosen a cord between the two with as little effort as it takes us to untie a shoelace! In Job 5:9, 10 we are introduced to the miracle of rain. He performs wonders that cannot be fathomed, miracles that cannot be counted. He bestows rain on the earth; he sends water upon the countryside. Imagine that you are a farmer in the Near East, far from any lake or stream. Where will your water come from? Water that evaporates from the Mediterranean Sea will be desalinated in the clouds and carried hundreds of kilometres before being dumped on fields. How much does it weigh? If 2,5cm of rain fell on an area of 2,6 square kilometres that amounts to 780 million litres which is 748 million kg. If that amount of water was just dumped it would crush wheat and so it is dribbled. This is why Job calls rain a wonder that cannot be fathomed. God is so awesome that Isaiah 40:12 says who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand, or with the breadth of his hand marked off the heavens? Who has held the dust of the earth in a basket, or weighed the mountains on the scales and the hills in a balance?
- IN SALVATION – As awe-inspiring as creation is God’s power in salvation is even more awesome. In fact in 2 Corinthians 4 the apostle Paul describes our salvation by drawing on creation language. In vrs 6 we read, for God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. Creation depends totally on the spoken creative word of God “let there be light and there was light” etc. Mankind in sin is dead and to make us alive takes a miracle on the scale of creation itself. The same creative God who spoke in Genesis 1 must speak again “let there be light” if we are to made spiritually alive.
- IN CHRISTIAN LIVING – In Ephesians 1:19, 20 Paul prays that believers
would experience the power of God that is already working in them. I pray that you may know his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength, which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms. The same power that was utilized to raise Christ from the dead is available to every believer. There is no excuse for a believer to say, I just cannot love my husband. I cannot forgive this person, I cannot stop my malicious gossip or I can’t seem to be able to control my temper. When we stop to consider that the power that raised Christ from the dead is available to me to overcome my sinful habits we should never say, “I cannot!”