Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The Power of God

Alot of times we spend so much time meditating on the love and tenderness of Jesus, that we forget about the sheer, glorious power of God. The magnitude of His being is so vastly beyond our comprehension, and it is essential, for humility's sake, that we reflect on the mighty words of God. This passage in from Job 38, verses 1-21.

"Then the LORD answered Job out of the storm. He said:

Who is this that darkens my counsel with words without knowledge?
Brace yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer me.

Where were you when I laid the earth's foundation? Tell me, if you understand.
Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know! Who stretched a measuring line across it?
On what were its footings set, or who laid its cornerstone—
while the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy?

Who shut up the sea behind doors when it burst forth from the womb,
when I made the clouds its garment and wrapped it in thick darkness,
when I fixed limits for it and set its doors and bars in place,
when I said, 'This far you may come and no farther; here is where your proud waves halt'?

Have you ever given orders to the morning, or shown the dawn its place,
that it might take the earth by the edges and shake the wicked out of it?
The earth takes shape like clay under a seal; its features stand out like those of a garment.
The wicked are denied their light, and their upraised arm is broken.

Have you journeyed to the springs of the sea or walked in the recesses of the deep?
Have the gates of death been shown to you? Have you seen the gates of the shadow of death?
Have you comprehended the vast expanses of the earth? Tell me, if you know all this.

What is the way to the abode of light? And where does darkness reside?
Can you take them to their places? Do you know the paths to their dwellings?
Surely you know, for you were already born! You have lived so many years!

The things that strike me most about this passage is both it's incredible and majestic self-description by God, and His magnificent use of sarcasm. In this last line, He's basically telling Job, "You idiot...I'm the creator of reality itself. I existed before time, because I created time! No measly amount of experience you can boast in will even come close to being able to compare with Me!" It's a beautiful mental picture...just close your eyes, and imagine God speaking this to you. You'd have no room left to feel offense at His criticisms, because you'd be too full of wonder and awe at His mere voice. You'd never question His judgement of you, because you'd know from the moment He spoke that, not only would you pale in comparision to Him, but your inferior state make it impossible to compare yourself at Him at all!

In Isaiah 40:12 and 15, we see another striking description of the Lord...

"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?" (v. 12)
"Surely the nations are like a drop in a bucket; they are regarded as dust on the scales; he weighs the islands as though they were fine dust." (v. 15)

However...the most beautiful thing is the seeming-contrast that we see in the verse directly before...

"He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young." (v. 11)

How is is that God--is who is so obviously powerful, wise, sovereign, and superior beyond our wildest dreams--could be "gentle"? Why would He bother to tend to us like sheep, when His vastness must make us beyond miniscule in His sight? Perhaps this is exactly why He cares for us so tenderly...because...

2 Corinthians 12:9-10~ "But he said to me, My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.
That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong."

1 comment:

lindsey said...

wow! i love that God is sarcastic like me haha. but seriously that is so awesome i hadnt read that passage before im gonna go look it up now.

i always wonder at how when most people think about God they only want to think about Him like Jesus, with the Children sitting on his knees, smiling at being gentle. i, however, frightening as it is, love to think about the side of His personality that includes the flood. and in Jesus's case, Luke 2:13-16, when Jesus destroys the market in the temple. he's is yelling and throwing tables over and "after making a whip out of chords, drove veryone out of the temple...". it gives me goose bumps. i would love to have more examples of God's wrath but i cant really think of any right now :) let me know if you've got any.

its especially powerful because the wrath shows us just how incredibly awesome His love and forgiveness truly must be! if He (Jesus) can get that worked up over our stupidity and still die on the cross for us...wow! i cant even imagine.

also, God *hates* sin, nobody likes to think of God *hating* anything, but sin is that bad! He's so perfect and sin is evil so how could he not hate it?!? and He loved us so much He sent His Son to take all of our sin, and in Mark 15:34, '...Jesus cried out with a loud voice..."My God, My God, why have you forsaken me"' forsaken also meaning abandoned. a max lucado quote: *talking about how Jesus endured teh torture without making a sound and then..."But when God turned His head; that was more than Jesus could handle." God turned His back on Jesus for us! in that instant when Jesus shouldered the sins of the world, wow.

well i have written a ton and hopefully you've stuck with me the whole time and im afraid ive digressed by oh well it was fun <3

and one more quote lol: "God created the world out of nothing, and so as long as we are nothing, He can make something out of us." -martin luther. i thought it was amazing, kind of an earth shattering revelation for me