Life-Changing Themes from the Bible: God Is Awesome

, by Christopher D. Hudson

In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord, high and exalted, seated on a throne; and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him were seraphim, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. And they were calling to one another: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.” At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke.  

People toss around the word awesome a lot: “That game-winning play was awesome!” “That sandwich was awesome!” But in the strictest sense, the word awesome means far more than having your taste buds tantalized. Being awed means to be filled with speechless wonder. It means to be breathless with holy fear. When we are in the presence of true awesomeness, we hug the ground, tremble, freeze, even lose the power of speech.

Hundreds of Bible verses describe God’s awesomeness as his glory. In Hebrew (the language used to write most of the Old Testament), the word glory means “weighty” or “heavy.” God isn’t an insignificant character. He’s not hiding off in the margins of life, resting lightly on people and events. His majesty is central to everything; his splendor fills the universe. There’s a divine beauty that covers the world like a heavy blanket. It’s there, even when we don’t feel it, even if we never acknowledge it.

Question: In what specific ways is God awesome? Answer: In more ways than we can mention. But let’s take a minute and list seven “heavy,” breathtaking truths the Bible reveals about our awesome God:

1. God is infinite. He is without end or limits (1 Kings 8:27; Psalm 145:3).
2. God is eternal. He is outside of and unbounded by time (Genesis 21:33; Psalm 90:2).
3. God is all-knowing. He sees and comprehends all things—both actual and possible (Psalms 139:1–4; 147:4–5; Hebrews 4:13; 1 John 3:20).
4. God is all-powerful. Nothing is too hard for the Almighty (Job 42:2; Jeremiah 32:17; Matthew 19:26).
5. God is present everywhere. There is no place where he is not (Psalm 139:7–12; Jeremiah 23:23–24).
6. God is sovereign. He authoritatively rules and orchestrates all things for his glory and the good of the creatures he loves (Ephesians 1:4–14, 21).
7. God is unchanging. He doesn’t morph or evolve; he is reliable and consistent (Psalm 102:27; Malachi 3:6; James 1:17).

By constantly showing God as glorious, the Bible makes it clear that he is worth not only our attention but also our devotion. Because God is awesome, he deserves all the honor we can give him. We should spend our lives making much of God. We should order our lives around him.

In truth this is what worship is. Our English word worship means the state of having worth. Worship isn’t merely a church service or singing religious songs. It can be that, but it is so much more. Worship is about what we treat as worthy or valuable 24/7. People worship money, fame, power, beauty—all kinds of things. But because God alone is truly awesome, we should worship him and not lesser things.

This blog post has been adapted from my new book Self-Guided Tour of the Bible. You can learn more about it here.

1 comment:

  1. I find that God is awesome in His unconditional love to us as well as His awesome grace which gives us way more than we deserve and with-holds so much that we deserve, His mercy.
    For Isaiah to stand in God's presence, there is an awesome display of God's kindness, gentleness and love.
    What an illustration for me to welcome everyone (especially those who I think don't deserve it) unconditionally.