Knowing God in 2008: The Majesty of God

The Bible tells us that God’s majesty is to be awed, worshiped, and loved. The Psalms especially are filled with language of adoration of our great God:

Great is the Lord and greatly to be praised in the city of our God. (Psalm 48:1)

For the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods. In his hands are the depths of the earth; the heights of the mountains are His also. The sea is His, for he made it, and his hands formed the dry land. Oh come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the Lord our Maker! (Psalm 95:3-6)

Packer comments that modern men have a tendency to have an elevated view of men but a small view of God, and this seems like an accurate comment in the life of the church in postmodern 2008 as well. The God of the Bible is both a close, personal God as well as a majestic, holy God. Packer makes the point that “God is not far distant from us in space, but He is far above us in greatness, and therefore is to be adored.” Further, “He has us in His hands; but we never have Him in ours. Like us, He is personal; but unlike us, He is great.” So how can we regain a right view of the majesty of God? Two things the Bible teaches that Packer mentions are: 1) remove from our thoughts of God limits that would make Him small; and 2) compare Him with powers and forces which we regard as great.

For the first point, Packer looks to Psalm 139, where God is described as all-knowing and all-controlling. “A God whose presence and scrutiny I could evade would be a small and trivial deity. But the true God is great and terrible, just because He is always with me and His eye is always upon me. Living becomes an awesome business when you realize that you spend every moment of your life in the sight and company of an omniscient, omnipresent Creator.” It would be a great revival or reform, indeed, if I and believers worldwide started living with this truth always in mind.

Secondly, look at great things in the world today: the nations, the earth, the universe, and the great world leaders, and compare them to God. In today’s world, with war, persecution, economic hardship, environmental concern, and political fervor, we can frequently delegate God to the backseat. But our God is so far above the nations that they are as a drop in the bucket (Isaiah 40:15). He uses the heavens as His throne and the earth as His footstool (Isaiah 66:1). He raises up and brings to nothing the princes and leaders of the world (Isaiah 40:23), including whoever our next president will be.

“Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable” (Isaiah 40:28). This question, Packer writes, rebukes our slowness to believe or accept God’s majesty. “How slow we are to believe in God as God, sovereign, all-seeing, and almighty! How little we make of the majesty of or Lord and Savior Christ! The need for us is to wait upon the Lord in meditations of His majesty, till we find our strength renewed through the writing of these things upon our hearts.”

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