The Much-Needed Sense of Awe

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Picture of a boy in awe of what he has seen in his Bible

Today’s Bible reading* uses the word “awe” four times. (Psalm 65:5, 8; 66:3, 5)

You answer us in righteousness, with awe-inspiring works, God of our salvation, the hope of all the ends of the earth and of the distant seas.
Psalm 65:5 (CSB)

Those who live far away are awed by your signs; you make east and west shout for joy.
Psalm 65:8 (CSB)

Say to God, “How awe-inspiring are your works! Your enemies will cringe before you because of your great strength.
Psalm 66:3 (CSB)

Come and see the wonders of God; his acts for humanity are awe-inspiring.
Psalm 66:5 (CSB)

One thing that modern-day Believers lack is a sense of awe of God. That’s not just my opinion, but Paul Tripp and Drew Dyck also believe that. Tripp wrote Awe: Why It Matters for Everything We Think, Say, and Do and Dyck wrote Yawning at Tigers: You Can’t Tame God, So Stop Trying. I highly recommend these two books. You can pick them up at Amazon by clicking their link. These books serve as Maskils, stimulating our thoughts toward kindling our affections toward God.

Perhaps one reason we lack a sense of awe toward God is that we have seen it all and done it all. Not much surprises us anymore. We think we’ve figured out everything. We think we can control everything.

Perhaps another reason we lack a sense of awe toward God is that we don’t really know God. We often have a picture of God that resembles a kind, loving grandfather. God is love, after all.

Dyck’s book title is spot on in saying that God can’t be tamed. Mr. Tumnus, the fawn in CS Lewis’ classic, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, tells Lucy that Aslan (the Jesus character) isn’t a tame lion, but he is good. Indeed!

Application

Are you like many Believers in Western culture? Do you have an awe of God? Or do you have a picture of God that resembles a kind, loving grandfather? That view of God is far from an accurate picture.

Another view of God that is far from an accurate picture is that God resembles an angry neighbor who hates to see us near his pristine, well-manicured yard.. This God doesn’t want to be bothered by anyone.

The correct view of God is that He is completely righteous and is worthy of our utmost respect and fear; He is also the epitome of kindness and love. This God goes to extreme measures to pursue His people in a covenant relationship. To look at what he has done in the created world and in rescuing rebellious enemies takes our breath away. When we consider this God, we cannot help but worship Him.

That’s a picture of awe.

* Chapters covered in today’s reading:
Psalms 65
Psalms 66
Psalms 67
Psalms 69
Psalms 70

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