By Robert E. Guinn
In the Bible, we read of a shepherd in the arid regions of Midian who saw something that captivated his attention. He saw a bush engulfed in flames but not consumed by them. Moses stopped to investigate this very unique and special event. As he inched closer Moses heard a voice telling him to take off his sandals, for he was on HOLY ground; he was in the presence of God.
When we approach God, it is a privileged and powerful moment like Moses at the burning bush. For this reason, some of my peers only use the term “awesome” to describe our Heavenly Creator. What was our attitude and reaction the last time we approached God? Did we give God our awe?
Awe is such an important element in approaching the Creator of all things. It contains two primary elements: wonder and amazement coupled with respect. “ Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire” (Hebrews 12:28-29).
After Jacob’s vision about the dwelling place of God, he said, “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven,” (Genesis 28:17, ESV). The Bible describes the works, character, name, wisdom, appearance, and word of God as causing awe (Psalm 65:5; Nehemiah 1:5; Deuteronomy 28:58; 1 Kings 3:28; Job 37:22; Psalm 119:161). Even the day of the Lord is described as an awesome and terrifying event (Joel 2:11). Consider the great works and sacrifice of Jesus (Luke 5:2526; Matt. 27:54).
Yet, the most awe-inspiring thing about our Creator and Sustainer is the selfless example we have in Jesus Christ. It should command our respect and cause wonder within our souls. It should provoke a self-examining spirit and cause us to ask the question, “What must I do to be saved?” Believing with our heart in Jesus Christ, we are told to turn from the practice of evil and sin and be immersed in water for the forgiveness of our sins (Acts 2:37-38, 17:30). Let us receive His blessings with wonder and fear recognizing our privilege and His power.
- Robert Guinn preaches for the Central Church of Christ in Paducah KY. He may be contacted through the congregation's website: http://www.centralchurchofchrist.org