Who is like you— majestic in holiness, awesome in glory, working wonders? In your unfailing love you will lead. In your strength you will guide. (Exodus 15:11, 13 NIV 1984).
My Musings – Sometimes we read a text and we gloss over the words. Perhaps we admire the poetic beauty of how a phrase is turned, but never quite get below the surface. Never really digging deep enough to understand why certain words are used instead of other words. Well, the choice of words is not by accident. They were inspired (breathed out) by God. We are so used to the clumsiness of how we put our own words together that often we do not connect, or poorly connect, with the meaning that was clearly inspired by the Holy Spirit. But unlike the rest of the world that does not follow Christ, we are capable of Spiritual discernment. But at times we simply do not put in the effort. Let’s put some effort into the above text.
Majestic (beautiful, powerful, or causing great admiration and respect) holiness (exalted or worthy of complete devotion as one perfect in goodness and righteousness). Merely saying that God is holy is simply inadequate. Prefacing it with majestic is better, but still falls short. Our human minds are simply incapable of fully comprehending it.
Awesome (extremely impressive or daunting; inspiring great admiration, apprehension, or fear) glory (excellence that deserves to be praised, brilliance over all others). Lately, by overuse and attaching it to things that clearly are not, we have cheapened the word awesome. And unfortunately the concept of glory is poorly understood. The Apostle John, who probably knew Jesus best, when He beheld His glory, fell at His feet like a dead man (Revelation 1:17). That, my friends, is awesome glory. And yet, we still haven’t a clue.
Working (activity involving mental or physical effort done in order to achieve a purpose or result) wonders (awe-inspiring, astounding, or surprising). What better example than the creation, where the infinite spoke into existence the finite universe (to Him), which appears infinite to us. All that is, was created out of nothing at all. Making life where there was no life. And finally, He put His likeness and image into His final act of creation — mankind. Working wonders? Awe-inspiring? Surprising? You think.? Yet in our arrogance and foolishness, the created attempts to explain away the wonders that He worked to mere happenstance. What folly.
Unfailing (shows at all times, always able to supply more) love (intense feeling of deep affection). Will never end, will never run out. Love never fails. But what kind of love? If awesome is a word we’ve cheapened, love is a word we’ve bankrupted. In Hebrew the word is “hesed” (feelings that motivate merciful and compassionate behavior). In Greek it is “agape” (self-giving love). Man can “do” love, usually at a much lower level than hesed or apape. God “is” love. God “so loved the world” that He gave up what was most precious to Him — His Son. Christ so-loved, that He willingly (not by compulsion from the Father) laid down His life. Described in John 15:13 as “no greater love.”
Strength (ability to exert effort for the accomplishment of a task). The power that brought the entire universe into existence was under His control. When He acts no one (no power) can reverse (or stop) it (Habakkuk 3:6). Think of the most powerful forces of nature. Not ever a butterfly effect compared to God’s power and might.
Lead (to guide on a way especially by going in advance, an example for others to follow) and guide (to direct, supervise, or influence usually to a particular end). In light of the foregoing attributes, who else could we possibly want to lead and guide us? Yet we settle for incredibly less in this world. I know my feelings in at least the last two Presidential elections in the United States have been, “out of a population of approximately 325 million, these are the two best we can put forth as candidates to lead and guide our nation?” How comforting to know that God is still Sovereign no matter (in spite of) who we elect.
And these are but the outer fringe of his works; how faint the whisper we hear of him! (Job 26:14, NIV 1984). How faint indeed. “Too wonderful for [us] to know.”
My Advice – Let’s open our eyes while we can. Then Job replied to the Lord: “I know that you can do all things; no plan of yours can be thwarted. You asked, ‘Who is this that obscures my counsel without knowledge?’ Surely I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know. “You said, ‘Listen now, and I will speak; I will question you, and you shall answer me.’ My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you. Therefore I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes.” (Job 42:1-6, NIV 1984). For a day is coming, and it may be very soon, where He will speak and we will have to answer. What will you say when He asks, “do you know my Son?” Make sure you can say yes.