INTRODUCTION: This devotional series is based on J.I. Packer’s classic work, Knowing God. There is no greater quest, no more important activity, nothing that should be a higher priority than getting to know God. Too many Christians know about God without making their time with him personal. These devotionals are designed to challenge you to ask questions of yourself, bring these questions before God, make you think, and transform your relationship with God. My prayer is that your study will overflow in emotion, in touching your heart, in connecting with God, and sharing your relationship with others. The book consists of 22 Chapters, thus this series last 22 days. Dig in!
Reflections on Chapter 8: The Majesty of God
The Lord is robed in majesty and armed with strength (Ps 93:1)
Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise; his greatness no one can fathom. One generation commends your works to another; they tell of your mighty acts. They speak of the glorious splendor of your majesty—and I will meditate on your wonderful works. They tell of the power of your awesome works—and I will proclaim your great deeds. They celebrate your abundant goodness and joyfully sing of your righteousness. (Ps 145:3-7)
For we did not follow cleverly devised stories when we told you about the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ in power, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. He received honor and glory from God the Father when the voice came to him from the Majestic Glory, saying, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.” We ourselves heard this voice that came from heaven when we were with him on the sacred mountain. (2 Pet 1:16)
In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe. The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven. So he became as much superior to the angels as the name he has inherited is superior to theirs. (Heb 1:1-4)
Now the main point of what we are saying is this: We do have such a high priest, who sat down at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven, and who serves in the sanctuary, the true tabernacle set up by the Lord, not by a mere human being. (Heb 8:1)
As John Bertram Phillips once wrote, “Your God is Too Small!” Our typical view of God seems paltry in comparison with the majestic perspective of Scripture. Today, Christians often see God as personal, but diminish his majesty.
Genesis describes a personal God with incredible majesty.
God is so personal that:
· He deliberates with himself, “Let us make man in our image”
· He brings animals to Adam to name each one
· He walks in the garden to be with his creation
· He calls to Adam, asks people questions, seeks to find out what people are doing
· He grieves over human wickedness
These passages do not in any way diminish God’s sovereignty, power, or omniscience. He doesn’t ask questions because he lacks the answers. In fact the Bible magnifies his majesty:
· The creator who brings order out of chaos.
· The author of life, calling life into being.
· The Lord of Hosts over all creation.
· The Judge of all the earth who sentences judgment on sin yet saves through the ark; who destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, called by Melchizadek, “God Most High, maker of heaven and earth”
· He is ever present and ever seeing.
· He rebukes Sarah with the question, “Is anything too hard for the LORD?”
· Then He fulfills his purposes throughout all generations by multiplying Abraham’s seed as he promised.
How can we attain this right view of God’s majesty?
1. Remove from our thoughts of God any limits that would make him small.
a. Meditate on Ps 139 – consider the infinite and unlimited nature of God’s presence, knowledge, and power
b. Read Job 38-41 out loud – listen to God describe himself!
2. Compare God with the powers and forces that we regard as great. Isaiah 40:12ff – compares man’s meagerness to God's majesty:
a. Look at the tasks He has done – who could do them? (12)
b. Look at the greatest nations in history – a drop in the bucket next to God (15)
c. Look at the world – consider the size, variety, and complexity; how puny we are compared to the planet, yet how puny the planet compared to God (22)
d. Look at the world’s great men – God brings them to nothing (23)
e. Look at the stars – everyone created by God, called by name (26)
3. Isaiah would then question us: why do we have
a. Wrong thoughts about God: To whom will you compare me, that I should be like him? (25) We too easily think of God as limited and weak because we are. God is not like us…
b. Wrong thoughts about ourselves: Why do you say “my way is hidden from the Lord?” (27) We need to address our feelings of abandonment with the truth from God’s word – he will never leave or forsake us! Nothing can drive him away or stop his love for us!
c. Slowness to believe in His majesty: Have you not heard that the everlasting God, the creator of the ends of the earth never grows tired or weary? (28)
Isaiah 40 closes with the challenge to wait upon the Lord… he never grows weary or tired, but
He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
God shares His majesty with those who trust Him!