Wednesday, April 28, 2010

recovering our sense of awe

"Dominion and awe belong to God;
He establishes order in the heights of heaven." Job 25:2


When we focus on the sovereignty of God, we gain a new sense of awe. There was a note of seriousness and solemnity about the religion of the Puritans that is all too often lacking in the religion of today. It was born of their sense of the sovereignty of God. It has passed away because, to a large extent, that doctrine has lost its hold upon us.
We have almost forgotten that cherubim and seraphim, with veiled faces, continually cry, "Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty." In our absorption in the thought of God as Father we have almost lost sight of the fact that He is the Holy Sovereign, ruling the world in righteousness. The result has been that, to a large extent, we have lost the sense of religious awe, of reverence, and of godly fear. There is a verse in a hymn in which the writer says:


Oh, how I fear Thee, living God,
With deepest, tenderest fears;
And worship Thee with trembling hope,
And penitential tears.


The verse is almost foreign to our modern religious experience. We do not "fear" God. We do not "tremble" in His presence. We do not worship Him with "penitential" tears. We have lost our sense of God's holy sovereignty, and the awe has passed out of our religion. The seriousness and the solemnity have gone out of it.


To make our religious life deep and strong again, we need to recover that lost sense of awe. We need to be taught afresh the fear of the Lord. And to recover that lost sense of awe, to create within us the feeling of reverence, we need a new vision of God as the Holy Sovereign.


«john daniel jones»

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