Awe: (n.) Dread; great fear mingled with respect. [Websters]
The word awesome has lost its meaning. Today, anything is awesome. Anything that we think is wonderful is awesome. Simple things that give us pleasure is awesome. It wasn’t until someone pointed it out that I realized that we have lost sense of what awesome really means.
Whilst thinking about how awesome God is, I saw an image in my head of a magnificent building, or making grilled cheese sandwich in a toaster, because those things – in my vocabulary – were awesome. But, this isn’t what awesome means, and when I’m talking about God being awesome, I’m not trying to relate Him to a sandwich. So, I’ve decided to reclaim the definition of awe.
To be in awe – to find something awesome – is to be in a state of reverence, respect and fear. When I think of an awesome God, I think of the one who said “Let there be!” and there was. I see in my mind the three Hebrew boys in the fiery furnace, walking around with a fourth who looks like the Son of God. I see Saul knocked off his horse on the road to Damascus. When I think of awesome, I see the throne with the four creatures around it singing, “Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come.” and I see the twenty-four elders, bowing before him, casting down their crowns singing, “You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being.”
When I think of awesome, I think about the God who put away all the splendors of heaven and became like the ones He created. When I think of awesome, I think about the knee-buckling, tear-jerking, dumbstruck feeling I get when I realized that this same God, loves me so much that he would give his life for me and that is infinitely greater than grilled cheese. When I think of His awesome power, I know that, “at the name of Jesus, every knee shall bow in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,to the glory of God the Father.” When I think about these things, I stand in awe.
O Lord, our Lord, how excellent is your name in all the earth.