God of Wonders
Scriptures: Deuteronomy 6:13 Matthew 4:10 Proverbs 1:7 Psalm 119:38 Proverbs 2:1-5 Acts 9:31 When Jesus was driven into the wilderness by Holy Spirit and was tempted by the devil, Jesus quoted scripture to refute these temptations. It is enlightening though to see that, where it says in Deuteronomy “You shall fear the Lord your God and serve Him”, Jesus said “you shall worship the Lord your God and Him only shall you serve.”
At the time Jesus lived among the Jewish people, the religious hierarchy expounded verses like the one in Deuteronomy to instil dread and fear of a God of retribution and vengeance in the hearts of the “common” people. Jesus came to demonstrate the true nature of His Father God, the God who is the Creator of all, the One who forms us in our mother’s womb and delights over His children.
He came to show that all the controlling tactics that the enemy loves to tempt people with are not the will or nature of God. He does not want downtrodden, terrified slaves, that is not what “fear of the Lord” means. The Hebrew verb yare can mean “to fear, to respect, to reverence” and the Hebrew noun yirah usually refers to the fear of God and is seen as a positive quality, not negative dread.
Jesus was the visible Person of the Triune God, He knew the awesome power, the magnificence of God. He was one with the Father, yet He, as fully human, also stood in awe of God. This is why He quoted that scripture as “worship”. How can you not utterly worship and be in awe of Someone who, by the Word of His Mouth, created a universe, and not just one universe, unknown numbers of them.
Here in our rural part of New Zealand, on a clear night, we see a night sky that is stunning. There are no street lights to take away from its glory and beauty, and its vastness. We see the Milky Way and formations whose names I don’t know, but whose beauty makes me melt. And God created all of this. And in Mercy, Love and total Joy, He chose to create us, in the middle of all this vastness, He chose to place us in something called “time” so that we could make a choice. Do we want to know the Creator of all this? Do we want to live forever in continuous, exciting, astounding beauty and ever-new creation? Or not? And, if not, what else is there? Outside of God there is only darkness and loneliness for the whole of forever.
And this is the choice that we live under. By one man, sin came into God’s perfect world that He had created for mankind to enjoy, and He could have washed His hands of us there and then, and allowed us to reap the harvest of that sin with no way out. But, because He is a just, righteous, loving, merciful Father, He sacrificed His own Son to give us a new choice.
How can we not now stand in absolute awe, in the “fear of the Lord our God”, worshipping Him for the whole of eternity?
Prayer: Father God, grant to each of us the mercy to walk in the fear of the Lord, not in dread and terror but worshipping You for Who You are and for what You do for us each day. For God, You are indeed the God of Wonders, You are Holy.