Updated: Sep 20
Awesome! We often use this word when talking about an event or experience. What have you experienced that put you in awe? Was it the Grand Cayon, a brilliant rainbow, a glowing sunset over the water, or perhaps the sight of your firstborn child? It could be something different for each of us.
But what does the word awesome, or awe mean? It is good to define words to keep the meaning clear. Webster’s Dictionary defines awesome as astonishing, marvelous, or extraordinary. In the Old Testament, the word awe, when used about God, was directly related to fear and trembling. Some men who encountered God fell on their faces, overcome by His glory. In the New Testament, the Greek word for awe is translated as astonished and used only three times.
What puts you in awe of God? What would cause you and I to fall on our faces before our God in wonder, awe, and godly fear?
Could it be God’s power as revealed in the heavens? I researched the sun and was impressed with what I found. It is ninety-three million miles away from the earth and produces enough energy in one second to light all of New York for one hundred years. The outer surface is over 10,000 degrees. That is hot enough to melt and boil diamonds.
Now, think about the power the Creator of the sun had to possess, and we will get a glimpse of the power of God. “Let all the earth fear the LORD: let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him. For he spoke, and it was done; he commanded, and it stood fast” (Psalm 33:8-9, KJV).
Maybe God’s supreme authority would set us in awe. He is sovereign with supreme ruler over all in heaven and earth. “Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure:” (Isaiah 46:10-11, KJV).
Jesus only had to speak, and nature obeyed. Mighty winds ceased, crushing waves calmed, demons recoiled in fear and obeyed, and the dead received life. His authority was absolute. Perhaps the one thing that would set most believers in awe is God’s amazing, unfathomable, unconditional love.
When God created Adam and Eve, he placed them in a beautiful, perfect garden. They walked with Him in the cool of the day, and their fellowship was relaxed, familiar, and perfect. Then, sin entered the picture and broke that relationship.
From then on, God began working to draw man back to Himself. At first, He spoke to men as He did with Abraham. He performed great miracles and then sent the Law through Moses. Later, God sent various prophets to give directions and warnings. Time and again, God forgave and blessed His people, yet they continued to reject His love, made idols to take His place, and refused to repent.
However, God’s love for man and His desire for a restored relationship was so great that the Father sacrificed His only Son to pay for man’s sin and make reconciliation possible. “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God:” (1 John 3:1, KJV).
Imagine the one who created the sun and set it in the universe, the King of Kings, willingly left the realms of glory, restrained His divine power, and endured a hideous, agonizing death for you and me. Not just the whole world in general but for each of us as individuals.
Jesus did not die just to forgive our sins, reconcile us to the Father, and give us eternal life; He wants to have fellowship with us NOW. He desires to share every part of life with us, to be our strength, refuge, protector, provider, and friend. The Lord urges us to abide in Him to develop a close, intimate relationship. Our knowledge and understanding of Him will grow as we read His word, meditate on it, believe it, and then claim its reality.
God, our God, is more awesome than mere words can express. Let us take time every day to praise Him and enjoy the relationship He sacrificed to make possible.
“Let all the earth fear the LORD: let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him” (Psalm 33:8-9, KJV).