For those who have followed these morning ramblings over time, you know that as I read in the morning I’m on the lookout. I have my colored pencils at hand and as I ingest the Word I also take note of certain themes. One of those themes, underlined in navy blue, is what the Word says about God the Father. That colored pencil tends to get a lot of use. This morning was no exception. But this morning, after reading Psalm 95, I sat back looked on the blue on the page and was struck with fresh wonder. As I looked back on what the songwriter had to say about God, I was a bit overwhelmed to be reminded again that not only is He a great God . . . but that He is also our God.
For the LORD is a great God, and a great King above all gods. In His hand are the depths of the earth; the heights of the mountains are His also. The sea is His, for He made it, and His hands formed the dry land. Oh come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the LORD, our Maker! For He is our God, and we are the people of His pasture, and the sheep of His hand. (Psalm 95:3-7 ESV)
That God is Maker should be enough, in and of itself, to break forth in praise. “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims His handiwork” (Ps. 19:1) . . . “His invisible attributes, namely, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made” (Rom. 1:20). For those with eyes to see and ears to hear, creation itself primes the pump of wonder and worship directed to the One who made all things.
Surely the God who made all things is above all gods. The God whose fingertips are all over that which has been made, from the macro of the universe to the micro of the smallest of creatures, is to be revered and exalted as in a category all His own. Infinite creativity evidenced . . . unimaginable engineering apparent . . . breath-taking beauty and earth-shaking power on display for those who pause to consider it. The LORD is a great God! Ya’ think?
Oh come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the LORD, our Maker!
And this same God is our God. Far from being an unknown force, His existence hinted at by the wonders of creation, He has determined to be known, and in a sense owned, by those who respond to His invitation of relationship. The Great God has entered into covenant relationship with a people He has claimed as His own. Those people, then, knowing Him as “our God.” They are the people of His pasture, the sheep of His hand and He is their Great Shepherd. The great God is our God.
And you don’t have to noodle on it very long before awe and appreciation kick in. How did He become our God? What was necessary for people who were naturally in rebellion to their Maker, and were first and foremost focused on themselves, to enter into an “owning relationship” with the God of creation?
For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16 ESV)
God so desired relationship that He gave His Son as the once for all sacrifice for all that separated men and women from God, namely their sin. Not some passive God who left us to our own devices to try and figure out how to connect with the eternal. But an active, intervening God who has made possible and made known the way to life eternal. The way opened through the finished work of the cross . . . and the declared victory of the empty tomb . . . and the saving ministry of the eternal Son of God, Jesus the Christ.
Eternal life. Real, abundant life. That we might know Him. Not generically as Maker, but intimately as Shepherd.
He is a great God . . . and He is our God. Wonder of wonders.
Oh come, let us sing to the LORD;
let us make a joyful noise to the Rock of our salvation!
Let us come into His presence with thanksgiving;
let us make a joyful noise to Him with songs of praise! (Psalm 95:1-2 ESV)
All because of grace . . . all for His glory!