I started writing the “Heaven” posts on my previous blog in December of 2011. My goal was to look at every verse in the Bible that used the word Heaven and to bring forth a commentary on the place where God’s throne resides. In the last two years we have made much of Heaven together, dear readers. I have to admit it is not just Heaven I understand a bit better through these meditations but the God of Heaven as well. I have at least two devotional thoughts to put forth concerning today’s Heaven verse. I have prayed that God would bless those that read.
“Then I said, “O LORD, God of heaven, the great and awesome God who keeps his covenant of unfailing love with those who love him and obey his commands,” Neh. 1:5 NLT
Sandy Patti sang a song back in the day entitled, “King Of glory”. In it she asked the question “Who is this King Of Glory?”
Nehemiah 1:5 begins to answer the query for us. According to him the “Lord God of Heaven” is “the great and awesome God…”
That is to say ,”Yĕhovah ‘elohiym shamayim” is “gadowl ‘el” and ” yare’ ‘el”
Gadowl is translated in our text here as “great”. God is GREAT!
Yare’ is translated in our text here as “awesome”. God is AWESOME!
Yeah… those words had little effect on me either. Probably because in our society we make everything ” great” and “awesome.”
I spill coffee on my pants and say “That’s just great!”
My daughter needs a new muffler for her car and my response is, “That’s awesome.”
our culture has liberated these terms and turned them into useless slang words akin to “gnarly” and “neato”. So great and awesome can’t really help us to understand who this God of Heaven is anymore. We need other words to help us understand who God is and what He is like.
How about this?
You Oh God of Heaven are Gadowl- That is, Your presence is so large it encompasses every corner of the universe. You are here on Earth and You dwell upon the planets of galaxies beyond the sight of our most powerful telescopes. You presence is so potent and intense I would turn to a pile of ash if I were currently exposed to its fullness. Your voice is louder than all the rivers of Earth combined. You are older than time and more distinguished than all the kings and heroes of Earth put together.
You Oh God of Heaven are Yare’- That is, Your presence makes me shake in my boots. When you are near I am sobered to my core and all my foolish talking dries up. You astonish me with Your creativity, compassion and originality. I can never second guess You and to be honest that makes me a little or a lot uncomfortable. You are the God who takes me out of my comfort zone. I love You and am terrified by where this love might lead me.
Now that is just great and awesome!