GOD IS AWESOME
by Wayne S. Walker
"For the LORD Most High is awesome; He is a great King over all the earth" (Psalm 47:2). Over the past few years, when a young person has seen or heard of something amazing or stupendous, he might reply, "Awesome!" Our English word "awesome" means "inspiring awe" or "feeling awe." This is the first word that came to my mind when I saw the Grand Canyon. The word "awe" is defined as, "a mixed feeling of reverence, fear, and wonder, caused by something sublime." The King James Version has the word "terrible" which can mean "causing terror; fearful; dreadful" but is used more often in the colloquial sense of "very bad, unpleasant, or disagreeable." Hence, the more positive sounding "awesome" is found in the newer versions.
God is awesome because He created the entire universe, including the earth on which we live and everything in it. "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth" (Genesis 1:1). Each of us can "create" something of whatever it is we do–a cake, a car, a sermon. However, we simply take things that already exist and then use them to make something different. God created everything that exists out of absolutely nothing. "By the word of the LORD the heavens were made, and all the host of them by the breath of His mouth….For He spoke, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast" (Psalm 33:6-9). Imagine a human being going into a dark cave, saying "Let there be light," and actually causing light to occur! We simply cannot do that. "By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible" (Hebrews 11:3).
Also, God is awesome because He has made salvation from sin possible. The fact is that "all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23). That is bad news, but there is even worse: "For the wages of sin is death…" (Romans 6:23). Because every single responsible human being has transgressed the Creator’s law, which was given for our good, we deserve to suffer eternal death or separation from God in hell. However, "This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief" (1 Timothy 1:15). Through His love for us God paid the price to make atonement for our sins so that He can offer salvation from sin to mankind. All He asks us to do is to obey Him. "Though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered. And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him" (Hebrews 5:8-9). There are many things in this life, including the Grand Canyon, which might be described as "awesome." However, our God, who loved us enough to provide redemption, is the most "awesome" of all.