January 14, 2013

The Majesty of God

Psalm 8

LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!
—Psalm 8:1


Nearly five years ago my wife and I had the privilege of spending two weeks in Cairo, Egypt. The place where we stayed was across the street from an Islamic mosque. At noon on Friday, the holy day of the week for Muslims, men came flocking to the mosque. Some went inside, while others stayed outside, stopping traffic on the street. Each person spread a small mat in front of him, knelt on it, and for at least an hour kept bowing down to worship Allah.

It made me sad to know that they were praying not to the God who has become our Father through the Lord Jesus Christ, but to a demanding god they can never please. But at the same time I witnessed a sense of awe that these men felt for the god they had come to worship. It made me think of the words of Psalm 8: “LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!”

It also made me wonder whether we have that sense of awe in our worship of the Lord. Do we grasp something of what Psalm 8 says about the majesty of God? Do we understand the words of Isaiah 6:3: “Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory”? Do we worship this awesome God without embarrassment or apology? He is our Father through the Lord Jesus, but he is also the God who reigns in splendor.

Lord God, help us to understand something about the majesty of your name, and make us willing to acknowledge your greatness without embarrassment. Because of Jesus, Amen.

About the author — Arthur J. Schoonveld

Rev. Art Schoonveld is a retired minister in the Christian Reformed Church. Before retiring in 2001, he served churches in California, Illinois, and Michigan. Since his retirement he has worked part-time for the denomination and has served as an interim pastor. Art and his wife, Anita, have four children and nine grandchildren.

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