This past week I heard the song How Great Thou Art and what has stuck with me are the words “awesome wonder” from the first stanza: O Lord my God, when I in awesome wonder . . . .
The word awesome means to inspire awe (an overwhelming sense of reverence, admiration and fear). Considered in this light, the common use of the word awesome for things like pizza, roller coaster rides and cool cars are a misuse of the word.
While I have no particular problem with this use of the word, as I was thinking about it this week I questioned whether using it in this way to describe things which are in reality very “un-awesome” cheapens its meaning when we transfer it to God. If everything is awesome, nothing is really awesome.
In How Great Thou Art, the hymn writer was specifically referring to the awesome wonder of creation but the Bible itself speaks of other things as “awesome.”
God, Himself, is Awesome
Deuteronomy 10:17 says: For the LORD your God is the God of gods and the Lord of lords, the great, the mighty, and the awesome God who does not show partiality nor take a bribe.
Does this reflect your daily view of God? When you question, complain and covet, have you forgotten that God deserves your awesome wonder and not your opinion of how He can do better? An awesome God calls for awesome wonder about that God.
God’s Name is Awesome
Psalm 111:9 says: He has sent redemption to His people; He has ordained His covenant forever; Holy and awesome is His name.
Do you consider the name of God an awesome wonder, something which moves you to reverence, or do you use it lightly or without thought? Do you speak honorably of God when you use His name? God’s awesome name, representing all He is, calls for awesome wonder about that name.
God’s Works are Awesome
Deuteronomy 10:21 says: He is your praise and He is your God, who has done these great and awesome things for you which your eyes have seen.
Do you stand in awesome wonder of what God has done, is doing and will do? Do these things move you to praise and gratitude? God’s works in creation, redemption and restoration call for awesome wonder about those works.
The result of thinking about these things this week is that I have a desire to increase my capacity for awesome wonder. It is yet another way of adding glory to the grind.