My heart pounds as I think of this. It trembles within me. Listen carefully to the thunder of God’s voice as it rolls from his mouth. It rolls across the heavens, and his lightning flashes in every direction. Then comes the roaring of the thunder— the tremendous voice of his majesty. He does not restrain it when he speaks. God’s voice is glorious in the thunder. We can’t even imagine the greatness of his power. (Job 37:1-5)
Read: Job 37:1 – 39:30, 2 Corinthians 4:13 – 5:10, Psalm 44:9-26, Proverbs 22:13
Relate: Nine months out of the year, I hated the weather in Oswego, New York. I am not at all a fan of winter and way up there, that is about how long it seems to last. On the other hand, I loved Oswego’s summer… both weeks of it. I lived about six blocks south of the lake and at least a couple times every week, I would walk those few blocks north to sit on one of the benches that faced Lake Ontario. There were better than even odds that somewhere out on that lake there was a storm. It might be twenty or thirty miles away, but you could still see the lightning flashing down on the lake as though it was right around the corner. It was beautiful.
I love storms. The power, the force, the thunderclaps that rattle the windows… I just love it. Back in the day I would climb up to the top of our conversion van and just lay there as the world around me was inundated by water. Even today, a storm cannot pass by without me having an almost irresistible urge to get outside and revel in the deluge. Maybe I’m weird but, hey, it is what it is.
React: When I read Elihu’s description of the power and awesomeness of our God, I have to think that he was a storm lover as well. His word picture puts a smile on my face and sends a chill down my spine. He gets it. Like he says, “My heart pounds as I think of this. It trembles within me.” Think about it, if a storm is predicted to drop an inch of rain, then that storm is dumping over seventeen million gallons of water on every square mile it covers. When lightning strikes, it does so at the speed of 224,000 miles an hour and packs an electrical punch strong enough to keep my bedside lamp shining for half a year. Not only that, the average storm will kick out more than ten thousand such punches. I love storms in all of their majesty and glory, but I have a healthy respect, or fear, for them as well. I might go outside to enjoy it, but I’m not going to be carrying around a ten foot lightning rod while I do so.
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. The fear talked about here is a holy respect. It is a reverence. God is dangerous. Following Him is life wrecking. His power, like that of a thunderstorm, is something to respect and fear. Even as we pour out our love for Him, if the thought of His majesty does not set our heart racing, then our understanding of Him is far too small.
God, You are glorious. You are majestic. You are awesome. That word is used so frequently, so flippantly, for so many things, but it truly does belong to You. You inspire awe, reverence, and fear. Forgive me for taking Your presence in my life for granted. Forgive me for having far too small a view of just how powerful You truly are. It cannot be helped. As great as I can imagine, You are greater. Let my life, words, and actions give back to You just a little of the majesty and glory You deserve.