Thursday, October 28, 2021

          Solomon is commonly thought to be the author of Ecclesiastes.  A variety of traditions upholds that view as well.  1:1 says that this book is the “words of the Teacher, son of David, king in Jerusalem.”  This opening statement could possibly suggest that Solomon was the author.  Ecclesiastes is a short but powerful book—only twelve chapters long.  About midway through chapter five, we find this command, “therefore stand in awe of God” (5:7b).  Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived, dispensed tremendous wisdom with only six words.  We are to stand in awe of God.  We are to live in awe of God.  Worship is about being in awe of God.  And we are most thankful when we see God with awe and wonder.  Would “awe” characterize your relationship with God?  How often are you in awe and wonder of God and His ways?  If we are not careful, we can let the routines and habits of life rob us of this awe and wonder. 
            The word for awe in Ecclesiastes can mean wonder, fear and reverence.  The idea is to approach God in ways that are distinctly unlike the ways we would approach each other.  God is most definitely above and beyond humanity.  We speak of this as His transcendence.  President Lincoln purportedly once remarked, “Sir, my concern is not whether God is on our side; my greatest concern is to be on God's side, for God is always right.”  It is easy for us to create situations and scenarios where we believe God is our side.  But to be in awe of God means we seek to be on His.  We humble ourselves and submit to Him and His ways.  To be in awe of God is not our default setting.  We have to develop a lifestyle of being in awe of Him.  If the mere thought of God does not overcome us and wash us with awe, then the problem is ours.
            When we are in awe of God, we become thankful people.  We recognize and realize that every good and perfect gift comes from Him.  We are blessed by His grace and prerogatives—not because we are especially good or righteous people.  A lack of gratitude could indicate that we are not in awe of God.  We have lost our vision of His greatness and glory--a vision like Isaiah had in chapter six of his prophecy.  “I saw the Lord, high and exalted, seated on a throne; and the train of his robe filled the temple.  Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory” (6:1b, 3).  Our view of God is often nowhere near as high or as exalted as it ought to be.  When we fail to stand in awe of God, we almost always redirect that awe somewhere else.  Our loyalties drift toward ourselves, our possessions, our pursuits or the things we wish we could own and occupy.  When God’s greatness does not occupy our minds and hearts then we are easily occupied by lesser, baser things.
            One way to enliven and inspire your Thanksgiving this year is to be in awe of God.  Be in amazement over who God is and the mighty acts He has performed.  For example, we can be in awe of God as we consider the perfect change of seasons, the law of gravity, the rotation of the planets in synchronized motion, the intricacy of human DNA, the tides of the ocean that move in routines and rhythms and the vast multitudes of galaxies that all declare the glory of the Lord.  Some scientists suggest that the universe might be filled with two trillion different galaxies.  Two trillion!  Yet, God spoke each one into existence and designed each one as He alone willed.  Creation itself enhances our awe of God and appreciation for the magnificence of His power and ways.
            We will gather to be in awe of God this Sunday as we study His Word and worship Him.  Join us and invite others to be part of our church’s life and fellowship.  God is faithfully writing His story in our lives.  May we join with Him in what He is doing.  Remember our Trunk-or-Treat is this Saturday at Midway at 3:00pm.  Arrive a bit earlier if you are participating.  Share our worship with your friends at youtube.com/FirstBaptistKannapolis.  Remember to stay faithful in your tithes, offerings and giving.  Have a great Thursday!

Tom

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