An Awesome God

Raymond Rewerts

READ : Habakkuk 3:1–6

O Lord, I have heard the report of you, and your work, O Lord, do I fear. (v. 2)

Those who today boast of having had a personal experience with the living God usually communicate such attitudes with joy, energetic enthusiasm, and wordy descriptions of their feelings. In contrast, those who in biblical times met God often were thoroughly shaken. They were strangely silent and sometimes withdrew for deep reflection on the meaning of the event.

Habakkuk had trouble catching on to the ways of God, but gradually he began to understand. And when he did he wrote, “O Lord, I have heard the report of you, and your work, O Lord, do I fear.” The attitude produced by his understanding of God was not a fear of what God would or could do. Rather, he stood in an attitude of worship, adoration, and wonder. As the prophet, he understood who God was in relationship to the world, he saw God as so almighty and so holy that he reverenced God as God. He was speechless in the presence of such a Holy God. It reminds us of Jacob, who when he met God at Bethel said, “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I did not know it. . . . How awesome is this place!” (Gen. 28:16–17). And of Paul “who fell to the ground” (Acts 22:7), or of John who says, “When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead” (Rev. 1:17). (originally published Dec. 15, 1978)


Thank you, Lord, for being a God who stands above us by nature and by expression. Truly, you are worthy of praise. Amen.