GOD’S GREATNESS REVISITED

Jul
2017
08

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“Great is the LORD! He is most worthy of praise! No one can measure his greatness.” (Psalm 145:3)

Each Fourth of July, the firework spectaculars are broadcast from different areas of our nation including Boston, Washington, D.C., and New York City. The musical performances seem to be finely-synchronized with the light shows in these network TV offerings. However, there is nothing quite like the “ooo, ahh” of the crowd when you experience an event like this in person. I well remember my first music concert, my first Broadway show, and my first major league sports event. Your favorite performers, songs and players take on a whole new persona when you are right there with them. Early in his career, I was privileged to see an up and coming singer in a very small venue with just a hundred or so others. After he became famous, I saw him again in a large arena. But the closeness of that first concert will always be a fond memory. I will also never forget taking my mother to see Barbra Streisand at Madison Square Garden. Looking down at the crowd from our high arena seating, we sighted several well-known personalities who had also come out that night to take in what was undoubtedly a presentation of a lifetime. I remember the excitement on my mon’s face as she said, “I have never quite seen anything like this.”  It remains a cherished memory with one of the all-time great vocalists.

Sadly, large venues have become a target for those who wish to do harm. For them, the opportunity to make a statement is often more pronounced when it can be achieved where large numbers of people can potentially be affected.  Yet, many continue to pay huge sums of money to see their favorite team in the Super Bowl or World Series.  It makes one wonder if the Lord Himself would appear today, would the masses accumulate as they did during Jesus’ time? Scripture tells us that then “crowds gathered around Him again, and, according to His custom, He once more began to teach them” (Mark 10:1). “And all the people were trying to touch Him, for power was coming from Him and healing them all” (Luke 6:19). Would we be so bold today to express a desire to see Jesus, or would we be embarrassed? Yet we will gather to cheer for our favorite sports team. But would we dare lift our hands in a rally to praise God? We know the lyrics of the songs of our favorite music performers. But would we take the time to learn and recite the words of scripture that have provided comfort for us in times of need? We cannot help but wonder – “With whom, then, will you compare God? To what image will you liken him?” (Isaiah 40:18).

David understood the greatness of God and was unapologetic to reveal his emotion: “When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them? LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth” (Psalm 8:3-4,9). Perhaps if we, like David, would dare to search for the greatness of God, we wouldn’t get so discouraged with the godlessness of our culture and the state of the world. For just as He has created a universe that continues to mystify and astound us, so too has He fashioned a plan that far exceeds any threat we might need to face. Instead we will wait like the gravely wounded soldier who kept inquiring over and over “Where is He? Where is He?” Thinking that he was asking for his superior, his caretakers brought his captain to him.  But that wasn’t who he wanted to see. In a moment of coherence, the nurse said to him, “All day long you’ve been asking for someone. Whom did you want to see?” The soldier said that he was waiting for the One who was greater than any earthly master. Moments later, he saw Jesus and passed.

One day, those who reign and reside on earth will also see Jesus.  When He appears, it will be more remarkable than any fireworks display. It will be more dramatic than any concert or half-time extravaganza.  “For as the lightning flashes in the east and shines to the west, so it will be when the Son of Man comes” (Matthew 24:27). Until then, our country must continue to remember what made us great in the first place. In the words of our 40th President: “If we ever forget that we are One Nation Under God, then we will be a nation gone under” (Ronald Reagan).  Great is He who has kept us free!

REFLECTION: Who are those persons whom you idolize for having achieved a status of greatness? How do they equal or fail in comparison with the great things God has done for you and those you hold dear?

A NEW LOOKUP  DEVOTION IS UPLOADED EACH WEEK. THE NEXT WEEKLY POSTING WILL BE ON SAT., JULY 15, 2017.  COMMENTS ARE WELCOMED.

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