Why We Need to Stand in Awe of God

1 Psalm | 1 Week – Psalm 33 (NLT)

Last night I went for a walk with my son. We were comparing the size of immense trees. He noted that one far away tree seemed rather small, but he was sure it was really larger than a huge one we had just stood beside. It led to a conversation about perspective and how distance and proximity change our analysis of the size of something.

Flawed Perspective

I thought about this same principle related to life. When God is in the distant part of our lives, he seems small, detached, and not as powerful as he truly is. When our mind and heart are fixated on problems, fears, or things in the world, they seem larger and more powerful than they truly are.

In actuality though, it is our perspective that is flawed. It can be difficult in the deluge of bad news, dire predictions, and an unclear future to keep those things in the proper perspective. It requires us to, as the psalmist urges in verse eight, stand in awe of [God].

If you look up the word awe in the dictionary, it means

an overwhelming feeling of reverence or admiration caused by something that is great, sublime, or extremely powerful.

This is a great word to use related to the right perspective about God!

And the best part of this psalm is that this is not just an instruction the psalmist gives, but something that he stirs within us! This psalm beautifully articulates the greatness, sublimeness, and power of God. I hope you’ll take two minutes and read through the entire psalm. I think it will naturally lead you to awe.

Truths from Psalm 33

Here are just a few nuggets of truth from this psalm designed to lead you into awe of God:

For the word of the Lord holds true (v 4). God never goes back on his word and his promise. They are not dependent on us, but on him.

We can trust everything he does (v 4). – God’s faithfulness never ceases. He is a good God with a good heart.

The Lord merely spoke, and the heavens were created. He breathed the word, and all the stars were born (v 6). – What can your words or the words of others really accomplish? Not much in comparison.

He assigned the sea its boundaries and locked the oceans in vast reservoirs (v 7). – Every wave that washes onto a shore can only come up as far as God allows it. Over and over, wave after wave, he’s directing and controlling its boundary. Wow!

The Lord frustrates the plans of the nations and thwarts all their schemes. But the Lord’s plans stand firm forever; his intentions can never be shaken (v 10-11). – God is sovereign over everything and everyone. He knows what will happen next month, in six months, and in six years. No matter who wins elections, how viruses change and spread, what happens to economies, he is actively on the move and nothing will be shaken.

But the Lord watches over those who fear him, those who rely on his unfailing love. He rescues them from death and keeps them alive in times of famine (v 18-19). – God sees. He cares. He secures his own. He is bigger than any problem even able to supply food when there is none. We can rest in him!

What About You?

Is your heart filling with awe – an overwhelming feeling of reverence or admiration caused by something that is great, sublime, or extremely powerful – as you read these truths?

Take some time today to rehearse these truths and read over the entire psalm until your heart fills and overflows with awe. When your mind and heart is fixed on and filled with those truths, you will naturally be stirred with reverence and admiration.

And when it is, you will want to rejoice! …as did the psalmist!

We put our hope in the Lord. He is our help and our shield. In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name. Let your unfailing love surround us, Lord, for our hope is in you alone (v 20-22).

The related song for Psalm 33 by Poor Bishop Hooper also inspires awe and expresses well the rejoicing that flows from that. Give it a listen below!

NOTE: This devotional thought is part of our weekly email and FB reflections through the book of Psalms. This week’s Psalm fits perfectly with the current state of our world, so I decided to publish it here as well. To see weekly reflections on the Psalm of the week, like the Finding Rhythms Enjoying Life FB page. Or join below to have it emailed to you.

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