How Majestic?

 

Knowing God cover

J. I. Packer in Knowing God points to three questions in Isaiah 40:25, 27 and 28 concerning our attitude towards God when we are feeling down. One has to do with our wrong thoughts about God, one has to do with our wrong thoughts about ourselves, and the third has to do with our slowness to believe in God’s Majesty, His loving Greatness and great Grace towards us, even in our least Godly moments. This final brief post on the Majesty of God also comes from J. I. Packer…

J. I. Packer writes…

Have you not known?
Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He does not faint or grow weary;
his understanding is unsearchable.
Isaiah 40:28 ESV

“This question rebukes our slowness to believe in God’s majesty. God would shame us out of our unbelief. What is the trouble? he asks: have you been imagining that I, the Creator, have grown old and tired? Has nobody ever told you the truth about me?

“The rebuke is well deserved by many of us. How slow we are to believe in God as God, sovereign, all-seeing and almighty!

“How little we make of the majesty of our Lord and Saviour Christ!

“The need for us is to ‘wait upon the Lord’ in meditation of his majesty, till we find our strength renewed through the writing of these things upon our hearts.”

From J. I. Packer in Knowing God.

Remember God?

Knowing God cover

J.I.Packer wrote in Knowing God – “Look at Isaiah 40 … God speaks to people whose mood is the mood of many Christians today – despondent…despairing… people against whom the tide of events has been running for a very long time…”. The only solution to these moods (because they rise when we forget God) is a renewed vision of God, particularly of His Greatness. This second of three brief posts on the theme of the Majesty of God also comes from J.I. Packer…

J.I.Packer writes… 2. “‘Why do you say, O Jacob and speak, O Israel, My way is hidden from the Lord, and my right is disregarded by my God?’’ (Isaiah 40:27 ESV). This (second) question rebukes wrong thoughts about ourselves. God has not abandoned us any more than he abandoned Job. He never abandons anyone on whom he has set his love; nor does Christ, the good shepherd, ever lose track of his sheep. It is as false as it is irreverent to accuse God of forgetting, or overlooking, or losing interest in, the state and needs of his own people. If you have been resigning yourself to the thought that God has left you high and dry, seek grace to be ashamed of yourself. Such unbelieving pessimism deeply dishonours our great God and Saviour.”

From J.I.Packer in Knowing God.

Thinking BIG enough?

Knowing God cover

J.I. Packer wrote in Knowing God, “Now, ‘majesty’ is a word which the Bible uses to express the thought of the greatness of God, our Maker and our Lord…. Peter, recalling his vision of Christ’s royal glory at the Transfiguration, says, ‘we were eyewitnesses of his majesty’ (2 Peter 1:16)”.
A right view of God’s majesty brings wonderful benefits to us as Christians. But what mistaken ideas about God (and ourselves) must we correct first? This first of three brief posts on the theme of the Majesty of God comes from J.I.Packer…

J.I.Packer writes… “Let Isaiah now apply to us the Bible doctrine of the majesty of God, by asking us the three questions which he here puts in God’s name to disillusioned and downcast Israelites (Isaiah 40).

“1. ‘To whom then will ye compare me, that I should be like him? says the Holy One’ (Isaiah 40:25 RSV) This question rebukes wrong thoughts about God.  ‘Your thoughts of God are too human,’ said Luther to Erasmus. This is where most of us go astray. Our thoughts of God are not great enough; we fail to reckon with the reality of his limitless wisdom and power. Because we ourselves are limited and weak, we imagine that at some points God is too, and find it hard to believe that he is not. We think of God as too much like what we are. Put this mistake right, says God; learn to acknowledge the full majesty of your incomparable God and Saviour.”

From J.I.Packer in Knowing God.

Blessed naughtiness?

Spurgeon

Paul tells us (in Romans 12:3) we must take care not to think of ourselves more highly than we ought to think, especially in comparison to other Christians, in respect to our gifts, to our service, in Christ, in the world. But Paul is not afraid to also say (Philippians 4:12) that he can do all things through Christ who strengthens him. Sometimes, my fear of failure may disguise itself as humility, denying the power of Christ in all his disciples. This final brief post on the theme of doing all things also comes from C. H. Spurgeon…

Spurgeon wrote… “Finally, the last message that I have is this—Paul says, in the name of all Christians, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” …… But do not go driveling through this world, saying, “I was born little.”

“Of course you were, but were you meant to be little, and with the little feebleness of a child all your days do little or nothing?

“Think so and you will be little as long as you live and, you will die little and never achieve anything great. Just send up a thought of aspiration, oh, you of little faith! Think of your dignity in Christ—not of the dignity of your manhood—but the dignity of your regenerated manhood, and say, “Can I do all things, and yet, am I to shrink first at this, then at that, and then at the other?”

“Be as David, who, when Saul said, “You are not able to fight with this Goliath,” replied, “Your servant slew both the lion and the bear, and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be as one of them.” And he put his stone into the sling, and ran cheerfully and joyously—so Goliath fell and he returned with the bloody dripping head.

“You know his brothers said at first, “Because of your pride, and the naughtiness of your heart, you came to see the battle.” All our elder brothers and sisters say that to us if we begin anything; they always say it is the naughtiness of our heart, and our pride. Well, we don’t answer them; we bring them Goliath’s head, and request them to say whether that is the effect of our pride, and the naughtiness of our heart. We wish to know whether it would not be a blessed naughtiness that should have slain this naughty Philistine!

“So do you, my dear brothers and sisters; if you are called to any work, go straight at it, writing this upon your escutcheon, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me—and I will do what God has called me to do, whether I am blessed or whether I am left alone.”

From a sermon delivered on November 18th, 1860, by the Rev. C. H. Spurgeon, at Exeter Hall, Strand.