In God's Presence

Everyday with God

In God's Presence
'Another dimension of fearing God is the fear of his person, beginning in the awe of his person, simply because he is God. We see this in the lives of several people in Scripture including Gideon, Job, Isaiah, and Ezekiel. There is one other man in the Old Testament named Jacob, whose encounter with God we want to examine more closely to help us understand what it means to be in awe of God's person.
 
Jacob was running for his life. He had deceived his father and had stolen from his brother both the birthright and the eldest son's blessing. His brother, Esau, held a grudge against Jacob and purposed to kill him. Jacob was fleeing to his uncle's home in faraway Haran. The first night of his journey, Jacob had a dream. God gave him five promises in this dream as recorded for us in Genesis 28:12-15. He gave Jacob five astounding promises related to possessing the land of Israel, having a multitude of descendants, being a blessing to everyone on earth, and enjoying God's protective guidance and his continual presence.
 
What was Jacob's reaction to such a wealth of promised blessings? Did he wake up from the dream rejoicing and praising God as we might have expected? No, instead of exultation, Jacob was afraid instead of counting his blessings. God did not reprimand or threaten him in any way. He only gave him promises. Still, Jacob was awestruck and afraid. Why? The reason for Jacob's fear was the realization that he had somehow been in the very presence of God. It was not the consciousness of sin but the consciousness of his creaturehood in the presence of a deity that created his sense of awe. In the words of Rudolph Otto, Jacob's response was "the emotion of a creature, submerged and overwhelmed by its nothingness in contrast to that which is supreme above all creatures."
 
We can begin to understand something of what Jacob felt when we he realized he had been in God's presence. It was the realization that he had been in the very presence of God that caused him to be afraid, as he sensed the infinite difference between the creature and the Creator. Jacob experienced an overwhelming awe of God simply because of who God is, infinitely above the most powerful human beings who have ever lived.'*
 
Oh Lord, I know that before the mountains were born or you brought forth the earth or the world, you are everlasting to everlasting. I praise you and thank you that you are God my Savior and my stronghold; you make me glad when I'm in your presence and you fill me with joy.
 
Blessed are those who have learned to acclaim you, who walk in the light of your Presence, O Lord. Psalm 89:15
 
*I Give You Glory, O God by Jerry Bridges.
In I Give You Glory, O God, Bridges offers you the best reasons and the best words for bringing honor to your awesome, incomparable God.
In his third powerful volume of the Private Worship Trilogy, this beloved author gives you the encouragement, motivation, and specific guidance you seek for your private, individual worship of God. As a result, you can better see and understand what it really means to glorify God. To fear God. To live as his child. To follow his wisdom day by day. And you can begin to experience the blessings God promises as you truly live for him.
 
Available on Amazon: ISBN 1578566290
Linda Miller | Ministry Development 

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