Summary: WORSHIP THE LORD FOR HIS MAJESTY
WORSHIP THE LORD FOR HIS MAJESTY
On March 23, 1743, when "The Messiah" was first performed in London, the king was present in the great audience. When the majesty of the Lord was proclaimed by the words of the Hallelujah Chorus, "For the Lord God omnipotent reigneth", everyone was so deeply moved that they rose as one to their feet--including the
king -- to show their respect and to worship the Sovereign of the Universe. That began the tradition of standing throughout the Hallelujah Chorus.
Countries like older England that have an impressive tradition of royalty and a reigning king that is accorded the utmost respect and allegiance have a better understanding of majesty than we do today in the United States. Our leaders are subjected to intense
scrutiny and often harsh criticism and unjustified attacks. One doesn’t get the sense of majesty and respect in the tone of a Sam Donaldson or a Dan Rather as they interact with our leaders.
Instead our leaders are the subject of laughter and ridicule as our comedians make a living off of their perceived weaknesses and mistakes.
Our view of God has suffered from our failure to capture a sense of His Majesty. The God of contempory evangelicalism is a very personal God--someone with whom we can enjoy intimate fellowship. He is our best friend and the one to whom we can bring all of our troubles. We have a great high priest who became flesh
and blood so that He can be a perfect mediator between God and man.
But in stressing our closeness to God we have lost sight of His majesty -- the great gulf that exists between God and us because of His greatness. He is not like us -- God is not limited like we are in His wisdom, in His presence, in His power, in His effectiveness. He is eternal, infinite, almighty.
Our hymns reflect this emphasis on a personal God who is very much like ourselves. The short, catchy, repetitive tones of our popular choruses lack the organ pealing of the traditional hymns of the faith that proclaim such a greater depth about the character of our God. Our prayers reflect this emphasis--we are having a conversation with a friend that is right here sitting beside us rather than approaching the throne of grace of the God who sits on High -- not that He is distant from us in space, but that He is far above us in greatness and deserves our reverence and adoration.
The majesty of God should be directly tied to the fear of God. Packer in Knowing God has a chapter on the Majesty of God that is very helpful. He notes that our lack of the sense of the Majesty of God is one key reason why our faith is so weak and our worship so
flabby. We don’t have a God who is big enough to solve our problems. We don’t have a God who is worthy of time and effort expended in prayer and praise and adoration. We have a God that we have remade in our own image instead of the King of Kings and Lord
of Lords who reigns in Supremacy over the universe.
How can we reshape our thinking to meditate upon God’s greatness? One way which touches our senses as well as our intellect is to compare God with natural powers and forces that we have experienced and that we already regard as great and awesome.