There is an overused word in our vocabulary: Awesome! We toss that word around as if there is no other word to describe our feelings at any given moment.
- How was your day? Awesome!
- What did you think of the new restaurant? Awesome!
- How was the game? Awesome!
- I ran across a recipe for Angela’s AWESOME Enchiladas.
- In the 80’s, we would say, “Wow, man! Awesome!” All things in the 80’s was not awesome!
- Another website tells us that if we want to be awesome, we can use our talents, personality, or giving to inspire awe.
- Are there awesome inventions? According to a website by that name (www.awesomeinventions.com), there are. Some of those include: Red Baron Pizza Melt sandwiches, a portable bidet for during the toilet paper shortage, a Darth Vader grill, a small sofa for your dog, Peeps frosted sugar cookies, Hostess snack flavored ice lattes (Twinkie, Ding Dong, Honey Bun, and Snoballs), and Double Nutty Nutter Butter Peanut Butter cookies (ok, now that really IS awesome!!)
- And, according to the Lego Movie, everything is awesome, right?
The Biblical definition of awe is “to tremble, quake, quiver, be agitated, be excited, to be disquieted.” (Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew Dictionary). When seen in the Old Testament, the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia says “the word stands for man’s attitude of reverential fear toward God…It arises from a consciousness of the infinite power, sublimity and holiness of God, which fills the mind with the “fear of the Lord,” and a dread of violating His law.”
In the previous devotionals from Psalm 4, David is distressed by those who mock his faith, loving those things that are vain, and pursuing those things that are false. Now, David is going to address these people directly.
Psalms 4:4 Stand in awe, and sin not: commune with your own heart upon your bed, and be still. Selah.
Remember, the book of Psalms is the Lord’s hymnal. It’s musical. The word “selah” is a musical notation, kind of like the cross between a fermata (where a note is held for an extended time) and a caesura or grand pause (where time is not counted and the sound pauses, allowing the lingering reverberations to resonate). David tells these people to “hold this note” and “don’t count time” until you get it! Let the sounds continue to resonate in your ear and in your heart.
Stand in awe of God and His law that you are breaking. Be terrified that the Law Giver knows and sees all that you are doing. Nothing is hidden from him. Let this cause you to not go through with your sinfulness any longer. And, while you’re in bed in those quiet, sleepless moments of the night, lay still and THINK about all of this. Imagine what the consequences good be for you to defy God.
While these words are spoken to the lost, they certainly can be applied to Christians. WE need to stand in awe of God. Personally, I feel that we have gotten too comfortable and casual with God. We need that overwhelming reality of His holiness and majesty.
Does a Christian need to be told to “sin not?” Most definitely! In fact, there are many times in the New Testament where the church is told what NOT to do because it is sin.
And, what about those sleepless moments of the night? We need to stop counting sheep, stop going to the refrigerator for a snack, stop turning on the TV, and stop checking our phones. We need to “be still” and spend that time in thoughtful contemplation.
Psalms 46:10 says, “Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.” And, we are reminded in Habakkuk 2:20, “But the LORD is in his holy temple: let all the earth keep silence before him.”
Awesome not only describes the Lord; Awesome IS the Lord! Selah