July 30, 2017 Weekly Bulletin

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Have We Shrunk God?    

By    John White


When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead.



Earlier in this century God was under attack. The time came when he briefly reported to be dead. But during the past half-century he has in fact been trivialized, packaged for entertainment, presented as a sort of psychological panacea, a heavenly glue to keep happy families together, a celestial slot machine to respond to our whims, a formula for success, a fund raiser for pseudo-religious enterprises, a slick phrase for bumper stickers, and a sort of holy pie and ice cream. How impoverished this all is, how virtually blasphe­mous when compared to the experiences recorded in Scripture!

When John the apostle, slaving in salt mines on the island of Patmos, caught a vision of the glorified Christ, he fell at his feet as dead, so awesome was the sight.

When the prophet Daniel saw that same glory and heard words of thunder, such terror seized his companions (though they themselves saw nothing) that they fled. As for Daniel, he tells us, “My strength left me; I became a sorry figure of a man, and retained no strength. I heard the sound of his words and, when I did so, I fell prone on the ground in a trance. Suddenly a hand grasped me and pulled me up on to my hands and knees. He said to me, ‘Daniel, man greatly beloved, attend to the words I am speaking to you …’ When he addressed me, I stood up trembling” (Dan 10:8-12 NEB).

When Job was caught up into the whirlwind to hear the words of God, he said, “I have spoken of great things which I have not under­stood, things too wonderful for me to know. I knew of thee then only by report, but now I see thee with my own eyes. Therefore … I repent in dust and ashes” (Job 42:3-6 NEB).

If God is God, it is important that we know him as he is, not as we recreate him in our imaginations. It is important for us to know him as he is, for how can we speak to others of him when we have never trembled before his glory? Is it not possible that for all our biblical expertise and our claims about the Spirit’s power, we still present a God who is small enough to fit inside our tiny brains?”

(John White, Greater Than Riches, Inter-Varsity Press, Leicester, England, 1992)