God - Buddy or Tyrant
Hopefully most of you know by now that I am a strong advocate for developing an intimate relationship with the Lord. There’s nothing like knowing the love of the Lord and His desire to have us draw near to Him with a heart of faith and in full assurance of His tender mercies and loving care. He wants this kind of mutual relationship with us. And we have this kind of access because of the cross.
By choosing to receive all He died to give us, He freely grants this access. When we choose to crawl into His lap and let Him hold us, to whisper reassurance and love into our ears and guide our daily lives, His nature as the ultimate Giver shines forth.
All this access, this familiarity, has to be seen in the light of God’s overpowering majesty. In truth, we can only truly appreciate the access when we have the realization of exactly Who we are granted access to!
Only a sense of awe is appropriate when we consider His great splendor. The King of the Universe, the Creator of all, wants to be our Friend.
When we stand apart and distant, it offends God’s generous heart. Conversely, losing our sense of awe offends His generosity equally because we have lost sight of how amazing His gift is, how far He has stooped to make us great.
It was over familiarity that cost Uzzah his life. Remember Uzzah from Second Samuel chapter six? The Ark had been in the house of Uzzah for around 20 years. He had become so familiar with it as all of life went on, day in and day out, with the Ark in his home. No doubt, it was an honored piece of furniture, but a piece of the furniture, nonetheless. That familiarity put Uzzah in the precarious position when the day came to move the Ark to Jerusalem. As the cart carrying the Ark hits the bump in the road Uzzah reaches out to steady the Ark, a fatal mistake.
The Philistines had had to repeatedly stand their idol, Dagon, back up when it fell (1 Samuel 5:1-4), but Yahweh needed no such help.
So is Yahweh a distant far off God, unapproachable and happy to stay at arm’s length? Or is He your Buddy, content to be treated as a piece of the furniture? Neither!
He is most definitely approachable, most definitely kind and desiring to be our Friend. And yet, I want to encourage you today to ponder – really meditate on the beautiful reality – that He is God, our King, before whom all the elders of heaven bow, crying out, “HOLY!” It is this great God that has called you near, yes, to run into His arms and be embraced. Feel the awe of this today and marvel at His great love for you. The holiness of God doesn’t detract from the sweetness of His nearness, instead it makes His desire for nearness all the sweeter.
“You give me your shield of victory, and your right hand sustains me; you stoop down to make me great.” Psalm 18:35