“Rejoice in the Lord, O you righteous! For praise from the upright is beautiful. Praise the Lord with the harp; Make melody to Him with an instrument of ten strings. Sing to Him a new song; play skillfully with a shout of joy. For the word of the Lord is right, and all His work is done in truth. He loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of the goodness of the Lord. By the word of the Lord the heavens were made and all the host of them by the breath of His mouth. He gathers the waters of the sea together as a heap; He lays up the deep in storehouses. Let all the earth fear the Lord; let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him. For He spoke and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast. The Lord brings the counsel of the nations to nothing; He makes the plans of the peoples of no effect. The counsel of the Lord stands forever, the plans of His heart to all generations. Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, the people He has chosen as His own inheritance. The Lord looks from heaven; He sees all the sons of men. From the place of His dwelling He looks on all the inhabitants of the earth; He fashions their hearts individually; He considers all their works. No king is saved by the multitude of an army; a mighty man is not delivered by great strength. A horse is a vain hope for safety; neither shall it deliver any by its great strength. Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear Him, on those who hope in His mercy, to deliver their soul from death, and to keep them alive in famine. Our soul waits for the Lord; He is our help and shield. For our heart shall rejoice in Him, because we have trusted in His holy name. Let Your mercy, O Lord, be upon us, just as we hope in You.” Psalm 33:1-22 NKJV
I stand in awe of somebody bigger than you and me!
I had the great privilege of teaching Bible classes in a few of the public schools while I was a missionary teacher in Scotland and England. It was an amazing experience. Through it, I met some of the most precious kids. Each so different and yet, they all shared something in common; they wanted to know more about God. We talked about God’s great love for us every time we met together. As we talked, the questions would come. And week by week, we would learn as much as we could about what the Bible told us of God’s love for each one of us.
I still remember one little girl in particular. She captured my attention as a teacher in so many different ways. It was her cuteness; every day, dressed in her school uniform along with pigtails and ribbons. It was her accent and the way she said certain words. It was her laughter. It was her kindness shown to other children. But, most of all, it was her dimple-highlighted smile that absolutely melted my heart. She was always full of questions. About everything. I can still see the frown that would come across her face every time I had to say, “I don’t know!” Well, for her, that wasn’t good enough. She wanted to know. If I didn’t know, and I admitted that I didn’t know, well, she would insist on my “learning until I found the answer for her.” It was through her, that I learned the art of creative and investigative learning for kids. I enlisted the kids to help me learn so that we could learn something new together.
One particular question that she insisted knowing was, “What does God look like?” She was not one bit happy with my answer. “Sorry, but I don’t really know what God looks like. No one has ever seen God.”
Oh no, here it comes! With a furrowed brow, widened eyes and a flat-line smile, she delivered that infamous frown to her teacher. “Teacher,” she would say, “you have to know the answer to that. You know a lot about God. You just have to know what He looks like. I want to know what God looks like.” She crossed her arms over her chest and just frowned at me. Stumped for words, I floundered a little, trying to decide just what to say. Then, she cracked a little smile and said, “Can we discover the answer to my question together?”
Okay! We started by doing a search of Scripture to find Bible verses that talked about God, His character and His doings. Every one of those students were hoping they, personally, could find a description of what God looked like. Each one, wanted to be the one to find that precious little gem. For days, they searched the Scriptures. We wrote these special Bible verses out on colorful paper and hung them on the wall all around the room. What was the outcome of this type of investigation?
The room became very colorful. There are lots of Bible verses telling us about God’s love, God’s character and God’s work. And the children learned a lot about God in this search through the Scriptures. But, no one found a physical description of what God looked like. But then, I kind of knew that no one would. You see, I remember looking for the same thing when I was just a kid.
Even when I shared with them Bible verses like: John 1:18, “No one has seen God at any time…” and John 6:46, “Not that anyone has seen the Father, except He who is from God; He has seen the Father.” These children still did not believe that no one really knew what God looked like.
As this truth began it hit the understanding of the kids, there was a little bit of disgust that filled that classroom. And then, there, – – there it is! The frown came out again. Glancing at this little pig-tailed, cute girl, I almost burst out laughing at the expression on her face. It was now combined with the folding of the arms across the chest. Several others students around, began to do the same. Before this teacher could say a word and gain control of her classroom, one of the students stood up on a chair and made a loud proclamation.
“Well, I think we should all draw pictures of God. God is bigger than all of us and the world deserves to know what God really looks like. We should draw his picture.” stated one student. Many others about the room, nodded their heads in agreement. The classroom had made up their mind.
Well, okay then! Let’s get some paper and lets get to drawing.
Crayons, markers, and pencils, in the hands of kids, can create some of the most interesting, most intriguing and most priceless creations. Their imaginations run wild. Their creativity shines forth in each stroke of the pencil as it draws. Their brightness pops as color is added in new dimensions. And the final picture, to each child, is truly a masterpiece.
As they worked, I walked around the room, just looking at their busyness. I couldn’t contain the smile that wanted to etch forth on my facial tablet. Each child was determined, in their own way, to show Ms. Kathy and the world what God really looks like. I was intrigued by their imaginations. I was impressed with their drawings. It was incredible to see such creativity.
I just wished that I had kept those pictures. So many times, in the years following, I would have loved to look once more at the handiwork of some talented kids. Some of those images, though, have remained etched in my memory. One day, I will go to Heaven and see God. Then, I will truly know what God looks like. But for now….!
The Psalmist has drawn for us a picture of what God looks like – of His love, His character, and His deeds of wonder. Instead of using crayons and markers to create his drawing, the Psalmist uses words. Psalm 33 gives a verbal shout out, with an abundant amount of joy, to the greatness of our amazing, wonderful God. As we read this psalm, we realize that we are reading about Somebody bigger than you and me. Somebody whose picture cannot be drawn, but whose image shines forth in brilliant colors. Somebody who is worthy of a ton of praise from the inhabitants of the earth. Somebody whose “word is right and all His work is done in truth” for this God loves righteousness and truth. Somebody “who spoke, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast.” Somebody whose “counsel stands forever and the plans of His heart are known to all generations.” Somebody who looks down from the heavens to see all that He has created; He knows each inhabitant of the earth by name. Somebody who “fashions their hearts individually and considers all their works.” Somebody bigger than you and me.
Just as I stood, years ago, and admired the drawings of young children who tried to portray what God looked like in their minds eye, so now the Psalmist has drawn an image of God that we can stand back and admire. While, no one has ever seen God and no one can portray vividly enough what He looks like, we can, in same small manner, understand who God is and what He has done, in our minds eye. Who is God to you? What does He look like to you? More importantly, what has God done for you? What’s the picture being drawn, right now, in your mind’s eye of your God?
With that picture in mind, might I suggest that we join the Psalmist. “Let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him.”
As for me, I know that whenever I think of God, whenever I consider His greatness, His workings in my life, His amazing love for me, I am moved to stand. Stand in respect, yes! But more so, I stand in awe! Simple awe! There are no words, no drawings, no imaginations that can develop that kind of picture of God.
For now, only my heart holds that true image of God. It’s an image to behold in my heart and in my minds eye. That image becomes clearly drawn with every heart beat, with every breath of life that God gives to me. That image is being etched upon my heart in the mirrored image of the God who created me. That image becomes more colorful with every act of love, grace, mercy and kindness that God places upon my life. That image becomes deeper in dimension with every heartache I experience in this earthly life, and every time I cry out to my God for His help and wisdom. And, some day soon, when I stand in His presence, in heaven, I will see my God for who He really is. I will know for sure what He looks like. I will know Him. He will know me. No pictures will be needed. My eyes will clearly see Him as I stand before Him! Forever in the presence of my God!
And, in that heavenly moment, I will stand in awe of Somebody bigger than you and me!