Wednesday, September 8, 2010

I Stand in Awe of Thee!

Yesterday evening started the New Year for Jews, Rosh Hashanah. "Rosh Hashanah" simply means "head of the year." It is year 5771 in the Hebrew calendar.

The Jews actually have four different years and four different new years, each starting at a different time. The one that started yesterday is the civil year, for people, animals, and legal contracts. Being an agricultural people, they had other years related to the planting of crops.

It is not appropriate to wish "Happy New Year" on Rosh Hashanah, as it is a solemn occasion. Instead, the Jews say "L'Shana Tova," which means "to a Good Year."

But this Jewish year begins with ten days of ‘awe’! What is this? This is nothing but a time of repentance and correction before the Presence of God!

And how the church of today needs that!

There are three powerful mentions of the word ‘awe’ in the Pentateuch (the first five books of the Bible), of course, there are more but these three really got me! Let’s look at them…and see how they speak to us at this time. These three verses are relatively well known.

The first is, “How awesome is this place. Gen 28:17

Jacob awakes from this dream, in which he saw angels ascending and descending from a ladder touching earth and heaven. These words are really prophetic because they refer to the future location of the Holy Temple. They also refer to the ‘gate of heaven’ later on in his prayer.

He was afraid…suddenly this puffed up, prideful, cheating and lying Jacob was afraid!

This is what the Lord is saying…the more we see of Him; the more there is a holy trembling before Him. When God reveals Himself to someone…there is always a clear sign of becoming low in their own eyes, as they begin to walk in the reverential fear of God.

So suddenly this place became the residence of God and His Majesty; it became the ‘gate of heaven’. To me this means that it is here that Heaven touches earth, and earth Heaven! It is here that the supernatural realm touches me in a greater way than I’ve ever known! It is here where God meets us with his special Presence and so we ought to meet Him with the most humble reverence, remembering His justice and holiness, and our own meanness and vileness.

So it is from here that I go away changed. Something happens…! It touches every dimension of my life and challenges me to live unlike the world around me.

I stand in awe of a Holy God!

More next time…