What does it mean that God is awesome? A child’s chatter caused me to ponder this question and do a bit of research to come up with an answer.
I didn’t realize how much I used the word “awesome” until my three-year-old granddaughter echoed me one day. “Let’s color, Grandma! Isn’t that an awesome idea?” she said. “Look at that pretty flower! Isn’t it awesome?” “Thanks for the sandwich, Grandma. Peanut butter and jelly is awesome!”
It seems I may overuse the word “awesome.”
Perhaps you’ve heard it said more times than you care to count, too. What exactly does it mean? One online dictionary defines it as: “extremely impressive or daunting; inspiring great admiration, apprehension, or fear.” Hmm. That definition seems a little much when used to describe a coloring activity or a flower or a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, don’t you think? But it fits well when we’re describing God.
A Biblical Understanding of Awesome
The psalmist wrote, “The highest angelic powers stand in awe of God. He is far more awesome than all who surround his throne.” (Psalm 89:7 NLT)
Based on Scripture, we know that angels are pretty incredible. They’re not like the little chubby-cheek cherubs we see on Valentine cards. Scripture tells us that when they appeared to specific biblical characters, the first words they spoke were usually, “Do not be afraid.” There was a reason people felt scared in their presence. When John encountered an angel in a vision, he fell down to worship the celestial being (Revelation 19:10). He wouldn’t have done so if the angel wasn’t amazing.
Without a doubt, angels are awesome, but they don’t begin to compare with the all-wise, all-powerful, self-existent God who created them. The psalmist acknowledged God’s superiority to angelic beings in Psalm Psalm 89:5-6: “All heaven will praise your great wonders, Lord; myriads of angels will praise you for your faithfulness. For who in all of heaven can compare with the Lord? What mightiest angel is anything like the Lord?”
The psalmist asked a redundant question, for the answer is obvious. Even the mightiest angel cannot begin to compare with the awesomeness of God. The highest angelic powers stand in awe of Him and worship at His throne. (Daniel 7:9-10; Hebrews 1:6; Revelation 5:11-12).
What Makes God So Incredibly Awesome?
I think we can agree that God is awesome because of the wonders He performs. Think on His enormity in speaking the universe into place. Consider His ingenuity in developing the seasons each for its own purpose. Reflect on His creativity in designing thousands of flower, animal, bird, and bug species. Recall His attention to the tiniest details – our DNA, for instance.
God is awesome in character, too. The psalmist mentioned His faithfulness twice. First, he said that myriads of angels praise God for His faithfulness. (Psalm 89:5) He mentioned it again when he said, “O Lord God of Heaven’s Armies! Where is there anyone as mighty as you, O Lord? You are entirely faithful.” (Psalm 89:8)
God is steadfast. We can count on Him because He never changes. He never lies. He never fails to rule with justice and wisdom and strength. He always does what is right and keeps His promises. No created being comes close to being faithful as He is faithful.
Based on the psalmist’s words, God is awesome because of the wonders He performs and because of His character, but seriously, this barely scrapes the surface of what makes Him so incredible. We could spend months exploring this concept in Scripture and never come to a full knowledge or understanding.
The angels “get it,” though. They know God is awesome, and they give Him the reverence and honor and praise He deserves. How can we do any less?
God is awesome—He is extremely impressive or daunting. He inspires great admiration, apprehension, and even fear.’ That definition seems to fit Him well.
Question: What comes to mind when you think about God being awesome?
May I pray for you?
“God, Your character and the wonders You perform make You awesome. Forgive us for taking You lightly sometimes. Forgive us for not giving You the reverence You deserve. Give us a greater glimpse and understanding of Your holiness, Your power, Your wisdom, and Your faithfulness. May we stand in awe of You and worship You as do the angels who surround Your throne. In Jesus’ name, amen.”