Few things are less valued than mystery. We explore, examine, and research to find out why, to uncover the reason – and that is a great blessing! I am glad for science that taught us to understand bacterial infections, that allows us to harness electricity to make our lives better, that pushed back superstition and ignorance. But, our love of reason can, and often does, rob us of the ability to truly worship the living, loving God. Many misuse ‘reason’ and ‘science’ to steal God’s glory, reducing Him to a Divine Principle, turning Him into a system of theology, pushing Him to the periphery of life. I will not! When I come and worship, lifting my eyes to the majesties of Creation and thinking of Jesus’ love for me, I find a God so amazing that I tremble before Him! He reigns in majesty! Far from stealing His might, in the mysteries of life, I find that His majesty grows greater, His grandeur only increasing with discovery!
A Mighty Fortress is Our God, includes a line that says, “Lord Sabaoth, His Name, from age to age the same.” YahwehT’sebaoth– “the Lord of Hosts”- is one of the names given to God in the Bible. Some modern translations say “Almighty God.” The Message comes closer to the real meaning. It translates Yahwe T’sebaoth as “God-of-the-Angel-Armies.” He is no trifling deity, no small regional god. He is the Heaven’s King, dispatching the angel armies to do His will.
Do you worship His majesty? Let’s not trivialize God. True worship goes far beyond attaching a Christian fish to our car’s bumper, or wearing a cross on our lapel, or saying a ritual prayer. Yahweh T’sebaoth deserves and expects our total trust, our unquestioning obedience, our devotion – thought, word, and action. And, that is where the mystery comes in. He is eternal, His plans and purposes spanning generations, stretching across time to eternity, but we see only a tiny slice of time. When we question Him, or worse, accuse Him of not answering our prayers, we are trying to make Him fit into our little box. In fact, His plans often do not include a nice resolve to the plot in the story of our lives, at least in a way that we can comprehend at the moment!
We discover the true depth of our surrender to His authority when His orders appear to leading us into tough times or costly sacrifice. Think of it this way: if you believe your boss is competent, if you understand the goals and agree with the strategy, cooperating and committing to the task is not so hard, is it? If a leader inspires us we readily and wholeheartedly join the plan! But, what about the times when you do not know the plan, when you are given limited information and are not all that confident in the skill of the one making plans? It is natural then to wonder – “Is this the right thing to do? Will this really succeed?” A person in that place will probably be more cautious, less committed!
Yahweh T’sebaoth asks you and me to trust Him totally, even when He doesn’t reveal the whole plan to us! The General of Heaven’s Armies has it all worked out and He’s been very successful! So, when He sends us into the battle in life – be it with temptation, with sickness, with active evil- we go with full assurance, and with authority – not of our own making, but from His Name! David, just a teenager, went to do battle with Goliath, the giant champion of the Philistine army that was holding the line against the armies of Israel. Filled with faith and in spite of not knowing exactly how the Lord would provide the victory, the teenage shepherd strode onto the field where the contest would take place. His courage came from knowing he was in the Lord’s army. As he approached the skilled warrior, he said, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the LORD Almighty (YahwehT’sebaoth), the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the LORD will hand you over to me… and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel.” (1 Samuel 17:45-46, NIV) And, we know the rest of the story. David defeated the hero in the power of the Lord and God’s Name was honored.
Make His Name glorious! Worship His majesty. Accept the mystery. “I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe.” (Ephesians 1:17-19, NIV)
Let’s go to one more story from the Bible today. Judah was destroyed by Babylonia. Jerusalem lay in ruins for about 70 years until God’s Spirit stirred and the people of God returned to rebuild their nation. Nehemiah led the campaign to restore the city walls. Ezra headed the effort to rebuild the Temple. Surrounding nations were threatened and sent an emissary to Xerxes, the Persian king, asking him to stop the work. The enemies of Judah said, “If the Jews rebuild their Temple, their God will return and make them strong again!” For several years the work was at a standstill. The unfinished foundations and stonework was a constant reminder weakness, a symbol of failure. During that time, Zechariah preached and encouraged Zerrubabel, the mayor of Jerusalem. He said, “This is what the Lord says to Zerubbabel: It is not by force nor by strength, but by my Spirit, says the Lord Almighty. (YahwehTsebaoth) Nothing, not even a mighty mountain, will stand in Zerubbabel’s way; it will flatten out before him! Then Zerubbabelwill set the final stone of the Temple in place, and the people will shout: `May God bless it! May God bless it!’ “ (Zechariah 4:6-7,NLT) And, by God, they did it!
Does rubble and ruin fill your vision this day?
Are there some who work at discouraging you, whose threats or criticism cause you doubt or fear?
Are God’s ways mysterious to you, your vision so limited that you will not worship Him?
Bow in humble reverence, magnify God in sincere praise. Remember, “It is not by force nor by strength, but by my Spirit, says the Lord Almighty (Yahweh Tsebaoth)!”
Majesty, worship His majesty!
Unto Jesus be all glory,
Honor, and praise.
Majesty, kingdom authority,
Flow from His throne,
Unto His own, His anthem raise!
So exalt – lift up on high –
The name of Jesus.
Magnify- come glorify –
Christ Jesus, the King!
Majesty, worship His majesty!
Jesus who died, now glorified,
King of all kings!
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