At the conclusion of Chapter 8 of Knowing God, referring to Isaiah 40, J.I. Packer asks if we have to been slow to believe God’s majesty. Just as he did through Isaiah to Israel in Exile, God would ‘shame’ us out of our unbelief.
“What is the trouble? he asks: have you been imagining that I, the Creator, have grown old and tired? Has nobody ever told you the truth about me?”
“The rebuke is well deserved by many of us. How slow we are to believe in God as God, sovereign, all-seeing, and almighty! How little we make of the majesty of our Lord and Saviour Christ! The need for us is to ‘wait upon the Lord’ in meditation of his majesty, till we find our strength renewed through the writing of these things upon our hearts” (p99)
Another Biblical character who was challenged to truly know the majesty of God was Job. No doubt, his was a hard road, but the blessing at the end of his ordeal was that he was beginning to know God, in all his greatness and majesty.
Job 38:1 Then the LORD spoke to Job out of the storm. He said:
2 “Who is this that obscures my plans with words without knowledge? 3 Brace yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer me.
4 “Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation? Tell me, if you understand. 5 Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know! Who stretched a measuring line across it? 6 On what were its footings set, or who laid its cornerstone— 7 while the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy?…
Job 40:1 The LORD said to Job: 2 “Will the one who contends with the Almighty correct him? Let him who accuses God answer him!”
3 Then Job answered the LORD: 4 “I am unworthy—how can I reply to you? I put my hand over my mouth. 5 I spoke once, but I have no answer— twice, but I will say no more.”
6 Then the LORD spoke to Job out of the storm: 7 “Brace yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer me. 8 “Would you discredit my justice? Would you condemn me to justify yourself? 9 Do you have an arm like God’s, and can your voice thunder like his? 10 Then adorn yourself with glory and splendor, and clothe yourself in honor and majesty. 11 Unleash the fury of your wrath, look at all who are proud and bring them low, 12 look at all who are proud and humble them, crush the wicked where they stand. 13 Bury them all in the dust together; shroud their faces in the grave.14 Then I myself will admit to you that your own right hand can save you….
Job 42:1 Then Job replied to the LORD: 2 “I know that you can do all things; no purpose of yours can be thwarted. 3 You asked, ‘Who is this that obscures my plans without knowledge?’ Surely I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know. 4 “You said, ‘Listen now, and I will speak; I will question you, and you shall answer me.’ 5 My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you. 6 Therefore I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes.”
How might Job’s response to the majesty of God help us in our response to God?