Sunday, August 2, 2009

One Powerful God

Some of you may be old enough to remember the very first Indiana Jones movie: Raiders of the Lost Ark. One of my favorite scenes is when, in a street market place, Indiana is confronted by a murderous Arab wielding a saber. At first it looks bad for our hero, who stands seemingly bewildered at the threatening way the enemy slices the air with his sword. Then suddenly, in a surprise move, Indiana simply pulls a gun from the waistband of his pants and shoots the Arab dead. Confrontation over.

The whole scene reminds me a little of the power of God as displayed in Revelation 19. At the end of time, rulers from all over the earth join forces under the unifying power of the antichrist and assemble on the battlefield of Armageddon. Numbering in the millions, they have come prepared to conquer the remaining opposition, men and equipment at the ready. Things look grim for the good guys until the heavens open and the rider on the white horse appears: Jesus Christ. He decisively deals with the evil empire, capturing the antichrist and slaughtering the assembled armies with one swift blow. In the end, it looks more like an execution than a battle scene.

“He makes wars to cease to the end of the earth,” the psalmist writes in Psalm 46, “He breaks the bow and cuts the spear in two; He burns the chariots with fire.” No earthly ruler or even the greatest of armies will ever be a match for the power of God.

Yet this omnipotent God, who can blow away the mightiest forces with a breath, also makes it His business to know the number of hairs on my head. David’s Psalm 139 delights in God’s careful knowledge of us: “You are intimately acquainted with all my ways. Even before there is a word on my tongue, Behold, O Lord, You know it all.”

It is hard to align such opposing traits in one person. God’s great power and sovereignty exist alongside His tender care and intimacy. There is such paradox within the character of God.

The picture featured above was taken during John F. Kennedy’s presidential term. He was one of the most powerful men in the world at the time, and decisions he made kept the world from nuclear war. Yet the same man who stared down Khrushchev during the Cuban Missile Crisis was known only as “Daddy” to little John, Jr. Power and intimacy coexisted in one man.

In the same way, the God who created the universe and sets the world’s rulers on their thrones is known as “Abba” to us. Daddy. Like little John, we can play at our Father’s feet even as He holds the universe together. While the breadth of His power is unimaginable, we are still important to Him.

“I love you, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, My God, my rock, in whom I take refuge; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold…Keep me as the apple of the eye; hide me in the shadow of Your wings.” Psalm 17:8, 18:1-2


Adonai's Child said...

This is a beautiful image, Julie...I love the Indiana Jones analogy. That's so true: Satan does all these maneuvers flaunting his power, and in the end he won't even be a puff of smoke. How great is our GOD!!
I will see you at the conference this week hopefully. God's blessings and protection on your travel there.

Zoe said...

Julie, I LOVE this post. Thanks for the reminder. Your post on my blog was hilarious, I knew we were a kindred spirit. I too look like a tornado an hour before guests arrive.

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Julie -

I remember Indiana Jones and Raiders of the Lost Ark. People tend to forget God is a whole lot bigger than any problem we face. Thanks for the reminder.

I've signed up as a Follower and look forward to visiting again.

Susan :)