Majesty up Close

“Bless the LORD, O my soul! O LORD my God, you are very great!
You are clothed with splendor and majesty”
(Psalm 104:1)

 As a kid, I never saw a lot of Bald Eagles, except in picture books or on TV, or maybe at the zoo.  The Majestic Bald Eagles the captions would always read; our national symbol, regal and dignified, representing the aspirations of a nation, soaring on the wings of eagles…

You can imagine, then, the sheer excitement and wonder that overwhelmed me a couple of years ago when I actually saw my first Bald Eagle in the wild, right here over Cherokee.  There was a little terror in the event, it swooped right in front of my car, but it was thrilling nonetheless.  This year, especially, I’ve seen several in the area, and it is really a wonderful sight.

Until you get up close.  From a distance these are majestic and awesome creatures, but up close we see what they really are – big, dirty, birds.  Eagles primarily eat fish, but since the rivers and lakes here are pretty well frozen over, the eagles turn to other sources – small animals (even pets), and carrion, what they find dead or steal from other predators.  Then I saw a video (link here) of one town in Alaska where the Bald Eagles have actually become quite a pest.  The more I see, the less majestic they get.  If you want to keep that young, innocent, aura surrounding our national symbol, it’s better to keep them at a distance.

This got me to thinking about our use of the word “Majesty.”  What do we mean when we say that?  Look it up in the dictionary, and majesty refers to the splendor, dignity, and authority of a person or object.  “For purple mountains majesty…” we sing, and truly the mountains are awesomely large and very impressive.

Throughout the Scriptures and in our worship we declare that God is Majestic, that God is clothed with splendor and majesty.  Listen to some of the Psalm as they describe the majesty of God:

Psalm 29:4 “The voice of the Lord is powerful; the voice of the Lord is full of majesty.”

Psalm 93:1–2 “The LORD reigns; he is robed in majesty; the LORD is robed; he has put on strength as his belt. Yes, the world is established; it shall never be moved.  Your throne is established from of old; you are from everlasting.”

God is truly majestic, and all His works display the splendor of His majesty:

Psalm 111:3 “Full of splendor and majesty is his work, and his righteousness endures forever.”

The beauty of God’s majesty, however – that which separates the majesty of God from any other thing we might call majestic – is that God’s majesty doesn’t alter even when you are up close and personal.  Unlike the Eagles, who are better at a distance, when God reveals himself to you personally, in the life, love, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, His majesty is magnified in our eyes.

In 1 Peter1:16-18, Peter describes how the majesty of God was revealed in the person of Jesus, especially remembering the Transfiguration, where the majesty of God was fully revealed in Christ, and the voice from heaven declared, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.  Listen to him.”  Jesus lived for the glory of God by giving his life in love for fallen man.  Nothing could reveal the heart of God more clearly, nothing could demonstrate God’s wisdom and power more simply, nothing could express God’s love more personally.

When you come to the Father through Jesus His Son, you come face to face with His majesty.  The closer you get to God, the more beautiful He becomes, the more glorious his grace, the more majestic his splendor.

Were the world a scroll and my life a pen it would be impossible to fully describe the beauty of God’s love for us in Jesus Christ, impossible to exhaust the riches of God’s mercy in the cross of Christ, impossible to say too much about the Majesty of God.

May my every thought, word, and deed, may every sermon and every song, may every prayer and post, may my life be lived to ascribe to God the majesty due His name!

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