“The stiff and wooden quality about our religious lives is a result of our lack of holy desire. Complacency is a deadly foe of all spiritual growth.
Acute desire must be present or there will be no manifestation of Christ to His people.”

A. W. Tozer

(Francois Boucher / Adoration of the Shepherds / 1750)

Webster’s dictionary defines awe as mingled dread, veneration, and wonder.
English Bible translations employ the words “awe” or “awesome” almost exclusively to
refer to the person or work of God.
While the word “awe” appears only rarely in the KJV,
modern English versions such as the NASB and NIV translate as many as six
different Hebrew words and three different Greek words as “awe” or “awesome.”
The most common Hebrew word, yare [עָרִיץ aer”y], occurs in various forms over
400 times in the Old Testament, and is commonly translated “fear.”
Both the NIV and NASB, however, often render “awe”

(e.g., Exod 15:11 ; 1 Sam 12:18 ; Psalm 119:120 ; Hab 3:2 ).

To stand in Awe…
to that which is awesome, wonderful, astonishing…
to be overwhelmed in its presence,
to be full and overcome with fear by the utter greatness,
to quake and stand trembling,
to be stuck dumb as in…
to be rendered speechless…

“That kind of worship is found throughout the Bible
(though it is only fair to say that the lesser degrees of worship are found there also).
Abraham fell on his face in holy wonderment as God spoke to him.
Moses hid his face before the presence of God in the burning bush.
Paul could hardly tell whether he was in or out of the body when he was allowed
to see the unspeakable glories of the third heaven.
When John saw Jesus walking among His churches, he fell at His feet as dead.”

AW Tozer

Let all the earth fear the Lord; let all the inhabitants
of the world stand in awe of him!

Psalm 33:8

17 comments on “Awe

  1. Lynda says:

    How beautifully you have planned your posts as Tozer’s reflections follow so well upon the words of emeritus Pope Benedict that you posted yesterday. When we know that “God comes” every single moment of every day, then we should be filled with wonder and awe! I just wonder how many in our busy world take time in solitude to realize these great truths. We are blessed to know and experience the love of God. Hope all is going well Julie.

    • Thank you Lynda—I’m trying to put into words, of which is nearly impossible, the utter astonishment and amazement of the events of this time, this week, and of the resulting effect it has all had on man and on his very existence—yet to do so is nearly impossible as there are no human words…and in this time of overt busyness and human gaiety…lost often in the shopping, the parties, the human definition of Christmas, is this sense of real overwhelming “awe”—that we should be brought to a screeching halt…stopped in our very tracks..without words, without an ability to even move but rather to overcome by the sheer magnitude of that which is taking place…and as Pope Benedict so eloquently reminds us—it is not something that took place long ago, or something that is to take place…but rather it is taking place now…in and for each our our hearts and lives…it is a current and active verb of awe…
      but most of us are too busy, to consumed, too blind to take notice….
      As life in my small world is busy and overwhelming…there remains the Light of Hope that comes…..

  2. Sarah says:

    I’ve been thinking along similar lines. A retired priest recently admitted to me that when he celebrates Mass he doesn’t feel anything happen when he confects the sacrament of the Eucharist. He said that if he truly felt what was happening he wouldn’t be able to do his job. He wouldn’t be able to get off his knees, or open his mouth to speak. Christ, in His divine wisdom, comes to us under the appearances of bread because, to misquote “A Few Good Men”, we can’t handle the Truth; just as the people of Israel couldn’t handle the reflected glory of God in the transformed face of Moses, let alone a closer encounter. We are too fragile, even in a state of grace, to look fully and unblinkingly on the face of God. However, we are not too fragile to try to understand and to appreciate what we are too fragile to experience directly. In fact, it is very important that we try to do so.

  3. says:

    So true. Awesome is a word that flies around all the time, but we can’t begin to comprehend awe. We’ve become complacent as a society and everything is
    Either awesome or amazing. There is only one we can truly stand in awe of. Thanks for your awesome words,Yoda😍

  4. Wally Fry says:

    There is a serious lack of simply awe for He who spoke the world into existence for sure. Sadly, even believers sometimes lose this awe. Bad idea, really. Well said.

  5. It is hard to put utter awe into words! There are times when I stand in His Presence and in awe and praise I can’t utter a sound and as tears flow down my cheeks all I can do in raise my hands and bow my head!!! 🙂 ❤

  6. SLIMJIM says:

    He is full of awe…but I don’t want to say he’s “awful.”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.