Wonderful and terrible God…

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Psalm 145:1 I will extol you, my God and King, and bless your name forever and ever. 2 Every day I will bless you, and praise your name forever and ever. 3 Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised; his greatness is unsearchable.

This morning I’m taken by two ideas: first, (v.3) God’s greatness is “unsearchable”. Other English translations of the Hebrew use the words “can’t be grasped” or “cannot be measured” or “no one can fathom”. I’m just one human being in a massive universe created by God, so the truth of this verse is self-evident. I can’t possible know or understand even a small measure of all the wondrous things God is up to.

The second idea comes from the meaning of the word “great” which appears in v.3. When I read this word I tend to interpret it to mean something positive, welcome, constructive – but I’m not sure that’s the spirit of the original Hebrew. To be “great” can mean both really good really not good. I think perhaps “awesome” might be a better word here than “great”.

Understanding God in this way makes sense of the biblical portrait of God who is both wonderful and terrible. I’m chewing on that a bit this morning. Speak to your servant Lord. Amen.

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