A newborn baby?
A perfectly shaped Hibiscus bloom?
A masterpiece at your fine arts museum?
A piece of music with words that fit the musical progression perfectly?
A book or a movie with a story line that leaves you breathless?
Sunrises are my thing. I got to watch several last weekend. At one point, I just had to stand up!
My husband is listening to an audio book by Christian counselor Paul Tripp, SEX AND MONEY. (No, I’m not going to talk about either of those things!) The focus of the book is worship. Tripp explains that how we use these two powerful gifts, represents who and what we worship.
In that context, he asks the question, What makes humans different from every other living thing on the planet?
The answer? Only humans can respond to glory–to beauty.
This idea has been rolling around in my head for about a week.
As wonderful as man’s best friend is, your Lab doesn’t know how great you look after you spend 30 minutes getting ready for the day.
Although your cat may smell the salmon you are grilling, he doesn’t know how delicious it is. He likes fish because God made him to like fish. He doesn’t know the difference between an excellently prepared filet, and one that is old and smelly.
After sharing this with one of my friends, she said that when she was walking along the beach (watching the same sunrise that had my standing up), she saw several dogs with their owners. Not one of them saw the sunrise and stopped in his tracks. The dogs were having a ball playing fetch with a piece of driftwood their owners found somewhere on the beach. That’s certainly a great time for a dog, but he can’t stop and wonder at the beauty of God’s creation.
Humans, however–when we see beauty, something inside of us moves!
God made us that way! God made us to glorify Him!
Do not be afraid, for I am with you. I will gather you and your children from east and west. I will say to the north and south, “Bring my sons and daughters back to Israel from the distant corners of the earth. Bring all who claim me as their God, for I have made them for my glory. It was I who created them.” (Isaiah 43:5-7)
When we see God’s glory displayed in His creation, we are filled with awe.
You answer us with awesome and righteous deeds, God our Savior, the hope of all the ends of the earth and of the farthest seas, who formed the mountains by your power, having armed yourself with strength, who stilled the roaring of the seas, the roaring of their waves, and the turmoil of the nations. The whole earth is filled with awe at your wonders; where morning dawns, where evening fades, you call forth songs of joy. (Psalm 65:5-8)
Because of your unfailing love, I can enter your house; I will worship at your Temple with deepest awe. (Psalm 5:7)
I have heard all about you, Lord. I am filled with awe by your amazing works. (Habakkuk 3:2)
For those of us who know and love God, our response to God’s glory is worship. I stood up while watching the sun paint the sky in glorious colors. Some fall, some stand.
Whenever the people saw the pillar of cloud standing at the entrance to the tent, [the Hebrews] all stood and worshiped, each at the entrance to their tent. (Exodus 33:10 NIV)
The twenty-four elders fall down before him who sits on the throne and worship him who lives for ever and ever. They lay their crowns before the throne and say, “You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things,and by your will they were created and have their being.” (Revelation 4:10)
Those who don’t know God, still respond in awe. They may not believe in intelligent design, but they still recognize beauty and are stunned by it.When we see God's glory, we respond with worship.
What about you? What moves you? When was the last time you saw God’s glory and responded in worship?