This picture is a famous add for Maxell tapes. It represents the power and purity of the sound coming from one of Maxell’s cassettes (remember those plastic things?). There are certain passages of Scripture that make me feel like this dude. I feel in awe of the God spoken about in those texts as I read and listen to God’s word. I am blown away by this great big God.
There are scores of texts like this, but I think about the chapters in Job where God is opening up the veil for a moment and revealing his grandeur and righteousness to Job 38-41. Or, Isaiah 40. Or, the book of Revelation. Here are some characteristics these sections stress: God’s sovereignty, omnipresence, glory, holiness, omniscience, and our smallness, weakness, dependence, and neediness.
So, we recognize those chapters, but sometimes we breeze over them like we sometimes gaze at the sun for a second but then we avert our eyes as soon as possible because of the dangerous brightness of the sun. We know our God is like this but sometimes the profundity is too much. We spend most our time in the more welcoming passages that focus on God’s love, patience, goodness, mercy. We like the incarnate Jesus of the synoptic gospels, we still like but are sometimes more confused by the obviously more glorious Jesus of John, but sometimes we don’t always care for Paul and his letters, especially the ones where Paul gets on our case or loves to talk about doctrine and gets in the clouds about the glory of the Father, Son, and Spirit.
The point is not that we choose certain chapters over others, or that we prioritize part of who God is over other parts. In fact, theologically it is best to say God is simple in the arcane sense of that word. That is, he is unified, not compartmentalized. He is altogether a union and perfection of his traits. My point is that we keep passages like the end of Job, Isaiah 40, and Revelation as front and center, as real, as considered, and as welcomed as the gospels, the Psalms 23’s (some of the Psalms sound like Job), and Galatians 5.22-23. Being God-centered is being centered on all that God is.
I would encourage you to want to be like the guy in the picture. Desire to have your hair blown back as you read, hear, and behold the awesome, glorious, sovereign, and even terrifying God of Sinai. Then, in a powerful way, this God’s grace, mercy, and love will take on a much more significant meaning – a meaning that will blow you away just as much.