A young man gets up from his face, his three friends joining him, and says this:
“Blessed be the name of God forever and ever, to whom belong wisdom and might. He changes times and seasons; he removes kings and sets up kings; he gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding; he reveals deep and hidden things; he knows what is in the darkness, and the light dwells with him.”
That’s Daniel, overjoyed and awestruck and in love. But not with a pretty girl, and not with a new career path. His mind wasn’t reeling over a massive natural beauty like the Grand Canyon or the humongous rainforests of the Amazon Basin.
Daniel was impossibly exhilarated because the God who spoke photons and atoms into existence had just told him what the king had dreamed.
Nebuchadnezzar had demanded his fake soothsayers tell him his dream and interpret it or die. Those were their options. And since they only had false gods to go to, their prospects were grim.
But Daniel, knowing he and his small cohort of believers in the God of Abraham might get tragically caught in the wildfire of Nebuchadnezzar’s wrath, prayed for what the impostors couldn’t.
Daniel went to a real God in the midst of a culture of idol-lovers.
And God did what God does to those who see Him: He inspired speechless, kneeknocking awe.
Wisdom. God’s knowledge is unlimited. He not only knows what Napoleon’s favorite color was and how many shrimp are in the Pacific Ocean right now and which would’ve been the best bus for Rosa Parks to keep her seat on. No, He also intimately fashions this world and its tragedies and its wickednesses and its beauties and its redemption. He has never sinned and never will, and yet Peter says in Acts that His breathtaking wisdom predestined the worst sin ever ravaged against Himself: the sacrificial murder of the Messiah.
God knows why warm summer rain stirs my heart and makes me think of my childhood even if I don’t. And He knows and is in absolute control over each of my awful treacheries, though they are purely mine.
But wondrously He also knows and is in control over the only cure for me, the only rescue I could ever have.
Might. The world’s armies would scatter into the wind like spent ashes before the fire and power of the God of Jesus Christ. He is the definition and source of power.
He charts and determines and ends the reigns of presidents and prime ministers and chief financial officers and PTA members (just as He told Jeremiah He did with Nebuchadnezzar).
It was through Jesus Christ that the powerful core of our sun, hot enough to melt the diamond in my wife’s wedding ring, came into being. He spoke the light of the darkness into its powerful being.
The sky that makes us tremble when it looses its hailstones or rains meteorites on our ground was created by His Word.
He could pluck our solar system from its arm of the Milky Way, and He could stop our galaxy’s spin as though it were a child’s pinwheel.
His power is unending.
And it is unspeakably, incalculably good.
Light. In Him there is no darkness. There is no shadow or deceit or shallow, ignorant anxiety.
His holiness, His charity and honesty and commitment to what is valuable and truly worthwhile make our best deeds look petty and filthy.
He is glory while we steal glory. He is truth while we despise truth, and run from it, terrified of its power to convict us. He is love, while we abuse and cheapen love in the name of self-gratification.
The perfectness of God was hanging from the wooden Cross outside Jerusalem.
At the same time Pilate’s hands dried from dirty water he vainly hoped would clean them.
While the very ones in need of rescue and redemption spat and called down curses from a Heaven they thought they loved, the only One holy enough to make Satan shriek and tremble hung and bore the wrath of God and the hate of men.
But our darknesses, and Satan’s, are never enough to destroy Jesus.
And His holy body was raised to the right hand of the One whose goodness would blind and kill anyone who saw it full-on.
This is the God of Father, Spirit, and Son who made Daniel sweat, who dried his mouth and made his head spin.
Be breathless before God.
See Him in Jesus Christ, and in His Word, and be breathless with wonder.