Monday, December 23, 2013

All in One (and nothing more or less)

"Guess who?"
"Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord.... He spoke, and it was done. He commanded, and it stood fast. [...] The counsel of the Lord stands forever, and the thoughts of His heart to all generations. [...] He is our help and our shield. Our hearts shall rejoice in Him, because we have trusted His holy name." Ps. 33:8-21

There is that oft-quoted phrase from Narnia about how Aslan "isn't safe" but is "good." The idea comes from the terror of God in the light of His sovereignty: He wills what He wants and speaks what He wills and none can stop Him. That is power you cannot buy nor inherit or steal. It is absolute power, power belonging to Power Himself, and alone it is a terror. If the God that rules all is merely a Being of power, then we have cause to be uneasy.

If He has no wisdom to guide His power to its proper means and ends, then He is no more than a child playing with a weapon of mass destruction. If He has no love to influence His power for the good of others, then He is no more than a spoiled child playing with a weapon of mass destruction. If He has no justice to allot His power into proper amounts, then He is a reckless, spoiled child playing with a weapon of mass destruction. And if He has no goodness shaping His power towards benevolent ends, then He is no child at all but rather a demonic force supreme. Again, we would have cause to be uneasy.

Every facet finds its place.
Of course, the praise of the saints for God is directed towards His terrific power, but not it alone. We praise God for all that He is, and He is all that is good: power and wisdom and love and justice and goodness and all else that is right and proper, all united into a single, harmonious, active, personal Being called God. His power is as wise as it is terrible, and his wisdom as powerful as it is wise, and both as just as they are terrible and wise, and on and on and on, every layer intertwining until no twines remain and all is whole and one and inseparably God. He knows no isolation. His power cannot be isolated into a single action, devoid of everything else belonging to Him. Rather, it is always and forever buttressed by and buttressing every attribute that He is. For this, for His completeness and balance, for us having everything to fear and yet nothing to fear, we praise Him and rejoice in Him and call blessed all those who have Him as God. Amen.

-Jon Vowell (c) 2013

No comments:

Post a Comment