and to God, the Lord, belong deliverances from death." ~Psalm 68:20
In its original context this verse is talking about the physical deliverance of Israel from its enemies, but what got me when I read it this morning is how we've demoted God from a God of power to a god of niceties. We have a puny god of "Play fair," "Don't hit," and "Be happy." Do we act like we even need a God who saves? Do we have the slightest idea Who this "one Lawgiver and Judge who is able to save and to destroy" (James 4:12) even is?
(photo by Jean Guichard)
It reminded me of the photo above along with a quote from essayist Annie Dillard:
"On the whole, I do not find Christians, outside of the catacombs, sufficiently sensible of conditions. Does anyone have the foggiest idea what sort of power we so blithely invoke? Or, as I suspect, does no one believe a word of it? The churches are children playing on the floor with their chemistry sets, mixing up a batch of TNT to kill a Sunday morning. It is madness to wear ladies' straw hats and velvet hats to church; we should all be wearing crash helmets. Ushers should issue life preservers and signal flares; they should lash us to our pews. For the sleeping god may wake someday and take offense, or the waking god may draw us out to where we can never return."
~excerpted from An Expedition to the Pole, in the book Teaching Stones to Talk
"Ascribe power to God,
whose majesty is over Israel,
and whose power is in the skies.
Awesome is God from his sanctuary;
the God of Israel--he is the one
who gives power and strength to his people.
Blessed Be God!" ~Psalm 68:34-35