Friday, July 17, 2020

For the Lord your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality and accepts no bribes. –Deuteronomy 10:17

If you zoom out from today’s verse, you’ll see that it’s nestled among other verses (Deuteronomy 10:12-22) that capture two different, but equally essential, elements about God’s character.

In verse 15, God is intimately personal. Moses shares with the Israelites God’s message about their unique history: “..the LORD set his affection on your forefathers and loved them, and he chose you, their descendants, above all nations, as it is today.” Words like “affection,” “loved,” and “chose” remind the Israelites that they are beloved, and they have a special covenantal relationship with their Lord. A few verses later, Moses also reminds the Israelites that God cares deeply for individual people, especially those who are easily left out and marginalized—the widow, the homeless, the fatherless—and that they should be concerned for all people, too. God is personal. 

At the same time, this passage is peppered with unambiguous pronouncements that God is infinitely powerful. Moses reminds Israel that their LORD rules the heavens and the earth, is great and mighty and awesome, is God of gods and Lord of lords, and is worthy of fear and service. God reigns over everything that was, and is, and will be…all of it. God is beyond our comprehension.

God is both personal and infinite. God takes an interest in the details of your life, and God is also omnipotent and limitless. That’s hard for me to wrap my mind around. Holding both of these truths about God’s character in balance is tricky. It may even seem counterintuitive. But it’s important as we seek to know God more fully. It’s a balance I need to ask God’s help to maintain. Sometimes I find myself thinking only of God’s friendship, and I forget that God is infinitely powerful; sometimes I think only of God’s vastness, and forget that God is relational and loving. But how truly wonderful that we get to serve a God who really is both of these things all the time.

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