THE AWESOME GOD: His Existence and Supremacy
Prof. S.O. Ewuola
The word awesome means: amazing. The synonyms of the word are: amazing, astonishing, astounding, marvelous, awful and so on. Awe has two important meanings:
- Awe means surprise: God is a God of surprise that can surprise everybody; male and female; young and old.
- Fear: When God comes to manifest His power, you will fear Him. When He surprises you, you will marvel and fear Him. A Yoruba adage says: “Ogbejak’eruobaonija.” This implicitly means:“When God fights for you, you will be surprised and fear Him.”
No one can explain how his/her father was born; where he was born; and how he was born; but for the fact you can’t tell how he was born doesn’t mean he does not exist –the same phenomenal factor is applicableto God – because you cannot tell how He came into being doesn’t mean He does not exist. We cannot know too much about God, even if we take it as a year project, unless the little we were told. God is keeping some information He does not make known to humanity. The Bible says “Secrecy is of God.”
The Existence of God
How do we know that God exists? We know God through:
- Our existence;
- Our make-up;
- The physiology of our bodies.
Apart from our own existence as humans, nature and creation testify to the fact that God exists.
The Bible says in Psalm 19:1-4:“The heavens declare the glory of the Lord, and the sky above proclaims His handiwork. ‘Day to day’ pours out speech and ‘night to night’ reveals knowledge. There is no speech nor are there words, whose voice is not heard. Their measuring line goes out through all the earth and their words to the end of the world.” No building had ever existed without a builder, no automobile had ever existed without a manufacturer.
God is awesome because He is:
- Omnipotent – He can do all things.
- Omniscient– He knows all things.
- Omnipresent – He is always everywhere and sees everything; you can’t hide anything from God.
No one has ever defeated God; He has fought millions of wars,even in your life, and He has never lost any.
When God is angry, things get destroyed, that’s why He doesn’t get angry easily.
How Did God Exist?
No mortal can adequately narrate the origin of the awesome God, He has no beginning, and He has no end.
Several years ago, one servant of God told us of His experience in an open crusade.He said on one of the nights of the crusade, one man came out of the audience who happened not to believe in the existence of God – put a very seemingly difficult task before him. The unbeliever told the preacher “when you are coming to crusade tomorrow, come and tell us the name of God’s mother.” The preacher said he paused a little and immediately, he himself told the unbeliever that “If you are coming also tomorrow, come and tell us who gave birth to death.”
He said the man could not produce that. The fact that we cannot know the origin of God doesn’t mean that He does not exist. We will fall short of the real knowledge if we think of God just as human beings like us. The Lord Jesus, who is always with God, co-exists with God. “God is Spirit.”
Are There Other Gods Besides Ours?
This question can be answered in both Yes and No.
(a) Yes, there are still other so-called pagan gods that are not the real God;they are gods made of wood, clay, steel, iron and so on – they are lifeless gods; they have eyes but they cannot see. They have ears, they cannot hear, they have legs but they cannot walk, they are man-made gods and those who worship them would be like them. Foolishness and ignorance have that led people to worship and prostrate to the wood which man carved into. They are spiritually blind and morally incapacitated. It is madness to worship idols.
(b) No, the second answer to the question is ‘No’ for all Christian believers – there is only one true living God. Isaiah 44:6-7says: “Thus says the LORD, the King of Israel and his Redeemer, the LORD of hosts: ‘I am the First and I am the Last; Besides Me there is no God. And who can proclaim as I do? Then let him declare it and set it in order for me, since I appointed the ancient people. And the things that is coming and shall come, let them show these to them”. God Himself has declared that besides Him, there is no any other genuine god, the Creator and Possessor of the heavens and the earth. He knows the end from the beginning; He declares what is going to happen and it will happen. No idol could do that, they are dead and are the handiworks of human beings. They are helpless; those who serve them are also helpless.
Prophet Elijah’s encounter with the prophets of Baal proved that idols have no power. The children of Israel had turned away from God to Baal believing that Baal was their rightful god because Ahab and Jezebel his wife were idol worshipers. Nearly the whole nations of Israel were drawn away from their real God, Jehovah Sabaot h. That is why a nation needs a God-fearing leader to lead. If the national leader, either the King or President is godly, there is the possibility that through his influence, the nation could be godly. When God was ready to manifest His supremacy over Baal, He told Elijah to come out and present himself to Ahab the king and the prophets of Baal – about four hundred and fifty in number. This encounter is recorded in I Kings 18:17-40. And this encounter shows us that besides God there is no other God, God is the only true and living God.
Apostle Paul’s Knowledge About Idols (1 Cor. 8:4-7a)
Therefore concerning the eating of things offered to idols, we know that an idol is nothing in the world and that there is no other God but one. For even if there are so-called gods, whether in heaven or on earth (as there are many gods and many lords), yet for us there is one God, the Father, of whom are all things and we for Him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we live. However, there is not in everyone that knowledge…
Apostle Paul, without mincing words, declared emphatically that “idols are nothing and that for us, there is only one true living God and one Lord Jesus Christ. This should be the stand of every child of God who loves God and wants to do His will. You cannot serve God and idols at the same time. The outcome of Prophet Elijah’s encounter with the prophets of Baal was a proof of God’s supremacy over idols.
God Has No Equal (Isa. 40:25-26, 28-29)
Another aspect of God’s awesomeness is His supremacy over all creatures. In the text before us, God said:
To whom will you likeMe? Or to whom shall I be equal? Says the Holy One. Lift up your eyes on high and see who has created these things, who brings out their host by number; He calls them by name. By the greatness of His might and strength of His power; not one is missing… Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, neither faints nor is weary. There is no searching of His understanding. He gives power to the weak. And to those who have no might He increases strength”.
God’s knowledge is higher than that of the highest intellectual among humans. Nobody teaches Him, He Himself is the source of knowledge. When Jesus, at the age of twelve, was in the temple with the doctors of the law among the Jewish religious leaders, questioning and answering questions, the people were surprised about the wisdom with which He talked. I am yet to discover from my Bible the name of the School which Jesus attended when He was here on earth two thousand years ago. Our God is God of all knowledge He does not need anyone to teach Him. He has no equal. No human being ranks with Him, absolutely no one. He is the chief Executive of both heaven and earth.
God Is Greater Than All Earthly Kings
It is a pity when some earthly monarchs find themselves in the place of honour and eminence; they usually forget that they are mortal. God is the King of kings and Lord of lords. When king Nebuchadnezzar, that famous and powerful king in his time felt that he had all power, he said: “…Is not this great Babylon that I have built for a royal dwelling by my mighty power and for the honour of my majesty?” (Dan. 4:30). But God immediately proved him wrong. God showed Nebuchadnezzar that He, (God) was still in control. So immediately, while the word was still in the king’s mouth, a voice fell from heaven:
King Nebuchadnezzar, to you it is spoken: the kingdom has departed from you. And they shall drive you from men and your dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field. They shall make you eat grass like oxen; and seven times shall pass over you, until you know that the Most High rules in the kingdom of men and gives it to whomever He chooses (verses 31,32).
Just immediately that voice came from heaven, King Nebuchadnezzar was driven away from his palace and went into the bush to graze with animals until he knew that ‘God is God’. Verse 33 describes how a popular king Nebuchadnezzar became one of the animals in the field.
Verses 34, 35, 36 are the text of his experience:
“And at the end of the time, I Nebuchadnezzar lifted my eyes to heaven and my understanding returned to me; and I blessed the most High and praised and honored Him who lives forever. For His dominion are an everlasting dominion and His kingdom from generation to generation. All the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing; He does according to His will in the army of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth no one can restrain His hand. Or say to Him what have you done? Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and extol and honor the King of heaven, all of whose works are truth and His ways justice and those who walk in pride He is able to abase.
This event was an evidence of God’s supremacy over any king or great men/women no matter how popular or powerful they might be.
Some Moral Lessons From This Study
1. It is good to be desirous to know more about God whom we serve and worship.
2. The more of God we know, the greater our relationship with Him is enhanced.
3. As a child cannot adequately talk about the birth of his father; no human being can as well discuss how God came to being.
4. The creation itself testifies to the undeniable existence of God. This is evident throughout the world (Ps. 19:1-6).
5. God is not man who can be physically seen (now) with our naked eyes.
6. There are the pagan gods – gods of iron, god of thunder, god of wood and so on. They are all man-made gods.
7. The awesome God has no equal. He is supreme, higher and greater than any pagan deity.
8. There are pagan gods – gods of iron, thunder, wood and so on, they are all works of men but our God is the Creator and Maker. Idols did not create anything, man made them but the awesome God made man.
9. The Prophet Elijah’s encounter with the four hundred and fifty prophets of Baal is a proof that idols are nothing. They failed their worshipers as evidenced in our study.
10. The approach of the prophet Elijah in the scenario shows that he was not seeking his own glory but God’s glory that would bring backslidden Israelites back to God. This same should be our attitude. Seek God’s glory and not your personal glory. Our Lord Jesus even did that.
11. No child of God should worship, sacrifice or bow to an idol. The use of all kinds waist charms, cowries (like belt) charm, armlets and magical rings for protection is a kind of dilatory, be warned.
12. The consequence of Nebuchadnezzar’s pride and his subsequent return to his throne after his repentance show that God is greater than the greatest human being on earth and that He (God) is ready to forgive any repentant sinner. You too should repent from pride, conceit and arrogance.