snowboardingDude. It’s a complex word. If your friend is doing something stupid you can say: dude. It means I wouldn’t do that if I were you. If your friend is being annoying you can simply say: dude. In that context it means knock it off. If it’s something scary: dude. If it’s something exciting: dude. And most especially if it’s something awesome: duuuuuuude!

Here’s how it works in context: You are out snowboarding with your friend and he attempts to go over a jump that nobody should attempt. Mid-air you think he is going to die but then against all odds, he lands it. Your reaction can simply be this: Dude! Duuude!  Duuuuuuude.  Translation? Don’t do it, that’s stupid. Oh no, you are going to die! Whoa, that was epic.

So I was wondering what it would be like if the Israelites used the word dude. I know, I’m weird… but stick with me.

Exodus 19:18-19 18 Mount Sinai was covered with smoke, because the Lord descended on it in fire. The smoke billowed up from it like smoke from a furnace, and the whole mountain trembled violently. 19 As the sound of the trumpet grew louder and louder, Moses spoke and the voice of God answered him.

This is just the coolest scene ever. God in all his glory descends on the mountain and covers it with smoke. Then the mountain starts shaking violently and everyone hears a loud trumpet blasting even though no one is playing a trumpet. To top it all off, they all hear the voice of God. In my head, I can imagine standing there taking it all in… Dude. Whoa, duuuude! Um, dude? Duuuuuuude.

As silly as the inside of my brain may sound to you, I genuinely want to have this kind of reaction to the God of the universe. Because sometimes I forget how enormous he is. I don’t think about his infinite might. I get stuck in the doldrums of every day life and lose sight of the awesomeness of my God. But somewhere deep within, I long to just ponder his power. 

So today I am going to stop and think. I am going to remember all the great things he has done. I am going to marvel that he sent his Son to rescue me from darkness. That he died for me, forgives me, receives me, heals me. I’m going to hit the pause button for a moment, think upon his greatness, and let it out.  Duuuuuuuude.  That’s all that really needs to be said.

A different kind of awesome

Zephaniah 2:10-11  This is what they will get in return for their pride, for insulting and mocking the people of the LORD Almighty. The LORD will be awesome to them when he destroys all the gods of the land. The nations on every shore will worship him, every one in its own land.

baby awesomeWhen he rolls up his sleeves he ain’t just puttin on the ritz; our God is an awesome God.  Thanks for that, Rich Mullins.  I’ve never thought about God rolling up His sleeves and especially never considered that He would be puttin on the ritz.  That’s just weird.  I do know, however, that our God is an awesome God.  He regularly overwhelms we with His pure awesomeness.  I mean it; He really is amazing!  He is all knowing, all powerful, all…. well, everything.  But here in Zephaniah 2, the prophet is talking about a different kind of awesome.

When I think of awesome, I think of gravity defying slam dunks, grand slam home runs, and cringe worthy snowboard tricks at the X-games.  I think of Candace Glover performing on American Idol or Pentatonix performing anything anywhere.  I think of shooting stars and colorful sunsets.  Yes, that’s awesome!  Awesome is also Happy Gilmore crushing the golf ball and Tom Hanks’ performance in Castaway.  It’s buy one get one free airfare and upgrades to first class.   It’s a short line a the grocery store and making that green light just by the skin of your teeth.  All awesome!

I digress.  As I was saying, the awesome in Zephaniah 2 is different.  It’s a terrifying awesome.  It’s a jaw dropping, mouth hanging open, screaming with terror kind of awesome.  It’s watching Sodom and Gomorrah burn or the world flood.  It’s a blown away, can’t believe what is happening, oh snap! kind of awesome.  God’s enemies were mocking His people and He was about to roll up His sleeves and not dance, but destroy.  He would ruin their false gods and teach them who’s boss.  That’s the kind of power God has over His enemies.  That’s the kind of power in which Jesus overcame at the cross and made a show of the enemy.

God doesn’t display this terrifying awesomeness just for kicks.  He doesn’t do it to show off.  Rather, He does it to remind the world that He is the only one worthy of worship.  And this is the response that God was going for in Zephaniah 2.  He was going to destroy what they were trusting in so that they would turn to Him.  He was going to be scary awesome so that they would wake up and realize who really holds the power.  We ought to be aware that this God we serve is scary awesome, too!

*Let your scary awesome God have at your idols today.  Let Him remove those things you are trusting in and make the awesome God your one and only.