God's greatness easy to understand
September 14, 2018
My sister Susie and I have a friend who lives in the Midwest, and we lovingly call her the Queen of Canning.
She expertly and efficiently cans food through all of summer and fall. By state fair time, she has fruits, tomatoes and sauces, all types of vegetables, jams, jellies, pickles, meats and even seafood canned in beautiful jars. In our judgment, she is phenomenal and her talents are extraordinary.
Last week Susie visited with our friend about the recent competition in her state fair where she entered many of her prized canned vegetables. Confident of her expertise, Susie asked her how many first prizes she received.
She reported to Susie: “I only came away with two third-place ribbons and I didn’t even place in the other categories. I thought I had some great winning cans but I guess it all depended on what the judges considered great.”
What my friend thought great was not great in the eyes of the judges.
So I was bewildered. What is the definition of great when looking at the canned food at a state fair?
Consider pickles. Do the judges look for the color of the pickles, how pretty the jar is, how clear the liquid or how many whole spices in the liquid? Or do they consider the presentation, the unusual contents that make a jar of anything great? Is it the blend of flavors? Is it the taste? What makes a jar of pickles great?
I came away with this thought: what is great to one is not great to another. What is great to the cook may not be great to the taster. What is great to the student may not be so great to the teacher. What is great to the judge may not be that great to the contestants.
We use the word great when describing an experience or object and the very word indicates as above all and not up for competition. Yet, when we toss around the word great, we have only human judges, standards and perceptions so there is always room for negotiation.
Fortunately, that is not the way it is with Almighty God. No one or nothing can challenge God’s greatness. God’s greatness is not a vulnerable example contingent on a contest nor does his greatness hinge on the competition. No competition exists. His greatness is not up for negotiation or compromise.
So why is God great?
God is great because he is the highest authority. “O Lord is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, indeed everything that is in the heavens and the earth; yours is the dominion, O Lord, and you exalt yourself as head over all.” (1 Chron: 29:11)
God is great because he is above all man-made gods. “For You are the Lord most high over all the earth; you are exalted far above all gods.” (Psalm 97:9)
God is great because he knows all. “Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth does not become weary or tired. His understanding is inscrutable.” (Isaiah 40:28
God is great because in his greatness he still loves us. “For your loving kindness is great above the heavens, And your truth reaches to the skies.” (Psalm 108:4)
God is great because he sent a Savior. “For God so love the world that he gave his only begotten Son that whosoever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)
God is great because he looks at each of us mercifully. “See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God. And that is what we are.” (1 John 3:1)
John Piper addressed this matter of God’s greatness and he said it well: “If you don’t see the greatness of God then all the things that money can buy become very exciting. If you can’t see the sun you will be impressed with a street light. If you’ve never felt thunder and lightning, you’ll be impressed with fireworks. And if you turn your back on the greatness and majesty of God you will fall in love with a world of shadows and short-lived pleasures.”
God is our great God, the One who is approachable and can be known by all who earnestly seek him in hope.
Judy Brandon writes about faith for The Eastern New Mexico News. Contact her at: [email protected]