The power of a thunderstorm is awe-inspiring. The howling winds, the earsplitting rolls of thunder, and the brilliant flashes of light that rip across the sky make for a wild symphony of majestic power. It is absolutely beautiful to witness, yet blatantly terrifying at the same time. The cacophony of sound, light, and torrential rain can lead to storms of unparalleled proportions. Thunderstorms have the power to rip ancient trees from the ground, knock down power lines, and create tremendous damage. And yet, despite its destructive power, it provides the rain needed for the world to survive. A few trees may be destroyed, but the life-giving rain enables more to grow.
In the early 1900s, Swedish minister Carl Gustav Boberg wrote a poem that has become a classic hymn.
I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder, thy power throughout the universe displayed. Then sings my soul, my Savior God, to thee – How great thou art!
Thunderstorms are a reminder of the power of God; beautiful, dangerous, and utterly awe-inspiring. The full wrath of God is something that we hope to never see. God is a holy, just God. We often think of Him as only loving and merciful, and while he certainly is, He is also the ultimate authority, the Creator, the just and powerful God. Whenever anyone in the Bible experienced the power of God, the response was fear and trembling. In today’s laid-back culture, we sometimes lose a sense of healthy fear towards the omnipotent Creator who literally holds our lives in his hands. We focus so much on His love that we lose the significance of His grace. He is the God who cleansed the entire earth in with a flood, who rained fire and brimstone down upon Sodom, who slays His enemies without mercy. He is omnipotent, all-powerful, almighty. He is glorious, powerful, and He is the one to whom every knee will someday bow in reverence and worship.
In many passages of scripture, the fear of the Lord is described as wisdom. Solomon describes the fear of God as a fountain of life (Proverbs 14:27), and again in Ecclesiastes 12:13, he writes, “The conclusion, when all has been heard, is: fear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person.” Matthew records the song of Mary, in which she says, “And His mercy is upon generation after generation toward those who fear Him.”
Job 37:1-5 sums it up best.
“At this also my heart trembles, and leaps from its place. Listen closely to the thunder of His voice, and the rumbling that goes out from His mouth. Under the whole heaven He lets it loose, and His lightning to the ends of the earth. After it, a voice roars; He thunders with His majestic voice, and He does not restrain the lightnings when His voice is heard. God thunders with His voice wondrously, doing great things which we cannot comprehend.”
What a awe-inspiring picture of the majesty and power of God!