The earth shook, thick smoke filled his nostrils, thunderous roars overtook him. Fear shook his insides, yet something deeply glorious, dare he use the word “intimate”, pulled him closer. As his knees buckled and his face went flat on the rocky terrain of the mountainside, his heart beat to know this God, to see Him. How his insides begged for more!
Moses smelled the smoke, heard the roar that could not be silenced echo in his human eardrums, and his physical eyes took in the sight of unspeakable glory. Unmistakably, this Mighty God, the El Elyon, intended to make Himself deeply, unforgettably KNOWN. (Exodus 19:16-20, Exodus 20:18-21, Exodus 33:12-23)
Moses’ mountaintop encounter with El Elyon, the Almighty Ruler and King, to Whom all powers and authorities cast their feeble crowns, was reiterated generations later with the prophet Isaiah. On beholding El Elyon’s glory, Isaiah cried aloud that he must surely die for glimpsing such unfathomable glory. (Isaiah 6:4-5) Generations before Moses, Job knelt in the dust and in humbled awe whispered, “Now my eyes have seen You […] I am dust and ashes.” (Job 42:5-6).
Awe-stricken wonder-filled worship and obedience marks those who glimpse only a brief glance of El Elyon’s glory through a veiled encounter, for that is all mankind can bear.
Every experience with the Mighty God results in change, in victory, in worship, in consuming devotion. Why? Because He has revealed Himself to be Known.
Enraptured, holding our breath inside our about-to-burst-lungs,
we simply cannot look away!
Having met the pre-incarnate Christ, Joshua worshipped before taking Jericho by the arm of the Lord. (Joshua 5:15) As did timid Gideon before leading Israel to a decisive victory over hoards of Midianites because he had encountered El Elyon, appearing through the pre-incarnate Christ. (Judges 6:22-24)
El Elyon’s fire fell from heaven and consumed water, stone, and sacrifice, and all of Israel fell on their faces declaring Him God Alone. (1 Kings 18:38)
Fire. Power. Thunder. Earthquake. Trumpets.
All announcing the unfathomable presence of the all-powerful El Elyon.
Yet, this very same fearsome Creator and Sovereign King wraps His authority in the wail of a newborn, pleads with His sin-wrecked people to return to Him, lavishes compassion on a rebellious, hard-hearted nation who reviles Him, weeps with the grieving, allows His dusty feet to be washed with a woman’s tears, and hangs naked on a cross made of wood His breath created.
To be known by us.
My friend who chose Jesus last month.
The teenager who gave over his life to Christ this summer.
All of these were, and are, entirely unnecessary and add nothing
to the majestic glory of Infinitely Awe-Filled El Elyon.
Why do we see El Elyon as Mighty and Humble?
As the Infinite One who entered the finite?
To be known, as the God of Love.
Our eyes glance to the cross and we feel the earth tremble as God Almighty dies an undeserved death He well could have prevented, yet chose to do out of vast, unthinkable love for His people. (Matthew 27:51) Again, the earth shakes as an immovable tombstone is rolled away that we might see evidence that Life has eternally won over Death, leaving the grave itself abandoned. (Matthew 28:2)
El Elyon Lives.
Tears fall, and our breath catches at this widescreen panorama of the God who has intentionally made Himself known since His exhale that breathed humanity into existence. (Genesis 2:7) El Elyon’s revelation as eternal God was beginning, but this grand revealing would never end.
Even after Christ’s ascension, the revelation continued as John’s eyes were opened wide to glimpse the glory even now existing, yet still coming. (Revelation 21:1-4) Streets of gold, gates of pearls, leaves of healing for the nations, Death’s wild defeat slain by the blood of Him called Faithful and True. (Revelation 19:11-6) And we hear the shouts of angels singing, “Holy! Holy! Holy! Lord God Almighty!” (Revelation 4:8)
El Elyon lives.
El Elyon has never left.
El Elyon is present.
El Elyon’s love has been made known through His vast rule and reign.
Humble and Holy.
Mighty and Tender.
Worship is due Him.
Will we choose glad surrender now, or will we remain outside the embrace of the God who has made Himself known to us and for us?
Known, Day 14
I am convicted that I have not allowed the reality of God as reigning El Elyon to affect my life fully.
When I allow the trappings of daily life to lull me into a complacent mindset with little to no thought for my Creator, I am in need of a contrite spirit. God Most High deserves more than lip service or a passing prayer or thought. He deserves a life lived fully in surrendered service to Him.
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