Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Six thoughts on the Bigness of God

I like the song, so does my toddler:  

Our God is a great big God, Our God is a great big God, Our God is a great big God, And he holds us in his hands. He's higher than a sky scraper, and he's deeper than a submarine. He's wider than the universe, and beyond my wildest dreams. And he's known meand he's loved me, since before the world began. How wonderful to be a part of God's amazing plan. Our God is a great big God (Jo & Nigel Hemming. Copyright © 2001 Vineyard Songs)

No beef with the song, but what are we talking about when we talk about our God being so BIG?

Six thoughts:

#1 The bigness of God isn't creation magnified.
The heretic Arius thought that we should conclude that god is the Unoriginate behind the originated creation. Impersonal, powerful and yet would you want to know the god of the Jehovah's witnesses... as they will tell you, he doesn't really want to know you - prefering to keep his distance.

#2 The bigness of God isn't OMNI
The Greek philosophers figured that god is a god of great attributes, bigger than everything else. Omniscient. Omnipotent. Omnidextrous etc. Like creation but bigger. Might leave you awestruck but not so safe. Attempts to impress leave me strangely cold... Start personal (see below) and then we can certainly talk in terms of the extent of his knowing and power etc. Then we get a knowing that isn't a spying big brother but a caring father, a power that isn't abusive and controlling but sufficient to save and give life.

#3 The bigness of God is small
The Triune God sends out his son, to assume human flesh and make his dwelling among us so he could heal us. The God who weeps, who loves, who eats, who aches with compassion for us.

#4 The bigness of God is shameful
Our God is so big he chose to die on a cross. If this was a popularity contest that was about impressing the world then this is a very strange way to go about it. It looks weak and foolish rather than strong and powerful.

"he had no form or majesty that we should look at him, 
and no beauty that we should desire him."

#5 The bigness of God looks like Jesus
So big he's who you know when you know Jesus. Introduced personally. The Son introducing God as Father. You don't have to see a big landscape to see god, you have to see a person. (And that's why you can see the finger prints of god at least as clearly among people as being alone by the sea or the moors... because nothing looks like Jesus more than people, and even more people loving one another).

#6 The bigness of God is self-giving love.
God's love is big. His glory is his giving. He didn't come to wow the world but to woo. He didn't come to impose upon us but to serve. His sovereignty isn't in spying on us but in caring for us. His sovereignty isn't a thumping fist but a kind hand. Look at Jesus, just look at him. His Father and the Spirit sing of his giving love.

Our God is a great big God. So big he was crucified. So big that he loved. So big that he doesn't seek our performance but freely and lovingly gives all that he has to us.


  1. Good post.

    Incidentally, you think the song was inspired by Psalm 95?

  2. Yes! God is mighty, majestic and powerful. But His might, majesty and power and best displayed by the Suffering Servant on the foolish cross. Great stuff Bish!

  3. Why would anyone think the God of JW's doesn't want to get to know you, preferring to keep his distance?? (John 3:16)

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  5. 'nothing looks like Jesus more than people, and even more people loving one another'. That is hugely liberating, and has implications in our relationships and evangelism. For example, as Chris Oldfield said, to be able to say to people 'you remind me of Jesus'. Stunning.