ODJ: Overwhelming Beauty

December 28, 2018 

READ: Daniel 10:1-20 

My strength left me, my face grew deathly pale, and I felt very weak (v.8).

Daniel fainted before a man whose “face flashed like lightning” and whose “eyes flamed like torches. His arms and feet shone like polished bronze, and his voice roared like a vast multitude of people” (10:6). The man’s appearance—and Daniel’s reaction—might imply the prophet was seeing God. Except the man said he had been trying to reach Daniel for three weeks. He’d been delayed by a demon, and had only broken through with the help of the angel Michael (v.13).

Angels are such glorious creatures that their opening line is often “Don’t be afraid!” (Luke 1:13, 2:10). If mere angels overwhelm us with splendour, how much more would the One who made them? Isaiah saw a vision of God sitting on His “lofty throne”, surrounded by “mighty seraphim” who used their wings to cover their faces and feet. “They were calling out to each other, ‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of Heaven’s Armies! The whole earth is filled with his glory!’ ” Isaiah responded the way anyone would: “It’s all over! I am doomed, for I am a sinful man. . . . I have seen the King, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies” (Isaiah 6:1-5).

The holiness of God means He’s infinitely greater than us, so it’s impossible to fully describe. But holiness means at least that God is both beautiful and glorious—so stunning that when we catch a glimpse we immediately break into praise (Revelation 4:8-11). We’re irresistibly drawn to Him. We can’t look away.

Yet we also long to cover our eyes. God’s beauty overwhelms. Our heart jumps into our throat. We don’t deserve to be in His presence; we can’t stay there—except through Jesus. He brings us into God’s loving, awesome presence and allows us to worship Him as His own.

—Mike Wittmer

365-day plan: Jude 1:17-25

Read Revelation 4:1-11. What do you notice about the holiness of God? How does that encourage you today? 
Describe God’s holiness in words, pictures, music or whatever is most natural for you. What do you discover in this attempt?