Dribble From The Pen: Oh To Marvel

II Thess. 1:10

“when He comes to be glorified in His saints on that day, and to be marveled at among all who have believed—for our testimony to you was believed.”

By Reverend Ray Drunkenmiller

“Here is a wonder! God is on high; and yet the higher a man lifts himself up, the farther he is from God; and the lower a man humbles himself, the nearer he is to God. Of all souls, God delights most to dwell with the humble, for they do most prize and best improve his precious presence.1”

We are all, at times, struck with wonder at things and events in life. We see this in the life of Eli in I Samuel 4:14-18. Eli had been a judge in Israel for 40 years and lived to be 98 years old. He had obviously seen and experienced many things throughout his life time, so that, little aroused or moved him anymore. But when the noise of screaming from the fleeing army of Israel settled upon his ears, it stirred Eli to attention. But the stunning news that he received from a messenger come from the line of battle was more than could be shouldered by the old judge. Israel had fled, Eli’s sons were dead and the ark of God had been taken. The news so struck Eli that he fell backward from off his seat and broke his neck. We might say the news knocked him off his feet. Or consider the scene in the garden of Gethsemane that night, when Judas arrived with the temple police. Upon encountering the Lord, they retorted to his question of whom do they seek with the words; “Jesus, the Nazarene.” The eyewitness, John the Apostle tells us in John 18:6; “So when He said to them, “I am He,” they drew back and fell to the ground.”

When we marvel, or wonder at something, we tend to be so because we are either, stunned by something’s overwhelming quality, quantity or nature, or we are simply caught off guard by something’s timeliness and startling suddenness. The interesting thing about this human reaction is that it rarely lingers long upon us. It is usually an initial response to something that the mind quickly overrides and restores our emotional stability or cognizance. Furthermore, we tend to consider those who per chance seem to live their whole lives in a state of head tilted wonder as possibly being a little out of touch with reality. My point is that we all can and do get struck with awe or amazement at some point in our lives or even at many points in our lives, but we get over it. In fact, quite often do we not only get over it, we rarely are struck by it again. It becomes, old news, yesterday’s bread, etc. This is likely, at least generally speaking that we do not possess the sense of wonder of a child, as we get older. Things just tend not to capture our awe much as we ripen.

I direct you to all this fodder ahead of time to give significance to the saint’s perpetual fascination and awe of their Savior, Jesus Christ. In the passage cited above, Paul tells us that the coming of the Lord is going to be marked by rapturous glory that will fill and spread out in the context of space and time. His glory will be so engulfing that even Scripture restrains itself from trying to use words to describe it. But Paul makes a second important notation in this verse that relates directly to those who have been awestruck by Christ’s epiphany. He says that Christ’s arrival will be marveled at by all who have believed. On the surface, it would seem that the saints appear to be as surprised as anyone about His coming. But the Apostle Paul has artfully constructed his words here. The word in the Greek-θαυμασθῆναι (thaumazthania) is a past tense, passive, which simply means; these saints that stand before Jesus Christ at his appearing are those who have been amazed already by Christ. The idea here is that the marvel of Jesus Christ by His saints never dwindles or waxes old. The saints are those who never lose that sense of amazement for the glory of Christ. The wonder that breaks in on the heart of the man who is born of God, is struck by a wonder that does not diminish, but grows more and more as he grows closer and closer to the Object of wonder. The distinctive of the saint is that he walks in this life unencumbered by a fixation and allurement of Christ’s glory, so much so, that even the revelation of Jesus Christ will be an enhanced wonder for the saint. If the wonder of Jesus has grown old and lost its glitter, we need only to rivet our gaze upon the glory that struck us from the beginning and will be ours in the end.

Dribble from the pen

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