An Encounter with the Numinous – Part 3

This is a continuation of my posts on the Numinous experience.  The previous posts were An Encounter with the Numinous and An Encounter with the Numinous – Part 2.  The Numinous experience is when a person encounters God in a way that overwhelms.  It is an experience that invokes fear, awe and a feeling of being in the presence of something that is wholly other.  Isaiah had such an encounter in Isaiah 6 and Ezekiel had a similar encounter in Ezekiel 1.

About 600 years later the Apostle John describes a similar experience in Revelation 4.  Notice the similarities between the three encounters:

  • Exalted.  God is seated on a throne, declaring Himself as King.
  • Glorious.  God is glorious in splendor.  Surrounded with lights.
  • Seraphim.  Once more we encounter the strange, yet awesome angelic guardians of God’s throne.  This time, as in Isaiah’s encounter, we hear them saying, “Holy, Holy, Holy…”, repeating it over and over for all time.

When I think of this final recorded encounter with the Numinous I am once more reminded of the absolutely overwhelming and impossible to describe greatness of our God.  God is the Sovereign King over all that is.  He is the Exalted King of Kings.

God is glorious beyond description, being described as clothed in a robe that fills the temple, or surrounded by flashes of lightning, fire and rainbows of color.  Who can even begin to put the splendor of our God into words?  He is truly indescribable.

Our God is so completely pure and holy that the angels must repeat it over and over, awestruck by His holiness.  God is not like us.  He is greater, more glorious and more holy than we can even understand.

Next time you worship God take some time to meditate on the Numinous.  Contemplate the transcendence of our God – His sovereignty, His glorious beauty and His pure holiness.

Question:  When you compare our paltry attempts at worship to these heavenly scenes, How does one even begin to capture the wonder of our God during a corporate worship service?

by Jerry Wyrick, President of Worship Arts Conservatory

An Encounter with the Numinous Part 1 | An Encounter with the Numinous Part 2


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