Sunday, October 13, 2013


Excess is described in the English dictionary as "an amount that is more than necessary or permitted, lacking moderation." My mother warned me about excess, "Everything in moderation." Don't eat too much, don't work too hard, don't rest too much. The Apostle Paul advised against excess when he instructed, "take a little wine for your stomach." As I travel and work I am often warned against excessive amounts of work lest I "burn out." 

So the thought that God is excessive never crossed my mind. It feels foreign and wrong to say that God is excessive, but today I was struck by this truth. 

Today I went scuba diving off the north Kenyan coast near Malindi. The reef is protected from fishing and claims over 1000 different fish species as well as over 100 different corals. I was able to take two dives with a cumulative dive time of just under 2 hours, so I didn't even begin to see all of these varieties. Never the less, I saw hundreds of different types of fish and sea life.  From tiny fingernail size fish living in anemones to 15 foot wide coral displays the reef was alive with diversity. As we drifted along the reef watching iridescent snails, leaf fish, neon sea slugs, scorpion fish, angel fish, halo fish, puffer fish, parrot fish, moray eels, manta rays, and lobsters the only word to describe the scene is excessive. There is no need for so many different varieties of fish. Not only that but there is no need for the intricate and delicate designs in each one. This under water world is rarely seen and not until the last 50 years with the advent of modern diving technology was this world even viewable. The world of excessive and ornate beauty was hidden. If that's not excessive I don't know what is.

Once back on dry land, I started to think about the differing Ecosystems of our terra firma world. Not one of them is simple, but dependent on thousands of species of flora and fauna for it to be sustained. Again the beauty and intricacies are excessive. 

Then I looked sky ward. I remember watching a Sci-fi movie once were they were discussing the existence of the life on other planets. One of the characters said, "We'll, if there isn't life somewhere else in the universe; it's a massive waste of space." In other words all that emptiness, all those un-inhabitants worlds with their beauty and grandeur and unknown and un viewable wonders are excessive. 

I can only imagine that a world with so many excesses comes from a God who is just as excessive. He is not moderate. He is excessive. In all of His actions He does more than just enough. He didn't create just a small path across the Red Sea for Israel, that was just big enough. Through out the history of Israel, Gods excessive nature is shown again and again. His excess is not limited to beauty and blessing, but is also seen in His wrath and judgement. For what seem like small offenses to me, He wiped out thousands of His own chosen people. He does more than what is necessary and sometimes does more than what is permitted. 

It was not permitted, by His own laws and decrees, that anyone but the Highest of priest could come before Him, and that only once a year. And yet, His desire to have communion with the people of this world was so excessive, that He created a way, a sacrifice. But no little sacrifice would do, it had to be excessive. Nothing short of His own infinite blood would do for a God this excessive. S

So today, I sit and wonder at His excess. I wonder at His excess in creation, at the excessiveness of His actions in history, but more still I wonder at the ways that He has poured out His excessive, more than necessary and lacking moderation, love on me. 

1 comment:

  1. Often I think the Bible uses the word "overflowing" for "excessive" -- and yes, his love overflows and cannot be contained; same for his creativity, same for his intimate knowledge of every last bit of his creation. Thanks, Drew, for sharing this.