It was a mild winter’s day. The day one of my sons shared a video of his family singing in church was January 26. Rain had been washing away the snow that was no longer white. Tracks in the snow showed the grass below and coronavirus had made its appearance in Toronto. It was the day after lawyers perjured themselves in the impeachment trial of the 45th president of the United States saying that he had done no wrong. It was the day Kobe Bryant died. It was a day of hidden giants.
When you start singing about your work your gravitas hits jackpot. Your profession is in high gear and no one can doubt that you are the real deal. Imagine that David never wrote a song. Imagine that Jesus never died. Imagine that your son charts a course that mirrors your life in all the ways that parents think are important and you know history is definitely being made.
Giant heroes are everywhere. They bring you untold records of life’s extremes. The joy and sadness of being a fan of life enrich us with the same sign: tears. I have always felt extraordinarily fortunate to have had a rich set of companions but few situations can rival the discovery of a first class fanclub hidden in plain sight.
“You will certainly die” (Gen. 2;17) gets attention as does “I will certainly bless you” (22:17) spoken to the man and Abram respectively. These are recognized as oaths. These oaths are functional and persistent. Oaths also appear as intensified sayings like the following.
Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee. Genesis 3:16
“Greatly multiply” expresses certainty not intensity. Dying you will die is precisely the same form as multiplying I will multiply or blessing I will bless.
Yahweh pinned his sovereignty to civic duty too, not only all-inclusive matters such as female sorrow and blessing Abram. We cannot reasonably pass on the other side or pretend we do not see our neighbour’s property at risk.
If thou meet thine enemy’s ox or his ass going astray, thou shalt surely bring it back to him again. Exodus 23:4
The stories of the Old Testament are full of wandering and incomplete spirituality. The hope was that one day the journey would end and the knowledge of God and His guidance would be the joy and security of all, but we are left asking “What happened?”
Then there are predictions like Isaiah 40:1.
He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.
This tender care is for everyone. I think shepherd and my mind cannot stray from the Lord and Saviour Anointed Yeshua.
Faith and God-given evidence
For some people faith is cheap nonsense, usually based on things like food, drink, and elementary principles. It was the case for Israel under Mosaic law. What else besides nonsense could it be when in the last days people choose demonic lies, food, drink and marriage bans over Christ?
- The gift to the believer is on profession.
- Receiving the Spirit seals adoption
- The saved are alive not dead
Salvation is not a loan.
See all those people trying to save themselves via obedience?
Of all the bits that go into the accurate identity of his disciples this ID card is truly marvelous and elicits from the believer to a grateful and joyful “Yes!” “God’s work” is not a popular way of introducing ourselves but it is arresting, full of consolation and assurance.
For we are his workmanship (poiema, ποίημα), created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:10
God prepared our works
Did he need to say “beforehand “? Yes. Someone will say “Prepare is always ‘before’ “. True, but the intention of the writer is to further (see vs. 8) caution people against claiming responsibility for the works that proceed from God’s creation. Not only does he save us apart from any work we have done or are required to perform, but he also takes the initiative to prepare the good works of the new life.
The Father’s poem – the result of grace
There is little room for misunderstanding God’s saving and keeping grace. He has hemmed us in most securely by anticipating our need and our quasi-intelligent objections. We love credit even when we aren’t in the game.
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand (proetoimazo, pro + hetoimazo, προετοιμαζω) that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:10
What are the chances that Lazarus helped the Lifegiver call him forth from his grave of four days? Are today’s good works subject to condition and human invention and choice? What are the chances of anyone but Yahweh removing the cherubim and flaming sword the gate to Eden?