Wednesday, April 17, 2024

God of Word and Deed

At the dedication of the Temple, years after Israel has settled into the Promised Land and when they are already on their third king (Solomon), Solomon prays a long prayer for what the Temple means and what it will forever mean and what it offers to those who will seek the Lord there. 

Near the beginning of the prayer, Solomon talks about all of the promises of God that the Lord kept all the way through the history of His people, right up to Solomon's own father, David. And the promises that He will keep on keeping. And how now, by the work of God's hands and His very physical provision for His people, they have come to this place. 

What Solomon's prayer essentially says, what it recognizes, is that what God starts with His words (His promises), He finishes with His hands (His provision). 

And isn't that the most beautiful image of the bigger story of God? 

God started everything with His words. Into the formless and void, Genesis 1 tells us, God spoke. And there was light. And there was night. And there was day. And there was land. And there was sea. And there was man. And all of this by the word alone of the incredible God who spoke it. 

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was very good. Everything God had made was very good. It was just the way that He wanted it to be, and He was walking in the garden in the cool of the day with man created in His own image and not only was all very good, but all was well. 

And then, well....

Then there was sin. Then there was rebellion. Then there was this little inkling in man's soul that perhaps, without even speaking, he could become somehow like God, knowing good and evil and living, perhaps, forever. Then there was a piece of fruit, probably a fig. Then there was shame. Then there was a curse. Then there was an exile.

Then...there was a Cross. 

And in the Cross, what God started with His words - all the way back in Genesis 1 - He finished with His hands. His carpenter-calloused, dirt-covered, nail-pierced hands. 

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