Summary: An exploration of God’s wisdom, power and love, and how they work together to accomplish His purposes.
His Wisdom, Power and Love
February 13, 2005
What do you think of when you think of the word “power?” When I think of power, many different things come to mind. When we’re working here in the office and a thunderstorm moves through, I think of electrical power...because often we don’t have any.
Electrical power is vital to our daily lives, and we often don’t realize how important it is, and how much we take it for granted, until we don’t have it.
The other thing I think of is nature...which, of course, we as Christians know is created by, and under the control of, our heavenly Father. I think of earthquakes.... I think of tornadoes...I think of lightning and thunder...I think of hurricanes...
In recent weeks, we cannot think of the power of nature, without thinking about tsunamis. What we note about the power of nature is not just its awesome look, but its power to literally change the landscape, and as a result, to change lives.
One of the other things we think of when we think of power, of course, is the power of God. Even then, we tend to think of the spectacular. We think of mighty creative acts. We tend to think of amazing miracles.
Here’s a Random House dictionary definition of power...for our purposes this morning, I’ve highlighted four of the definitions:
1.ability to do or act; capability of doing or accomplishing something.
3.great or marked ability to do or act; strength; might; force.
4.the possession of control or command over others; authority; ascendancy: power over men’s minds.
7.delegated authority; authority granted to a person or persons in a particular office or capacity: the powers of the president.
—Syn. 1. capacity. 3. energy. See strength. 4, 5. sway, rule, sovereignty.
Though it’s sometimes not the case that our modern-day usage of a word corresponds fairly closely with the biblical use of a word, in this case, power as dictionary-defined, and power as viewed in the Word of God, are actually very similar.
dunamis (doo na mees) is one of the Greek words translated in our various English translations as power. It means literally – to be able.
All the words derived from the stem duna – have the meaning of being able, or capable. It may even mean to will.
Another theological dictionary says:
“Power is an English logical construct referring to a variety of ideas relating to ability, capacity, authority, and might or strength.”
This Greek word is the word from which we get our English word dynamic.
1. pertaining to or characterized by energy or effective action; vigorously active or forceful
So, power is a key concept in scripture. The Theological Dictionary of the Bible explains it this way:
In Greek thought, power was portrayed as a major cosmic principle.
“Greeks viewed God and cosmic principle as equivalent. It was rare for them to speak of “the power of God” since these ideas were nearly equivalent. In the Bible, however, God is a person, and not merely power. Therefore, a phrase like “the power of God” takes on new meaning, because a person who possesses the characteristic of power is the prime mover of the universe. Furthermore, the biblical deity is a God of history, not just nature. Therefore, this God brings the world into existence, and distributes power to people to fulfill his historical purposes (Exod 15:6, 13; Deut 3:24; Pss 46:1, 86:16). The biblical description of power relates primarily to God and people.”