Summary: God gives us the word as power, if we believe, to become a child of God and to inherit the benefits of his children.
Sunday, December 7, 2008
The Word as Power
Text: John 1: 1 - 12
This Advent Season we will focus upon the theme “What God Gives” It’s derived from the well known scripture – John 3: 16 – “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
Integral to God’s nature is his desire, his ability, his intentionality to give.
There is an essential aspect of God’s nature that is A priori – in other words, there is something we know about God before we know that he is a giver, which is at the core of God’s being, is his Word.
We might say “our word is our bond.” But for God one must say that God is His Word.
Through his word, he speaks and creatio ex nihilo (he creates something out of nothing) Light out of darkness. Earth out of a void. His word was just “let there be.”
The hynalogist would say that he speaks and the sound of his voice is so sweet that birds hush their singing.
You cannot separate or distinguish God from his word. So essential is God’s word to his essence that he covenants with himself to emphasize its significance.
In the 15th Chapter of the book of Genesis, you will find a conversation between the Lord and Abram. He had promised Abram that his seed would be so numerous that it would be easier to count the stars in the sky, then to count his seed (descendants). However, there was a problem Abram and his wife Sari had no children, and they were now old.
God says to Abram, my word says, you will have an heir born of thy loins. Here is an important point, Abram believed God and God counted it to him for righteousness.
When you look closely something happens: He tells Abram to take a heifer, goat, ram, a turtledove, and a pigeon. All except the turtledove and pigeon, he cuts into pieces and lays the parts parallel to each other in two rows.
In that day, they didn’t have lawyer or contracts, as we would know them. They only had one’s word that you gave, which bonded you to what you said you would do.
And when one covenant around something serious, you would perform the covenant of pieces. This covenant which is understood to mean that we will walk between the pieces to establish the fact that we will keep our word to each other, but if one of us fails in our covenant – then what happen to the heifer, the goat and the ram will happen to either one of us – we would be cut into pieces.
If we don’t keep our word, we will be cut into pieces. And even if either of us is not there to witness the failure of the other, “May the Lord watch over you and me while we are absent one from another.”
What we know as the Mitzah is the binding element which brings God into the agreement to ensure that we follow through.
However, this covenant is between Abram and God. Look at what happens:
Abram prepares the pieces, but Abram goes into a deep sleep. The only thing we read that passes through the pieces are a smoking furnace and a burning lamp.
These represent God.
God binds himself to his word, even though Abram is not compelled to bind himself.
What am I saying? That God word is so integral to his nature that God binds himself.
God is saying that I will do to me what this covenant requires if I don’t keep my part of the bargain.
God establishes through Abram that his word is indistinguishable from his essential nature. God and his word is one!
That’s good news that we serve a God, who cannot lie.
Numbers 23:19 “God is not man, that he should lie; neither the Son of Man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? Or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?”
That’s good news that we serve a God, who cannot fail.
Lamentations 3: 21-24 – This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope. It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.
That’s good news that we serve a God, who cannot change.
Malachi 3: 6 – For I am the Lord, I change not:
Advent affirms for me the awesome power of God’s word.
The word as power,
the word as peace,
the word as person
the word as provision.
What God gives is power, peace, Himself as a person, and provision.