It is no secret to anyone who knows me well that I love the Word of God. I love to read it. I try to live it. Sometimes some word or phrase captures my attention and causes me to dig deeper. It quite literally illuminates my path (see Psalm 119:105). Had God not arrested my attention in 1995 and caused me to turn aside, I have no doubt that I would be homeless, in jail, or dead right now, because that is where the path I was on would have led me. I was following things that would have led to my certain spiritual and probable physical destruction, and I would have dragged others (like my family) down with me. His Word has led me down a far different, and amazing path.
Thinking of that always reminds me of the story in Exodus, chapter 3, of how God called Moses. Something off in the distance caught his attention (that famed burning bush that was not consumed), and Moses turned aside from what he was doing to go check it out. That’s when God identified Himself to Moses, and that revelation changed the course of his entire life. It took him from an isolated life in the wilderness to being the instrument God used to set a nation free. So perhaps that’s my challenge to you today….go check it out. God may not use me or you to set a whole nation free, but He might use us to help set one person free. And then maybe another. And then maybe another….
All that to get to my scriptural meanderings today.
¹Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, ²but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. ³He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. – Hebrews 1:1-3 (ESV)
So God speaks to us today through His Son, who is also identified as The Word (read John 1), the Way, the Truth, and the Life (John 14:6). His spoken words and teachings and the way he lived his life on earth are recorded for us in the Bible.
Verse 3 in that Hebrews passage is the one that really captivated my attention this morning. Jesus is the radiance of the glory of God. Now let’s ponder that for a moment. I’ve heard lots of people talk about Jesus, and to be honest, I’m not sure all of them are talking about this Jesus. This Jesus carries all the fullness of the Godhead, all the holiness, all the divine nature of God. The “radiance of the glory of God” is the sh’khinah. That Presence that makes people fall on their faces in submission. The Encyclopedia Judaica defines it as “…the Divine Presence…a revelation of the Holy in the midst of the profane.” So that’s the Jesus we’re talking about. The one that draws us to repentance, because he loves us so much that he (the Divine) chose to live among us (the profane), and to redeem us from death, so we could spend eternity with him.
This Jesus is the exact imprint, or image, of his Father’s nature. So one must ask, what is his Father’s nature? Back to Exodus we go. Moses had asked God to show him His glory. In chapter 34:5-7 we see what happened.
“…the Lord came down in the cloud and stood there with him and proclaimed his name, the LORD. And he passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, “The LORD, the LORD, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished…”.
I believe that God was declaring to Moses His identity, His nature, His character. Sovereign, compassionate, gracious, patient, loving, faithful, forgiving, and just (righteous). I am positive there is far more to His nature than that, but that is probably about all we can wrap our finite minds around.
This Jesus holds the universe, all that exists, together by the word of his power.
Which brings us to Colossians 1:15-20
The Son is the image of the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.
I encourage you today to start a steady diet of the Word. It is fascinating, it is powerful, it is alive and can speak to any circumstance in your life.
Disclaimer: I am not a theologian or Bible scholar, I am just a lover and follower of Christ, trying to be a good “Berean”.
As soon as it was night, the believers sent Paul and Silas away to Berea. On arriving there, they went to the Jewish synagogue. Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true. As a result, many of them believed, as did also a number of prominent Greek women and many Greek men.