Thursday, December 13, 2012

We Have Only Words

Then the LORD spoke to you from the midst of the fire; you heard the sound of words; but you saw no form---only a voice.

We have only words on a page. We have only faith in a man. Viewed from outside, sometimes from inside, it seems that these are skeletal images we rely on. If they were even bones without flesh still we could see them recognizing form and function. At some level we have less than that. How is faith fleshed out so the bones are those of life?

God was concerned that Israel would dress the form in ill-fitting flesh. He warns them not to make a graven image to simplify their worship. Obviously it is easy to create God in our image or the image of a beast. We wrestle with the tension between the fullness that is God and the message that comes to us in Word and voice. We want the skeleton or worse a God that looks nothing like the Holy one.

It is incumbent on us to stake out the truth. God has given word at the outset. Today in salvation we have the Spirit liberally poured out in us. The words are illuminated, the voice is given authority and resonance. We rest in promises we rely on the Spirit and we mark altars where God has proven Himself faithful.

That seems the model. God reminded the faithful to follow His commands and commemorate the great escape, “And He personally brought you from Egypt by His great power.” We must lean on God’s character demonstrated in that redemption.

Christ came in flesh that we might more fully flesh out our view of God. Still we mustn’t create images of what we think He looked like. We have to go with the word picture. The gospel accounts do that for us. Let us rest in Christs’ words then, “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.”

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