The Divine Name

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Prepare for some Exodus love! We're digging into a few short verses with some major impact for the rest of the semester in class, and I just can't withhold what I'm seeing! It's who God declares himself to be after a faithful servant, Moses, asks to see God's glory in Exodus 34:5-7.

In my initial observation, I've loved noticing that what God needs us to know about his glory is that it is FOR US. He doesn't emphasize his majesty or holiness or that he's Creator of the world or about his throne or about his eternal being. Instead, he describes his glory and his divine name by what he is for us. For me. For you. And this is what he needs us to know of himself:
  • He is compassionate
  • He is gracious
  • He is slow to anger
  • He is abounding in lovingkindness
  • He is abounding in truth
  • He keeps lovingkindness for thousands
  • He carries and takes on iniquity
  • He carries and takes on transgression
  • He carries and takes on sin
(what a tri-fecta that he carries and takes on for us!)
  • He punishes iniquity
(Note that he takes action on the iniquity, sin, and transgression himself pre-punishing iniquity)

WOW. This is who he is for me. This is the revelation of his glory. This is the God I serve and worship. Do you know him?

Emotional Translation

Saturday, October 15, 2011

The other day I was alternately weeping and translating, translating and weeping. In a former season, it was because of how difficult the exercise was. This week, it was for the beauty and grace, love and worship, and sense of calling revealed to me in the pages of Luke as I translated.

This is why I came to seminary. This is why I serve the Lord. This is why I love Jesus.

"And answering, Simon said: Master, through the whole night we were toiling and growing exceedingly weary, and we caught nothing. But at your word, I will let down the nets.

When they had done this, they enclosed a multitude, many fish, and their nets began breaking through. And they signaled to the partners in the other boat for them to come and help them. And they came and they filled both the boats until they began to sink."

(Hear Peter's response:)
"After seeing this, Simon Peter fell down to the knees before Jesus saying, 'Depart from me, because a sinful man am I, lord.' For amazement had seized him and all those with him because of the catch of fish which they had caught. And likewise, also James and John, sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon."

(And the response of Christ:)
"And Jesus said to Simon, 'Do not fear; from now on, you will be a catcher of men.'

And when they had brought down the boats to land, they left everything and followed him."

First, I was overwhelmed by Peter's response to seeing Jesus perform a miracle-- the miracle of catching fish. Peter had worked and toiled the whole night, growing weary as he attempted but was unsuccessful at catching even one fish. Jesus uses this same action of fishing to then demonstrate what working in the Kingdom will look like. On our own, we are unable to bring the Gospel to even one man. But with the miraculous working of the Holy Spirit in us, we will see many receive the Good News of the saving work of Jesus Christ. We just obey. At his word, let down the nets. And man, will that boat of ours fill to sinking.

This isn't a numbers game. It is a raw obedience, receiving grace, witnessing God's power, leaving everything to follow him kind of moment. How do we respond to such an amazing gift? I have taken my cue from Peter, and his beautiful confession. What descriptive words-- he falls down in front of, says the verb, and to his knees, Luke additionally describes, before Jesus. Proclaiming his unworthiness of such an outpouring of Jesus' power. May I have such awe.

(Passage is my rough translation of Luke 5:5-11)