Prepare to Listen. As you light the 1st and 2nd purple candles, let these words still your heart and mind: In him was life, and the life was the light of all people.
Prayerfully Read Psalm 33:4-9
4For the word of the LORD is upright,
and all his work is done in faithfulness.
5He loves righteousness and justice;
the earth is full of the steadfast love [hesed] of the LORD.
6By the word of the LORD the heavens were made,
and all their host by the breath of his mouth.
7He gathered the waters of the sea as in a bottle;
he put the deeps in storehouses.
8Let all the earth fear the LORD;
let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him.
9For he spoke, and it came to be;
he commanded, and it stood firm.
When some hear the phrase, “the word of the Lord,” they presume it refers to the Bible, God’s Word. But that’s not what the psalmist meant. For him the word was God’s active personal agent engaged in God’s works. Thus, the word is upright, works in faithfulness, loves righteousness and justice and fills the earth with God’s hesed (steadfast love). There’s no adequate English word for the Hebrew hesed. It’s a relational term that includes commitment to the well-being of the other. The word was also active in calling creation into being. The psalmist sings, “By the word of the LORD the heavens were made.” And “he spoke, and it came to be; he commanded, and it stood firm.”
The psalmist knows the first creation story with its repetitive reference to God speaking: “and God said let there be… and it was so.” This repetition may not satisfy scientific minds, but it does satisfy those who desire a personal relationship with the Creator. We know that God stands over and above creation, possessing the power by God’s word to call it into being. A God whose word is this powerful is a God we can trust to hold all of us to the end. Therefore, with all the earth, we stand in awe (fear) and worship. The writer of John echoes the psalmist’s assurance, as we’ll see in tomorrow’s devotion. He too claims that the Word was active with God in creation. John will also reveal the Word to us.
If you can, take time to stand and stare at something in nature and be awed at what God’s spoken word can do.
Respond to Jesus
Creator Lord, may your work in creation cause me to stand in awe and worship you truly today. Amen.
Live obediently. Join all the earth in the fear (awe) of the Lord.