Monday, February 18 2019
“Then the Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature.” (Genesis 2:7)
That is how the first book of the Bible begins, and that is how the history of mankind begins. Before all else – “in the beginning” – there was God. Then there was a walking, a stopping, a looking, a bending down, a choosing, a picking up, a forming, a breathing into – and what was mere dust from the ground took on the breath of life. What was just inanimate, spirit-less clay – through the God who is and who gives life – that clay became a living creature. Interestingly, the Old Testament Hebrew word that describes God's creation of man is "yatsar", which literally means "to form or to fashion as a potter".
And that is how it is with a potter when he thinks of creating a vessel: he goes for a walk, at some point he stops, he looks carefully, he bends over, he chooses and picks up a mound of clay from the earth, and he returns to his workshop. There, through the creativity of his hands, he gives form and “life” to that which beforehand had no form and life. What beforehand was just a mound of clay lying on the ground – ordinary and anonymous – is now a special, beautiful and useful vessel.
And so it is with human beings, who – because of the great love with which God loves them – are rescued from and rescued for...
1) rescued from anonymity, from being no one and nothing – in the Old Testament it was the people of Israel that were specifically chosen by God, but now all those of us who believe in and love Jesus Christ are also included: “For you are a people holy to the Lord your God. The Lord your God has chosen you to be a people for his treasured possession, out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth. It was not because you were more in number than any other people that the Lord set his love on you and chose you, for you were the fewest of all peoples, but it is because the Lord loves you…” (Deuteronomy 7:6-8)
2) rescued from their sins and from the consequent condemnation: “But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved … so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.” (Ephesians 2:4,5,7) – “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus … Who shall bring any charge against God's elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised…” (Romans 8:1,33-34)
3) rescued from a futile way of life: “…you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ…” (1 Peter 1:18-19)
And rescued for:
1) and rescued in order to be “my [God’s] treasured possession among all peoples…” (Exodus 19:5)
2) rescued and chosen “in him [Christ] before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him…” (Ephesians 1:4)
3) rescued in order to be “a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” (1 Peter 2:9)
Dear friend: how are you doing today? do you feel like clay lying on the ground, or beside the road – plain and ordinary – ignored by everyone – as if no one saw you and no one was listening to you? Or do you know that you are loved, chosen, rescued, special and unique to God? Believe it today – it is the truth – because God has said so.
“They shall be mine,
says the Lord of hosts,
in the day when I make up my treasured possession…”
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