Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Seeing what is infinitely greater than the sun

Habakkuk 3:4 God comes from Teman, And the Holy One from Mount Paran. Selah.  His splendor covers the heavens,  And the earth is full of His praise. 4His radiance is like the sunlight;  He has rays flashing from His hand, And there is the hiding of His power.

Special Link to the latest NASA video of the Sun: NASA - Year Two: SDO Highlights On Its Anniversary

Elohim - the Eternal God and the rays of His glory, illustrated by the sun which he made
We have been exploring the name of God "Elohim" in the past couple of blogs.  We've noted that this name answers the question: "What kind of God is God" in the Bible.  Today I wanted to explore the significance of this name through the means of an object of which we are most familiar - the sun.  If you click on the link above, and then click again, you will be treated to an HD video from the Solar Dynamics Mission (SDM), one of the the most detailed studies of the sun ever undertaken.  The link will take you to a 2 minute video on the NASA website which should start automatically for you.  The SDM is a probe circling our sun, equipped with the latest technology.  As you view the video, read Habakkuk 3:4 (see above). 

Elohim is the fulness of God's being, with other names acting as rays revealing the glory of His being
I pray as you viewed the video, you were blown away like I was.  It really reveals what Habakkuk was speaking about when He said that God (Elohim) came and had rays flashing from His hand.  I want to suggest to you that the name "Elohim" is illustrated by what He made, the Sun, with other names revealed in scripture in conjunction with this name acting as "rays".  Let me show you what I mean:

1. "El" or the Strong God.  "Elohim" is the plural form of "El".  God's very existence bespeaks of His unending strength and power.  It is the name "El" to which God's people cry out to when in need of help.  Jesus on the cross cried out in His humanity "My God, my God" which in the language He would had been speaking (Aramaic) would had been equivalent to "My El, My El".

2. "El-Elyon" God most High.  In Genesis 14 we see God revealing Himself in another "ray" of infinite light, God most High.  Melechizedek, an Old Testament appearance of Jesus Christ, is speaking to Abraham.  He tells Him that it is "El-Elyon" who delivered the mighty Patriarch.

3. "Elah or Eloah" God most Adorable. Is not God worthy of Love and Adoration?  In Job 19:25,26 Job utters one of the first references we see to the hope of resurrection.  It is here where Job in His sufffering looks to God, "Eloah", for His Help.  As always, God's names are revealed in contexts where He is making Himself known to His people.

4. "Elroi" God who sees.  In Genesis 16 the slave Hagar is about to lose her boy, Ishamael.  Suddenly in the midst of her agony and cry, the mysterious figure of the Angel of the Lord appears.  He is none other than an Old Tetsament appearance of Jesus Christ. We know this figure to be divine because Hagar acknowledges Him as "El-roi" - the God who sees. 

God's glorious rays are endless, while the sun is limited
There are more names connected to this incredible name of "El" or "Elohim" (El-shaddai "God Almighty"; El-Olam "God Eternal").  According to astronomers, the sun converts hydrogen into Helium and burns many many tons of its own fuel as second.  In size, the sun is a million miles across, or over a 1,000 times larger than the earth.  It is 93 million miles from us and its light takes 8 minutes to reach our eyes from the moment those light rays leave its surface.  As wonderful as the sun is, it is a limited, created object.

God on the other hand is without beginning and without end.  Just one of His names or attributes reveals in unending depth an aspect of His being, and yet through that one name or aspect we can behold the other qualities of Him.  May Elohim, the God of the Bible and Creation, capture our hearts.  May we by grace through faith bask in the warmth of His grace and may the hardness of our hearts be melted by the heat of His Holiness. 

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