Stretching Out!July 1, 2023 2023-07-01 7:59
Ok, y’all ready for a really big word? Anthropomorphism. This is the word describing the process of explaining the character of God by giving Him human characteristics. For example, we talk about the right hand of God, but God doesn’t have any hands. The Bible says God is spirit (John 4:24). The Scripture does not say that God is a spirit. Spirits like angels and demons are individual spirits and they might have hands, wings, feet, etc. But God is not a spirit. His makeup is spirit. He has no hands. Then why do we say that God has hands? This is the Holy Spirit inspiring the authors of the Bible to use these terms to give us a point of reference.
We say that God is the Father, but Jesus was with Him in the beginning just like the Holy Spirit. A human father exists long before he has a son, but God the Father and Jesus the Son have always been together. They are described as Father and Son to help us understand the love between them. This is imperative for us to understand or the crucifixion might be a god sending a servant to do something against his will. But when we refer to them as Father and Son, now we have a point of reference of how hard it was for the Father to send Jesus to the cross, and we see the love of Jesus wanting to honor His Abba (Daddy).
This is anthropomorphism. And this leads us to our Verse of the Day:
I waited patiently for the Lord;
he turned to me and heard my cry.
He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock
and gave me a firm place to stand.
This is the NIV. The KJV says the Lord ‘inclined’ instead of ‘turned’ to me. The original word means to stretch out.
I am a huge sports fan and I love to watch wide receivers stretch out their bodies to the extreme to pull down a pass that was too high. The same is true when you see the outfielder running as fast as possible to catch the fly ball and at the very last moment, he stretches out his body to catch the ball just before it hits the ground. To stretch out signifies great effort.
The psalmist has cried out to the Lord, but the Lord did not come right away. He had to wait patiently. We want God to show up right away, but if He was always at our beckon call, wouldn’t we just take Him for granted? I think so. He makes us wait at times to ensure that we do not abuse His love for us. Waiting can make us feel that God doesn’t care or will not help. But this is not true. When He comes to us, He stretches forth His body to catch us when it seemed as if nothing was going to.
It might feel as if our life is falling faster than a line drive to center field, and we may not see God at first, but wait patiently. He will come in at just the right time, stretching Himself out to catch us. We will not fall. God is good!