Monday, September 30, 2013

In His Presence Part Two – The Hero of the Story

Zephaniah 3:17b He is a mighty savior.

The word Hero gets thrown around a lot.  It’s used for athletes (mine is Joe Montana), it’s used for political figures, it’s used for firefighters and policemen, it’s used for people who have been influential in other’s lives, and in many of these, a real case can be made for these people being heroic. 

What about the single mother who works tirelessly as the provider of her home as well as the housekeeper, accountant, mechanic, and everything else that comes her way?  Or the grandmother who never gives up on her wayward grandchildren but continues each and every night to pray for them by name and uses every opportunity to show the love of God to them.  I can’t forget the men and women who choose to put themselves in harm’s way by joining the military and defending our country.

I could go on to speak about judges who refuse to be bullied into taking the 10 commandments down, or well known religious men and women who are ridiculed and attacked for standing up for Biblical principles, and many others.

The Bible uses the Hebrew word Gibbor to describe heroes, champions, powerful warriors.  There really isn’t a more descriptive word in the Hebrew language to describe a hero.  It’s the word used in Genesis to describe giants, and Nimrod, and yes it’s the word used to describe who Goliath was.  Hero, champion, so powerful it could even be translated tyrant in certain situations.

And then there is the countless times it is used to describe God including here in Zephaniah 3:17 – God is the heroic, mighty, champion of salvation.  Makes Joe Montana and others look pretty small doesn’t it?  The mighty Goliath couldn’t even stand up to a teenager who had the power of this God let alone God Himself.

God is the champion of salvation, but He had to pick a method for this salvation.  Justice demanded it, the gift of grace came at a price, and the mercy of forgiveness needed a sacrifice.  In comes Jesus, but that’s not really an accurate representation of how all of this came about because God chose Jesus, His only Son, before He ever created the universe, and long before you and I ever came to be.  It wasn't a last minute hail mary.

The prophetic book of Isaiah (9:6) refers to Jesus as “the mighty God”, among other things.  The language here combines Gibbor with El; calling Jesus the El Gibbor from birth.  When you combine these two words you have - Jesus - the Almighty God, Champion and Hero of the story, Savior of the world!  This Lord God who is with you that we read about in the first part of this verse, sent His Son Jesus on your behalf.

Yes He is Mighty to Save – Thank you God for sending El Gibbor!