Getting To Know God
El Shaddai - Everpresent Supreme Power
The Omnipotent God - The LION Of Judah - The Power Of God - The Omnipresence Of God
The Promise Platform
The first mention of God’s identity as “Almighty” comes in an interesting context. God identified Himself as El Shaddai while making a promise a promise to Abraham that He would provide a son – an heir of the eternal promises God had previously made. The son God was referring to was Isaac, which then led to Jacob, which then led to Judah, when then led to David, which then led to Jesus! We knew God’s promise of Isaac was bigger than Isaac. God was going to do a miracle to provide Abraham with Isaac to validate His ability to provide the Messiah, who was not only called the Lamb of God, but also the Lion of Judah. So, we thought it would be fun to present the promise God made to Abraham in the setting of a baby shower. We arranged this scene to show the birth of a boy, who would be called a lion, a king, and would come impossible circumstances to do impossible work, proving God is indeed Almighty.
When God said that heaven is His throne and earth is His footstool, He was teaching about the extent of His omnipresent reach. There’s no way to photograph a concept that perfectly illustrates the omnipresent nature of God. However, Isaiah did reference heaven and earth. It is possible to see the stars of “the heavens” and also facets of “the earth.” The real issue isn’t just that God’s reach is in heaven and Earth at the same time, but that His reach is with supreme control. We took this photo to illustrate that reality. The span of the sky is ridiculous compared to the size of the trees and the mountains underneath. That’s where God’s throne is. It’s just the place He sits! Earth is His footstool. Those big black things we call trees and mountains that tower over us, are just places where God places His feet (symbolically of course). Those tiny street lights and retail store lights are miniature compared to the place of God’s throne. See the point?
Proper To Him
Scripture uses an interesting illustration to describe the power of God. The Bible often refers to God as a potter, and all of creation is merely clay that He holds in His hand. The context of Jeremiah 27:5 takes that illustration a little further to explain that God forms all things in His hand according to that which seems proper to Him. He is the standard of what is good, and all things happen in life in order to achieve a result that God determined will be good. We don’t see the end result of God’s work yet, but to show that God’s plans and purposes result in His creation of a good result, we showed someone sculpting a lion. It is the Lion of the Tribe of Judah that will be made manifest – Jesus Christ – God in flesh. He will come as Israel’s Messiah. He will come as the extension of the Father’s strong arm to institute and administrate everything that is truly good.
Camel Through A Needle?
A lot has been said about the interpretation of Matthew 19:25-26. There, Jesus said that, it is as easy for a person to enter the kingdom of heaven by works of righteousness, as it is for a camel to walk through the eye of a needle. People have tried to rationalize Jesus’ teaching, but His point is quite literal. A person can work their way into heaven with God’s approval as easily as they can get a literal camel through a literal sewing needle. That’s obviously impossible. Yet, right after Jesus made that point, He said that with God, all things are impossible, meaning that, God will make the impossible happen. God is able to get camels through needles if He wants to because He is able to get wicked sinners into His kingdom through faith He provides. To show the ridiculous nature of a “works-based salvation” AND the miracle of God’s grace through “justification by faith,” we took a compelling photo of a typical sewing needle. Can you get a camel through that? God can. His work to get us into heaven is comparable to that ridiculous idea. Thanking Him is probably appropriate right about now…
An End To The Nonsense
The 2nd Coming of Jesus Christ is only exciting to those who will benefit from it. The Bible clearly teaches that there are beneficiaries, and there are victims of His return. The testimony of Jesus’ return as it pertains to the victims, is terrifying! The Bible calls Jesus the Lion of Judah because of the sever and thorough destruction He will bring to His victims that oppose Him. Jesus Himself said that the season before His return will be exceptionally dark and scary. While out looking for photo opportunities for a different devotional, the sunset got really dramatic! It was already dark to the eye at this point in the evening, but a long exposure not only allowed us to pull some colored light into the shot, but also some texture with the cloud movement. The red and orange in this picture with Signal Hill in Long Beach in the background, reminded us of the description of Mount Sinai. There, God described a terrifying manifestation of His power where the people were afraid of the appearance of the mountain. This picture, not only shows the ominous tone of darkness, but also beauty at the same time. We felt that was a pretty accurate portrayal of Jesus’ mission to end the nonsense in this world. It’s scary from one perspective, but beautiful from another.