The Big Picture

Going out my front door in winter, I see what looks like an upright bundle of prickly sticks, about fifteen feet tall. If I'd never seen such a growth before, I could wonder why such a scraggly looking monstrosity is planted in my front yard! But I know what will happen in the near future. I can already envision this thorny desert plant in April when it will be covered with roundish, petal-like, green leaves; then there will be stalky, bright red blossoms at the ends of each "stick." This is a wonderful ocotillo plant that, on certain days in spring, will attract dark, plump wasps and beautiful, green hummingbirds! I can reflect briefly on the little I've learned about symbiosis and be amazed. Certain flowering plants depend intimately on the exact hovering activity of hummingbirds, bees, and wasps for pollination. The hovering creatures equally need nectar for food. Such things are not flukes or accidents. All the details of creation beckon us to reflect on the fathomless greatness of Yahweh's marvelous designs! It is no wonder that God renders all people without an excuse or defense in terms of recognizing His eternal power and divinity (Romans 1:20) since He made such things obvious from the creation of the world.

From the “get go" in Genesis, we are invited to perceive "the big picture" of why and how the universe came to exist as well as the wonder of our human origins. The beginning of creation is a picture of God's spirit or breath hovering over the face of a vast, formless abyss that He produced. Then, this Creator God promptly spoke light into being, which He separated from darkness. Furthermore, He spoke into existence a great vault or expanse, separating waters from waters. He then proceeded to speak into being all the ensuing features of heaven and earth. "The heavens are recounting the glory of El (God.)" - (Psalm 19:1a - Concordant Version)

The truth of the stretching out of the heavens "like a curtain" (Isaiah 40:22) according to His intricately devised purposes goes way beyond the so-called explanation of a cold, lifeless "big bang." According to some highly imaginative ideas, everything emanated from a hypothetical pinpoint of nothingness to expand randomly into everything! But, in reality, nothing was accomplished without the wise, perfectly planned involvement of the Creator, who has described certain creative details very well. Furthermore, He refers quite often in Scriptures to His own workmanship to produce everything.

Yahweh God acted as an expert potter in Genesis 2:7 to form carefully the first human out of soil from the ground. Then, He blew into his nostrils the breath of life, and the human became a living soul. Is Yahweh pictured here as a remote, uncaring being who mysteriously caused a series of chemical coincidences from afar? No, "the big picture" displays Yahweh as intimately involved with every detail of His powerful actions. "I praise you, for I am fearfully and awesomely made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well" (Psalm 139:14 - ESV).

One could spend lifetime upon lifetime observing the handiwork of the Creator in modern studies of cosmology, astronomy, biology, genetic science (with the overwhelming evidence of detailed informational codes), and other natural sciences. Such pursuits involve breathtaking vistas of the magnificence of far-reaching designs; nevertheless, they merely scratch the surface of the big picture. One way to be reminded of the perspective we should have, the awareness that keeps us in awe of Him, is to contemplate two exalted objects of focus: His name and His Word.

I bow down toward your holy temple and give thanks to your name for your steadfast love and your faithfulness, for you have exalted above all things your name and your word." Psalm 138:2 - ESV

When we pray that our heavenly Father's name be hallowed and revered, we are invited to consider what the name "Yahweh" means; He is the Eternal One "who was and is and is to come" (Revelation 4: 8b - ESV). Before He created anything, He existed with perfect wisdom in His heart as the personified view of wisdom shows us in Proverbs 8:22-31. Yahweh has always known exactly what He was doing, even before He created anything! What confidence we can have in Him because of His wise foresight!

Yahweh, by wisdom, He founded the earth; He established the heavens by comprehension. By His knowledge the abysses broke forth, And the skies drip down the night mist. (Proverbs 3:19 and 20 - CV)

One can simply read and meditate on the Scriptures to see how His name embraces the truth of who He is presently, with all the powerfully loving, merciful, just qualities with which He treats us now. Even in extreme adversity, which we do experience in this age, we can be confident "that for those who love God all things work together for good" (Romans 8:28 - ESV).

As for the future, His name is the assurance of the faithful fulfilling of all His marvelous intentions, all His great and precious promises as declared in hundreds of prophetic passages about the coming Kingdom. "And the LORD [Yahweh] will be king over all the earth. On that day the LORD [Yahweh] shall be one and his name one. (Zechariah 14:9 - ESV)

The word or overall message of Yahweh is equally a "big picture" reality, ever since God spoke things into existence at the beginning:

By the word of Yahweh, the heavens were made, And by the spirit of His mouth, all their host. (Psalm 33:6 - CV)

In the beginning was the message of God's purpose. This message of His purpose was integral to God, and what God was, the message was. (John 1:1 - KGV)

Presently, "God's message is living and powerful. It's sharper than any two-edged sword. It can penetrate so as to divide life from innermost thoughts and divide desires like joints from their marrow. It is able to scrutinize the thoughts and intentions of the heart." (Hebrews 4:12 - KGV) As for this message, in terms of the future, the truth is certain: " ... but the message of the LORD [in reference to Yahweh] remains with respect to the age to come" (1 Peter 1:25a - KGV). How awesome it is to contemplate the vastness of His Word or message!

Of course, another related area of focus is the Messiah Jesus' role in "the big picture," since he lived to glorify Yahweh's name, and he supremely embodies the message of Yahweh's plans and purposes. Jesus is (according to Hebrews 1:3) "the brightness of his glory and the exact representation of his essence, and is carrying all things by his word of power" (MLV). What a representative provided by Yahweh!

In light of this cursory view of "the big picture," is anything really too difficult for Yahweh, the God who since the beginning has done so much?

Behold, I am Yahweh, Elohim of all flesh. Is anything too marvelous for me? / Alas, my Lord Yahweh! Behold, You Yourself made the heavens and the earth by Your great vigor and by Your outstretched arm; Nothing at all is too marvelous for You.... (Jeremiah 32:27, 17 - CV)

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