And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory. 1 Timothy 3:16
God’s Good & God’s Hands
Many scriptures in the Bible equate the work of God’s hand or hands with good. Hands can produce good things. Here are a few passages:
“Then I told them of the hand of my God which was good upon me; as also the king’s words that he had spoken unto me. And they said, Let us rise up and build. So they strengthened their hands for this good work.” Nehemiah 2:18
“For I was ashamed to require of the king a band of soldiers and horsemen to help us against the enemy in the way: because we had spoken unto the king, saying, The hand of our God is upon all them for good that seek him; but his power and his wrath is against all them that forsake him.” Ezra 8:22
“That thou givest them they gather: thou openest thine hand, they are filled with good.” Psalms 104:28
And lest we forget and bring it back home to us:
“And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” Genesis 2:7
(Note: the word “formed” is the Hebrew word יָצַר (yâtsar) – through the squeezing into shape; to mould into a form; especially as a potter)
“And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.” Genesis 1:31
Something Better Than Good
All the Lord wants from His creation is true worship. But, apparently God’s good is insufficient for His creation bruised by sin. Something was missing from his prized design, those made in His image:
“Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.” Romans 1:21
“But to Israel he saith, All day long I have stretched forth my hands unto a disobedient and gainsaying people.” Romans 10:21
Because of the corrosive effects of sin mankind falls short of “the glory of God” (Rom 3:23). Even those who God separated for His glory became vain and fell short of God’s expectations. Somehow His good was not enough for them nor for the rest of humanity.
The work of His hands, God’s Good” (His best) was simply not enough.
So, the Lord had another plan. If his hands could not do it, if his best could not do it something “better” surely would. God had a more spectacular and glorious work of creation yet in store. One day in the future He would manifest a work that would outshine His good. He would accomplish this with something “better” than his hands.
Jesus Christ: God’s Better, God’s Gift, God’s Heart & God’s All
The first Christmas ushered in a new plan for God to reveal himself. Instead of using the miraculous works of nature to woo humanity, he enrobed himself in flesh and walked amongst the very people he created. Surely, this would get their attention:
“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6
And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. Luke 2:10-12
The Lord at the threshold of Creation gave His best to show his glory through the work of His own Hands. And what a magnificent display of grandeur it was.
But, a better work was to come. This better work would be a work from the very depths of God’s own Heart. The Lord revealed his Heart in the New Testament.
“For the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did; by the which we draw nigh unto God.”
“By so much was Jesus made a surety of a better testament.” Hebrews 7:19, 22
For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost. Luke 19:10
As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love. John 15:9
This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. John 15:12-13
God revealed “His Hand” in the Book of Genesis and subsequent books of the Old Testament. But, it was not until the New Testament as recorded in the writings of the four Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke & John) and subsequent books to usher in His work of salvation that revealed “His Heart“.
God saved His best for last. God’s gift of Himself as Jesus Christ to humanity was the giving of His very best. Instead of His good, His best, God gave His better, His heart – His All!
And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God.
And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS.
He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David:
And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end. Luke 1:30-33
Merry Christmas 2018. Be Blessed!