Voce mea ad Dominum

Random thoughts from an amateur theologist.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

O Adonai

O Lord and Ruler the house of Israel, who appeared to Moses in the flame of the burning bush and gave him the law on Sinai: come, and redeem us with outstretched arms.

Adonai is the term that the Jews used to refer to God in place of YHWH, God's personal name, which they found too sacred to pronounce. It is translated as LORD and reveals God as "he who is" and the transcendent ruler of all that is. It is the God "who is" that makes covenants with his people: with Noah, Abraham, and Moses. Through these covenants God agrees to guard his people and save them. He first reveals himself to Moses as a fire clothed in the branches of a thorn bush which did not consume the thorn bush. It was through Moses that he led the house of Israel from bondage to Pharoah in Egypt through the Red Sea into the desert where he revealed the law to Moses on Sinai. He redeemed them from slavery with outstretched arms and led them to the promised land.

All of this was merely a foreshadowing of the everlasting covenant that God would forge with his people through his Son, Jesus. All of the other figures who entered into covenants with God throughout history, Noah, Abraham, Moses, David, these were all types of Christ. They were images who pointed to the ultimate man, Jesus, who would fulfill all the other covenants with a new and everlasting covenant and ratify it with his blood. Yet, where God revealed himself through theophanies, lightning, and thunder to the house of Israel, he now reveals himself to us as a newborn infant born in humble circumstances to a virgin named Mary. Where to Moses God clothed himself with the burning bush, to us he clothes himself with human flesh. As God led Israel from bondage in Egypt through the desert to the promised land with outstretched arm, Christ, the eternal Son of God redeems us from bondage to sin and death and leads us to the promised land, our heavenly home, with arms outstretched, but this time on a cross. This is the Lord we welcome at Christmas. This is the Lord whose coming in glory we await.

Come, Lord Jesus, and do not delay.


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