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  • Mike Creavey

The Word (2 of 3) - "The Good Word"


In the Septuagint, the Greek translation of the Old Testament, Psalm 107(106):20 reads "ἀπέστειλεν τὸν λόγον αὐτοῦ καὶ ἰάσατο αὐτοὺς καὶ ἐρρύσατο αὐτοὺς ἐκ τῶν διαφθορῶν αὐτῶν." The English translation reads, "[God] sent forth his word to heal them, and snatched them from the grave."

The psalmist recounts the struggle of his people, both spiritually and earthly. He recounts the arduous toil of the Israelites under the whips of the Egyptians and God's might at work through Moses that freed them and led them into the Promised Land.

He also speaks of the people's betrayal of God over and over again from the beginning and the pain and suffering that disobeying God brings. This is not because God is waiting in eager anticipation for the first chance to punish us. Rather, when we of our own choosing turn away from Truth, Beauty, Goodness, Life Himself, we naturally reap what we sow (and we break His heart every time we do it!)

What caught my attention first in the psalm, and indeed throughout salvation history, is God's faith in us. He is always there, so patient and loving. He can hardly wait to save us, to free us, to bring us home again no matter how often we run off.

But what struck me most of all was, thanks to my modest exposure to biblical Greek in seminary, a linguistic observation. Take a look at the Greek phrase "ἀπέστειλεν τὸν λόγον." "He sent forth his word." The prologue of John's gospel depicts God's "logos" - the mind of God, His word, indeed a real person whom Paul in Colossians 1:15 calls "the image of the invisible God." We are made in God' image and likeness, but as Paul says, Christ himself IS the image of the Father - His Word made flesh. This is His only word, the fullness of His revelation to mankind, and so Jesus proclaims, "I and the Father are one" (John 10:30).

How beautiful! Centuries before God the Father reveals Himself fully in the person of His Son, the psalmist rejoices in thanksgiving that God has "sent forth his word" to heal his people and rescue them from death itself. I wonder what his reaction was after passing from this life into the next and seeing the rest of the story.


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