Proverbs 30:4, "Who hath
ascended up into heaven, or descended? who hath gathered the wind in his fists?
who hath bound the waters in a garment? who hath established all the ends of the
earth? what is his name, and what is his son's name, if thou canst tell?"
This morning, our thoughts are stirred by a commonly referred to subject. Many
today do not desire to discuss spiritual matters or the Bible as they once did.
As a youth, I can recall having many long, pleasant conversations with those of
other orders and persuasions. I can further recall listening to my late father
converse with many, many ministers of other denominations. While these
conversations generally did not conclude with minds being changed, there was a
cordial exchange of dialogue that ended on "agreement to disagree" in a pleasant
way. Today, if one can get to the "agree to disagree" stage, there is generally
unpleasantness and tension in great abundance. To be able to agree that two
parties are not the same but quite different (no matter who they are or how they
are related) takes more fortitude than most today want to deal with. Some would
rather just not know at all. Others try to shrug it off, and one of the most
"shrug-offs" we would like to look at today. The most common shrug-off is "well
no one can really know as we cannot see things like they did then. I mean, if we
saw things like they saw in the Bible, then we would know for sure."
Generally speaking, the signs and wonders that people are referring to are those
things recorded in the Old Testament. Occasionally, one will have reference to a
miracle of Christ or the apostles, but most often, they refer to the parting of
the Red Sea, raining of manna from heaven, quails in abundance, fire coming down
from heaven, plagues in Egypt, pillar of fire and smoke, etc. To many, these
signs are "it" when it comes to belief and unification of thought. Some will
even say, "If I could know for sure, like a man bringing tables of stone written
by the finger of God." Every one of these examples and statements has been
brought to me personally in conversation as the "cop-out" from discussion as we
"cannot know for sure." In our verse above, we are given insight as to what was
not known then as compared to today.
In all of the questions asked in our verse, we see that the resounding answer
belongs to one individual. Who can ascend into heaven? Who can descend from
heaven? Who can gather the wind in his fists, or bind waters in his garment?
Indeed, all the answers must be God Almighty. We are forced to bow in submission
to the directions of water and wind. Our best efforts to control them cannot be
explained as holding them in our fists or clothes. God can talk in that way, for
He set them in motion, can control them at His command, and can force them to
obey His decrees. (Isaiah 40) Furthermore, none of us can reach up to heaven and
touch it. By our own strength, heaven is too high for us to attain. Certainly,
we have not descended from it, yet God has done both. (John 3:13) Therefore, if
all of this is speaking of God, what about one of the final questions: what is
his son's name?
The writer asked what God's name was, and Old Testament saints could have
answered that question (those that were acquainted with His oracles). They knew
Him as I AM, Jehovah, the LORD, etc. However, for one to describe His Son, what
would they call Him? Isaiah calls Him Immanuel (God with us), and Daniel calls
Him Messiah (anointed one). (Isaiah 7:14, Daniel 9:25) Both of these names are
descriptive of His person and work, but neither of them are "technically" His
name. These names that they employ would be like someone calling me: the
preacher, the engineer, etc. While these descriptions give someone insight about
me, they are still not my name. One thing, of many, that saints back then did
not have was the Son of God's name. I find it interesting that he mentions God's
Son in the present tense. That means that God had a Son in that day just as He
does in this day. They are both eternal and one in essence and power.
What joy must have occurred when saints began to learn of the name of the Son of
God. The angel tells Joseph that His name is Jesus, which means Saviour.
(Matthew 1:21) One of the things that we know today that they did not then is
that God's Son's name is Jesus. Furthermore, we understand in revealed light
what He has done for us, while they had those things in inspired shadow.
(Hebrews 10:1-14) We can say, assuredly, that He has perfected us forever by one
offering. They could only say, in shadow, that those sacrifices offered year by
year pointed to something better. We can declare, in name, what He has done for
us. Our prayers can ascend with the name of the Son of God.
Old Testament saints wondered at the prophecies of Immanuel. Some of them seemed
like He was a mighty warrior (Isaiah 63), while others seemed like He was meek
and suffering. (Isaiah 53) We can today stare in the light of the revelation of
Jesus Christ with the knowledge that He is not only the unspotted Lamb of God
that was slain to take away our sins, but He is also the Lion of the tribe of
Judah that has prevailed to open the book and loose the seals thereof.
(Revelation 5) Finally, we can point, with assurance, that God has ascended to
heaven after having first descended. While He was here, He bound the wind in the
fists and waters in the garments of His very voice (Mark 4), and His declaration
is that He has established the ends of the earth. (John 1:1-14) Who is He? He is
God. What is His name? His name is Jesus, and He has saved His people from their
Read 1st Peter 1:8-12, and it is quickly apparent that we know things today that
prophets then and angels now desire to know. The sweet story of salvation by
grace supersedes any natural miracle that we could observe. Knowing of the
GodMan that ransomed us by His blood is sweeter than any physical stone that
could be felt, even if graven upon by God's finger. Can we know things better
now? Absolutely, and we can know them better than at any time previous to Christ
Jesus's Incarnation. Consider your fate if you were blessed to see the Red Sea
part. If you are above the age of 20 years, you are going to end up dying in the
wilderness. If not, you will see parents, friends, and acquaintances die in the
wilderness. Furthermore, you will see your leader die for disobedience at the
Rock in Numbers 20.
If you were blessed to see the tables of stone, you would also suffer seeing
them smashed in anger for your idolatry and nakedness. If you were blessed to
see fire come down from heaven, you would be in great fear and trembling, even
as Moses was. (Hebrews 12:18-21) However, today, by faith, we see things that
are not fearful but rather comforting. While our eyes will not observe naturally
what theirs did, ours is a greater time, full of greater comfort, and better
promises. We have the knowledge of God's Son, His name, and the Scriptural
record of His finished work. We have the blessing of His church, which is not
restricted and bound to a geographic region as Canaan's Land was. We have the
blessing of the preaching of the gospel, which miracle can do for our soul what
nothing else can. (Romans 1:16-17, I Corinthians 1:21) May we delight in the
knowledge of the name of Jesus, seek to learn more about Him, and honour Him in
our actions ever
thanking Him for this blessed time of light and knowledge of Him. Finally, let
us always look ahead, forward, and upward to that day when we will know all
about Him as He knows all about us. (I Corinthians 13:11-13)