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Most of the articles on these WebPages have been written by godly men with a central belief in the Lord Jesus Christ. However as with most of us, they may have different beliefs concerning some particular doctrines. These articles have been made available for the purpose of “gleaning the good” where good can be found. I do not necessarily endorse all that is written by others, anymore than I expect others to endorse all that I write.

   Morning Thoughts by Elder Philip Conley

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 common
"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 sins.

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)

In Hope,

Bro Philip