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Behold Our God

    Behold, this is quite a word. It is probably not a word we use very much in our day, but wow, it really gets our attention when we see it used in the Scriptures. Those authors really wanted to draw our attention to something by using it. It is used hundreds of times in our Bibles, as early as the first book in Genesis 1:29, and as late as the last book in Revelation 22:12. It is a word that should draw our attention, cause our ears to perk up, and observe with anticipation what is about to be said. As we look forward to celebrating our Savior's birth once again during this Advent season, we have much to behold. This was no ordinary birth, no ordinary man, but indeed God in the flesh visiting our planet earth.
    The word BEHOLD could be defined and explained I believe something like this. It is to see, hear, or observe someone or something that is remarkable or impressive in nature. In John 1:29 John the Baptist states, "Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world." And in Mark 16:6, the angel states, "He has risen, He is not here, behold, here is the place where they laid Him." And in Isaiah 7:14, the prophet states," Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel." And we know from Matthew 1:23 Immanuel which translated means, God with us. Behold is used at His birth and behold is used at His Resurrection. At this time of year, we celebrate the birth of our newborn King! In the distant past, we saw the coming of Him in shadows. John Piper states, "Christmas is the replacement of shadows with the real thing."
    Hebrews 2:14, "Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise partook of the same." He was born of an ordinary girl, around a group of ordinary shepherds, in a setting of ordinary sheep. But this was no ordinary night, it was an extraordinary night. Many missed it because they were too busy and too interested in other things, it seems like it is much like that today as well. For indeed, "Today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” (Luke 2:11). Indeed, as the carol proclaims, "The hopes and fears of all the years are met in Thee tonight." He is indeed the God of hope, hope being for us a full assurance and confident expectation that good things will happen. Hope in the English sense of the word always has the potential element of disappointment attached to it, but definitely not in God in our Bibles (Rom.5:5).
    And fears, oh those plaguing fears. Though we are commanded to fear not, why do we? Life is difficult and unpredictable. But we must be strong in the Lord and pray and desire to trust Him more. To the degree that we trust the King's promise to protect us, to that degree our burdens will be lifted. There is only one anecdote to fear, and it is, that the assurance of God's covenant, binds Him to take care of us. So as we look forward to celebrating His arrival again this year, may we also be looking toward to His second coming, when we will see Him face to face, for we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. So look back with the joy of His first coming, and look forward with the glory of His second coming.
    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
    Elder Randy Slak