I love the Psalms, and some of my favorites are acrostics. Acrostics use letters from the Hebrew alphabet to form beautiful poetry about God. I’m developing my own alphabetical list (in English) by writing about some of the infinite attributes of God. This week I’m on the letter E. I’m not claiming mine as the definitive list, but I will use Scripture as the bedrock for each letter. I hope you’ll join me on this journey and even develop your own list.
On May 18, 1980, Mount St. Helens erupted with such cataclysmic force that total devastation was seen several miles away from the volcano. Some scientists stated they first surmised that nothing would survive the blast and that all life was gone. They soon realized those assumptions were wrong as small mammals and flowers began living and growing through the ashes. Amid immense destruction, new life began and over the years, trees, birds, flowers, and insects began to thrive. I believe the fingerprints of God were evident as new life formed and was built up.
Each of us at times must travel through seasons in which cataclysmic events happen: illnesses, death of a loved one, struggling or failed relationships, career collapses, and broken dreams. We may feel like the devastated landscape near Mount St. Helens and wonder if we’ll ever feel alive and productive again. If you’re in that place, there’s Good News for you:
God is your Edifier!
He alone can re-construct your life and lift you up. There are two facets of God, The Master Edifier, that I’d like to unpack:
1. God builds and rebuilds us. The word “Edify” comes from the Latin word aedificāre, which means, “to construct.” Going deeper, the word “aedēs” is “a dwelling or a temple,” and the word facere means, “to make.” In other words, God is the Master Builder of anyone who allows Him to reside in their very being, which then becomes His dwelling place and temple. It’s a humbling and awesome thing to know that God wants to personally build us up into a beautiful vessel where He lives and moves. There is nothing—no shattered life, no devastated circumstance— can God can’t redeem, renew, or rebuild. God is in the business of restoring and building people up. John 3:16 perfectly summarizes this, as The Message Bible beautifully states:
“This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his One and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn’t go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again.” (John 3:16-17 The Message)
The Bible is about God’s plan to restore all creation—including you and me—out of His intense love for us. God builds us up, as the prophet Jeremiah quoted the LORD:
“My eyes will watch over them for their good, and I will bring them back to this land. I will build them up and not tear them down; I will plant them and not uproot them. I will give them a heart to know me, that I am the Lord. They will be my people, and I will be their God, for they will return to me with all their heart. (Jeremiah 24:6-7)
God, the Master Edifier, is fully capable and willing to transform you and the trajectory of your life into something new and beautiful.
But there is more…
2. God also teaches and lifts us up. The dictionary defines the word “edify” as follows: “To uplift, instruct, and benefit, especially morally or spiritually.”
God, The Master Edifier, lifts us up!
God lifts our weary heads and replaces our defeats with His glory and protection, as the Psalm states:
“But you, Lord, are a shield around me, my glory,
the One who lifts my head high.” (Psalm 3: 3)
God, The Master Edifier, loves to teach and lead us.
In life, we sometimes need a realignment of our thought patterns, choices, and emotions. God is faithful to answer prayers like this One in the Psalms:
“Make me to know Your ways, O Lord; teach me Your paths.
Lead me in Your truth and teach me,
for You are the God of my salvation…” (Psalm 25:4-5)
Finally, God’s grace edifies us for this life and beyond! Let this beautiful prayer from the New Testament remind you that God’s love and power are edifying you not only for this life but also for a fantastic eternity with Him:
“Now I commit you to God and to the word of his grace, which can build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified. (Acts 20:32)
The “E’ of my God alphabet is this: God is our Master Edifier.
God bless you!