Isaiah 40:21-31 – The 5th Sunday after Epiphany â€“ for February 8, 2015
â€œDonâ€™t you know? Havenâ€™t you heard? The Lord is the everlasting God . . .â€ (Isaiah 40:28)
It seems such a puny, one-syllable word in English . . . God.
The Italians (Dio) also have three letters, whereas the Germans (Gott), French (Dieu), and Spanish (Dios) boast a grand total of four. Hmong (Vajtswv) and Filipino (Maykapal) increase the count average, but how much of that is based on translations in the English alphabet?
For Scrabble, G2-O1-D2 amounts to 5 ho-hum points (unless linked to other words or when the tiles are placed on a double or triple square).
As I, and countless others, have joked (or have been very, furry serious), god spelled backwards is dog. Which, given what Iâ€™ve learned from dogs, is never an insult. My puppy Hannah died at 14 years of age last year. If I were to distill all the lessons learned from her into one, Iâ€™d claim how humbling it was to be around unconditional love. And, thanks be to YHWH, thatâ€™s a darn fine way to understand God.
God, of course, was rarely known as â€œGodâ€ in the original Hebrew or Greek of the Bible. Even confined to the English translations Iâ€™m familiar with, God was often known by the aforementioned and unmentionable YHWH, along with Lord, Creator, Almighty and other more-than-three-letter words. If the tetragrammaton YHWH was used in Hebrew scriptures to skirt saying and writing the holy name, then Jesusâ€™ use of Abbaâ€”Papa, Daddyâ€”served as an intimate Christian testament counterpoint.
Isaiah declared (from the Common English Bible),
Donâ€™t you know? Havenâ€™t you heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
The creator of the ends of the earth.
He doesnâ€™t grow tired or weary.