Saturday, January 12, 2008


Tuesday morning I was able to join my dad at the weekly Bible study he attends. He led a study of the word "work." One passage in particular stood out to me:

Now the LORD God had formed out of the ground all the beasts of the field and all the birds of the air. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name.
Genesis 2:19

I can picture God making this new animal with a really long neck and long legs, then taking it to Adam. All the while, He waits with anticipation as to what Adam may call this gangly critter. He is just beside Himself with pride for the creature He has made. He can think of some wonderful names for it - creative names, scholarly names, silly names, even nicknames - but He doesn't even whisper these names. It is not His job to do; that responsibility belongs to Adam. He knows Adam will one day fall for the snake's deception. He knows Adam could choose a goofy name. Adam could have even been lazy and called the animals all the same name - or even Animal #1, Animal #2, Animal #3, etc. And here He sits with this incredible beast - the first of its kind - waiting for this man, this being that He created, to name it.

Adam sees God walking up with this unique creature. He stares up at the...well he stares up at everything, it is really tall. This is different than anything he has ever seen before. He smiles, in admiration of God's creativity. And with that, he says, "Giraffe." God looks at the animal again and for all time it is a giraffe.

As I thought about this passage I was struck by the invitation we have to participate with God. For reasons that are beyond me, He limits Himself and allows us authority. We see a foreshadow of it in this passage. But do we live it everyday? Most of us will never have the opportunity to participate in the naming of newly discovered species. But aren't we invited to be part of something much more? Adam was told to name the animals. We are told to make disciples, to share the Good News of His redemption. Then He stands in anticipation of us doing just that. Why does He invite us and not do it Himself so we don't mess it up? I don't know. But He did and it is unbelieveable when I accept the invitation and participate with Him.


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