DayBreaks for 01/02/14 – The Big Abracadabra
John 1:1-3 (NLT) In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He existed in the beginning with God. 3 God created everything through him, and nothing was created except through him.
Simple question: what does a stage magician say when they are ready to conclude a trick and make something appear? They say, “Abracadabra!”, right? It is supposed to be a phrase that makes that which didn’t exist come into appearance.
I recently read something that was rather fascinating and the parallels to the creation story and the text for today from John 1 and also from Colossians 1 are striking.
Abracadabra historically was believed to have healing powers when inscribed on an amulet. The word is thought to have its origin in the Aramaic language, but numerous conflicting folk etymologies are associated with it. While the actual origin of the word is uncertain, there is some evidence that the word “Abracadabra” could derive from a Hebrew phrase meaning “I create (A’bra) what (ca) I speak (dab’ra).” This etymology is rather somewhat questionable, however, as אברא כדברא in Aramaic is more commonly to be translated “I create like the word.”
I have always been fascinated by God’s power to just speak things into existence. How I wish that I could have witnessed His work recorded in Genesis 1! I don’t know how He originally created all matter – perhaps it was with something similar to the Big Bang – but from now on, I think I’ll think of it as the Big Abracadabra!
Magicians can’t really make a rabbit appear out of thin air, no matter how it may seem at the time. God can – and once upon a time He not only made rabbits, but rocks and trees, skies and seas, stars and starfish explode onto the scene.
There is a reason that the ancient Hebrews would encourage one another to remember the creation and the exodus stories as they reminded people of the greatness of the God they followed. We would do well today to remember that as well, especially when we are prone to doubt or are frightened by the things that we see which surround us. His power has not changed. He is as creative as ever!
PRAYER: We rejoice in Your greatness, O Mighty God, who calls things that are not into existence and who sustains all things by Your great power. When we are tempted to fear and tremble, remind us of how great You are! In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Copyright 2003, 2013 by Galen C. Dalrymple.
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