"THE CRAFTSMAN AT GOD’S SIDE" Part 1 of 2
by John Lowe
March 28, 2006
"THE CRAFTSMAN AT GOD’S SIDE"
22 “The Lord possessed me at the beginning of His way, Before His works of old.
23 I have been established from everlasting, From the beginning, before there was ever an earth.
24 When there were no depths I was brought forth, When there were no fountains abounding with water.
25 Before the mountains were settled, Before the hills, I was brought forth;
26 While as yet He had not made the earth or the fields, Or the primal dust of the world.
27 When He prepared the heavens, I was there, When He drew a circle on the face of the deep,
28 When He established the clouds above, When He strengthened the fountains of the deep,
29 When He assigned to the sea its limit, So that the waters would not transgress His command, When He marked out the foundations of the earth,
30 Then I was beside Him as a master craftsman; And I was daily His delight, Rejoicing always before Him,
31 Rejoicing in His inhabited world, And my delight was with the sons of men.
Have you ever watched a craftsman working hard at his craft? Maybe you’ve watched a construction crew build a house. Many years ago my house underwent changes to convert a garage into a family room and a basement into an apartment for my mother, so I watched all kinds of craftsman - a carpenter, a plumber, an electrician – each one worked hard and they were good at their craft. I think it’s interesting watching people put things together. You can learn a lot about people by watching them do their job. For instance, are they smart? Are they hard working?
In the book of Proverbs, Jesus describes himself as a craftsman. It’s true, at one time in His life, he was a carpenter. But in these verses, we see him in more advanced crafts. Today, we’re going to look at two very important things that Jesus crafted – the world, and our salvation. Our goal today is to just sit and watch Jesus, the craftsman, and as we do, we’re going to learn a few things about Him. We’re going to grow in our relationship with Him. As the Holy Spirit works on you, you will be growing in your faith today.
You wouldn’t expect to find Jesus in the book of Proverbs. Most of the time, he’s in the Gospel of Matthew or the Gospel of Mark. But here He is in Proverbs chapter 8. The chapter begins by talking about wisdom.
Wisdom is personified, that is, it is spoken of as if it was a person. For example, in verse 12, Wisdom says, “I am wisdom, and I am smart. I also have knowledge and good sense.” But then, in verse 22, as wisdom talks, it starts to sound like Jesus. And by the time the chapter is over, you know for sure that this IS Jesus that’s talking. And that’s not just a coincidence. The Bible tells us that wisdom isn’t just a concept – it’s a person – Christ is wisdom, and wisdom is Christ.
When we picture Christ, we always picture him as the Son of God who started working AFTER he was born on Christmas. But according to the Bible, Jesus was working long BEFORE he was born on Christmas. Listen to what verse 22 says, “The Lord possessed me at the beginning of His way, Before His works of old.” Christ existed before the world began. Verses 23says, “I have been established from everlasting, From the beginning, before there was ever an earth. We confess that truth when we say that we believe in Jesus Christ, who was “the only begotten Son of God.”
God the Father and God the Son existed together before the world came into existence. They were two separate persons, but one God, closely united together, before the world was made. Let me ask you this morning: can you fully understand that? That God the Son was begotten by God the Father before the creation of the world – is that something that you can fully understand? Our small human minds have a difficult time understanding things like that.
What if I were to tell you that next week, at my church, for our children’s Sunday School, we are going to have a rocket scientist come in, and that rocket scientist is going to explain to our Sunday School children the complexities of the space shuttle program. He’s going to fill the wall with mathematical equations. He’s going to draw diagrams of engine parts. He’s going to explain how rocket fuel works. He’s also going to explain how all these things are funded, by our government. Do you think our Sunday School class will understand that rocket scientist? No – those things would be beyond their understanding, and probably our understanding too. Completely understanding Christ is even more complex.
How do you explain that close bond, that unity, between God the Father and God the Son? There are certain times in the Bible when you just have to take a step back and say, “This is beyond me. I’m just going to believe it, without trying to understand it.” When the Bible says that Jesus was brought forth, or begotten, by the Father, from eternity, don’t try to understand it. Just stand in awe of Christ, and believe, and worship him.
Many people picture Christ as the Savior of all mankind, and that’s it. But the Bible tells us that Jesus was also involved in the creation of the world. Verse 27 says, “When He prepared the heavens, I was there,” Verse 30 says, “Then I was beside Him as a master craftsman…” Jesus was the craftsman, the skilled worker, crafting the world alongside of God the Father. The two of them worked as one God, working closely together. Christ, the water of life, crafting the lakes and the oceans. Christ, the rock of salvation, crafting the hills and mountains.
And notice how Christ felt after he was finished crafting his creation. Verse 30says, “Then I was beside Him as a master craftsman; And I was daily His delight, Rejoicing always before Him.” Christ is pictured as delighting in the creation of the world and especially delighting in mankind.
A few years back, while I was still working, my assignment was to develop an acoustical panel that had the highest sound rating in the industry. Let me explain what an acoustical panel is. It is just a fancy name for a movable wall that divides a room. They are used in meeting rooms, schools, churches, and most other places where it is important to reduce sound. I had a man working for me by the name of Rufus White. He was very good at coming up with ideas and making things work, and he was also a good friend.
To make a long story short, we were successful; we obtained a 56 STC rating when our panel was tested in Chicago, Illinois. We celebrated by going out to dinner on the company; as I recall we enjoyed lobster that evening. Besides getting paid that was the best part of my job. At dinner, we talked about all our hard work and we pictured this new product being sold all over the country and we took pride in a job well-done. That’s how the Bible pictures Christ at the creation of the world. He looked at what he had crafted – nature in all its beauty and majesty, and especially mankind, the most complex creation in the world, and he took great delight. But Christ knew that soon, Satan would come, and along with Adam and Eve, He would bring sin into the world.