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  • Writer's pictureKathy Berry

Jots and Tittles: Imperceptible Moves of God

Thesis: There are no dispensations; just one continuous working out.

Scholars note that the smallest Hebrew letter is the yod (י). Upon the smallest letter, the jot, is the smallest pen stroke, the tittle. It is the upper stroke, beginning the yod letter, and a component of all of the Hebrew letters. This common knowledge is significant because the smallest stroke of every letter of every word orchestrated by God points back to his imperceptible activity.

It is all around us in nature, in science, in the daily course of the planets, and in the cycle of seasons. His activity is continuous and fluid, yet not without substance. God is moving towards something always.

To our naked eye and limited scope, we simply see the ends and beginnings. God sees the end from the beginning. Consider Jesus' statement:

For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass away from the law, till all things be accomplished. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven (Matt. 5:18-19 ASV).

There is one God and one Law, as James states, "For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is become guilty of all" (2:10). The implication is a wholeness and sameness within God and within his precepts, ordinances, and statutes. Distinctions within the Law, such as priestly obligations, do not apply to others in the community. Nonetheless, the smallest infraction against those that apply to specific peoples, yields necessary reflection and repentance. And as Scripture indicates, God's precepts are a continuous component of covenantal relationship. Without these relational boundaries, society crumbles and chaos ensues.

Christendom heralds "grace" the triumphant slayer of law: "Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace?" (Rom. 6:15, TLV). Disfigured by misapplication, God's law struggles for attention. "May it never be," Paul continues. The proper position of law is beside God's grace. In other words, they work together. Paraphrasing, it does not pass away until all things are complete, and those who teach otherwise are subject to God's correction.

Paul points out in Romans 5 that God's law has its place. It simply shows humanity's ruinage by identifying sin and articulating God's redemptive grace in Messiah, Jesus (Yeshua). The Law points to the need for grace, continually recalling humanity's plight till all things are complete. God activates and coordinates his overarching plan towards creation's consummation. Like a cook in the kitchen, he stirs one pot while he watches another boil. Israel simmers, awaiting God's outpouring spirit of grace and supplication (Zech. 12:10). The worldwide church experiences a winnowing as Christ prepares the chamber. Hence, God holds all things together in synchronous harmony and without it, we are undone.

Take time to look for God's handwriting this spring. I found his "yod" among roadside bellflowers—blessings.

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