As we explore the second section of the Amidah, we focus on worshipping the God of Creation:
You, O Lord, are mighty forever,
you revive the dead, you have the power to save.
[From the end of Sukkot until the eve of Passover, insert:
You cause the wind to blow and the rain to fall.]
You sustain the living with lovingkindness,
you revive the dead with great mercy,
you support the falling, heal the sick, set free the bound
and keep faith with those who sleep in the dust.
Who is like you, O doer of mighty acts?
Who resembles you, a king who puts to death and restores to life,
and causes salvation to flourish?
And you are certain to revive the dead.
Blessed are you, O Lord, who revives the dead.
Yesterday’s prayer of worship focused on God as the God of history and keeper of Israel throughout the generations.
Today’s blessing and praise focuses on the authority of God and God alone: His absolute power over life and death.
For the ancient Jewish person, resurrection was a humbling reminder of God’s omnipotence, as well as a hope for a future beyond death.
- It was Job’s belief in the resurrection that allowed him to worship and stay faithful to the Almighty, even in the face of death:
“Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him…” (Job 13:15 )
- It was Abraham’s belief in God’s ability to raise people from the dead that allowed him to ever consider following God’s command to sacrifice his only son.
(Abraham’s story told in Genesis 22; Abraham’s beliefs and thoughts explained in Hebrews 11:17-19)
- Moses was instantly schooled in the resurrection when he encountered God at the burning bush:
“I am the God of your father[a]—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.”
Moses’ reaction? Instant worship! “When Moses heard this, he covered his face because he was afraid to look at God.” (Exodus 3:6 NLT)
Jesus reminds the Sadducees about the reality of God’s resurrection promise when He recounts the burning bush story in Matthew 22:31-32.
The Jewish ancients understood their hope lay in Messiah and His dominion over life and death.
How much more do we have that promise in Jesus, who was the first to be raised from the dead and conquer death forever and demonstrate God’s promise for us?
Spend some time and re-read the second Amidah blessing above – may it lead you to a new sense of worship and connection with the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the God of the ancients, the God of the living, the only God who has absolute dominion over life and death.
With my shoes off,
PS – if you want to read the Amidah in its entirety, follow the link here.