Surely you’ve heard of the Big Bang? The main reason it’s posited as a plausible possibility is simply because distant galaxies, lightyears away, are receding. Getting further and further away. Rewind time however, and the galaxies get closer and closer until…Crunch! It’s all wrapped up nice, neatly in a little package called a…drumroll, please: Singularity.
A singularity has infinite mass and is positioned at a singular point in the very center of a black hole. It’s a white hole, by the way, through which astronomers say the universe came into being. The matter from the singularity having been funneled from the black hole, through a worm hole, into and out of the white hole. Just know that all of this stuff is surmised through pages and pages of inscrutably dense mathematical equations. Dry, boring, mechanical. Infinite. Unless you have a translator…
The Hebrew language is likewise impossibly dense with meaning and connotation. Not that other ancient languages are less-so, but how fitting that the God of the universe, who spoke the universe from nothing, would see fit to begin His reintroduction to humanity by speaking through a group of people whose language reflects the layers of Him, however minutely.
One of God’s names in the Hebrew is “El Qanna”. Pronounced “Kaw-nah”, the “El” is simply the Hebrew for “God”. The flagship definition for this name, this aspect of His name, is jealous. It’s a far cry from the modern connotation of “envious” in that it describes God as loving us so much He’s literally willing to give up everything to retain, and maintain, that which is His. “Touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm.” (Psalm 105:15) But rather than kill to preserve it, He died. It’s alright to disagree with the former aspect of the previous statement, but look at it in light of the latter.
Qanah (same word, slightly different spelling) is a multi-purpose word in the Hebrew language. Subtle distinctions are widely used throughout the Old Testament. For instance, qanah, in Psalm 139:13 is translated “possessed”. As in owned. “For Thou (God) hast possessed my reins: Thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb.” How comforting. The knowledge that God has called us and began “a good work” (Philippians 1:6) even before we were born. Before we began receding from Him. Even if you find yourself lightyears away from God, the reality is that, “in Him we live, and move, and have our being;” (Acts 17:28) The Holy Spirit is ever around us and upon accepting Jesus as Savior, is in us. “Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth Him not, neither knoweth Him: but ye know Him; for He dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.” (John 14:17, emphasis mine)
Qanah also translates as “purchased”. “And He brought them to the border of His sanctuary, even to this mountain, which His right hand had purchased.” (Psalm 78:54) God purchased us back from the clutches of Satan. “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men (and women too), the man Christ Jesus;” (1 Timothy 2:5-6) No price was too high. And if that’s not the ultimate example of both pure jealousy and selflessness (the good kind of both), I don’t know what is.
If there was one word to describe the God of the Old Testament as seen through the lens of the atoning sacrifice of Jesus, it would be this one. Qanah. Other translations of the word are erect (i.e. build), create and procure.
And this is just one of God’s many names.
“In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise, Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of His glory.” (Ephesians 1:13-14)
The Holy Spirit is the one who intimates this understanding of not only being bought back by the blood of Jesus, but also of being wanted in the first place. God wanted us so much that He paid the ultimate price. However many lightyears you’ve receded from your first love, God wants to—and with Jesus is now able to—bring you back and make you one with Him.
“And all mine are thine, and thine are mine; and I am glorified in them…that they may be one, as we are.” (John 17:11, emphasis mine)