In Native American markets one can examine some of the most beautiful tapestries in the world. Delicately, they weave diverse colors of threads into one seamless whole. Individually, each are wondrous to behold. Together, they far exceed what any one thread can achieve.
We find a similar concept in Ephesians where Paul is discussing the mystery of salvation. God sent his Son to come to earth and to die for our sins. He instituted a new covenant (Hebrews 8-9), where there no longer resides a spiritual barrier between Jews and Gentiles. Now, Gentiles have “access” to God and can be adopted into the family of God as sons (Ephesians 2:19).
God’s plan for the “mystery” culminated in the death of Christ (Colossians 2:14). Now “those who were afar off” were brought near (Ephesians 2:17, NKJV).
The wisdom of God to accomplish this scheme of redemption is said to be “manifold” in 3:10. This is a rich term. The word “manifold” means varied or diverse. Robinson summed it up beautifully when he defined it as “the intricate beauty of an embroidered pattern.”
God is like the tapestries of those street vendors. Each brightly colored thread is special but interwoven as a whole, they are breathtaking. God is the essence of diversity.
Nothing is hidden from his sight (Matthew 10:26). Nowhere can we hide from him (Psalm 139). We should see this in a positive light. Consider that God is one of unparalleled diversity. As a Father, no challenge can defeat him.
We can lay the tapestry of God down on our lives and it covers all the areas we are lacking in. His wholeness fills our every need. We can depend on him. We can cry to him. We can question and learn from him. He leaves no aspect of our soul unfulfilled.
When we struggle against Satan on our own, we fight with the feeble armaments of men. Turning to the “manifold wisdom of God” we begin to utilize the forces that have never been defeated and will destroy any foe no matter how ferocious (Ephesians 6:10-12) . All will pale before him.
When the battle grows quiet, we can still turn to him as we feel small and defenseless amidst a long, black night. His soothing presence will sit beside us until we are wrapped up in the comforts of his peace.
In the explosion of arts and learning known as the Renaissance, the rarest of creatures was the Renaissance Man. He was widely heralded as the ideal man. He was masterful at writing, singing, and verse. His dashing looks and swordsmanship made him every woman’s dream.
While most of this legend is hype, we have Jesus who possesses extraordinary gifts. The blessing is that he is perfectly good and gracious.
This is a tapestry I wish to wrap up in and never yield. And, he never will leave me on his own (Hebrews 13:5). Only if I choose to thrust off his cloak will I once again be defenseless.
But, why would I ever do that? “Where could I go but to the Lord?”
God is the Essence of Diversity.