It’s a Hebrew phrase. Say it!… it feels nice in your mouth – “Tow – who – wah – bo – who”… See, wasn’t that nice?

It’s a phrase from Genesis 1:2 which we translate “formless and void”, or “chaos”, referring to the chaotic mess before God formed it into a beautiful world. The most accurate translation is “howling waste”. During times in its history – because of the assaults of evil, and their own rebellion and sin – God’s people in the OT were said to be in “tohu wa bohu” (Jer 4:23) – chaos, the howling waste!

The thing is, in the very middle of the howling waste, God‘s Spirit was there (Gen 1:2), giving Himself to the world in the midst of dark chaos, overcoming it, and lovingly carrying and shaping the world into wholeness, life, and richness. The Holy Spirit did exactly the same with God’s people when they fell into the howling waste! – i.e., drew near to them in merciful love, overcame the turmoil, and drew them through it into healing, life, hope and joy. This blessing broke over them as they turned to Him in faith, love, repentance, and thanksgiving.

As God’s people we all may, and need, to discover and receive this blessing again and again through our times of devastation. The Holy Spirit – the love gift of God our Father (Ro 5:5) – is always drawing near!

Blessings and cheers,

Rev Jonathan Button