The image that captured my imagination in this chapter was that of this mysterious “man of lawlessness” being obliterated by the breath of Jesus’ mouth. Yes, this is not the sweet and kind Jesus of our children’s Sunday School classes!
I’ve had people in my life whom I (almost) have wanted to obliterate with the breath of my mouth. I just didn’t like them. Some were enemies. Some were critics. The world today calls them “haters.” But, alas, we’re to love them anyway. And folks like this are not what is picture in 2 Thessalonians 2:8.
No, what happens here is that Jesus returns and finds the man of lawlessness pretending to be God. Jesus annihilates him. With his breath. This is a picture of perfect holiness coming into contact with perfect sin. The result is instantaneous, complete, and final. The end never is in doubt.
Psalm 33:6 says, “By the word of the Lord the heavens were made, and by the breath of his mouth all their host.” The very word and breath of God is powerful. They have creative powers.
But they have something else, too:
Isaiah 11:4 says, “But with righteousness he shall judge the poor, and decide with equity for the meek of the earth; and he shall strike the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips he shall kill the wicked.”
Isaiah 30:33 says, “For a burning place has long been prepared; indeed, for the (Assyrian) king it is made ready, its pyre made deep and wide, with fire and wood in abundance; the breath of the Lord, like a stream of sulfur, kindles it.”
The breath of God creates – and destroys.
This, of course, made me think about the Word of God, issued forth in the person of Jesus. He is the divine Word of God.
It makes us look at our Bibles in a whole different light. It makes us pay more attention to the words of God given to us.
This Bible-reading plan is no little thing to engage in. A chapter a day. It’s not much. But there is eternal power in these words. The words of the Bible are the most important words you will read all day.
Here’s another scriptural reference to God’s breath: “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17).