Over the past year or so, I have become more and more conscious of people using the word “so” where it doesn’t seem to be needed. An interview is taking place and a question is posed by the interviewer and the answer begins, “So…,” or maybe the conversation has just started between two people and one of them says, “So what have you been doing this summer?” It’s not bad, not inappropriate, but it seems as though so has become the announcement of the beginning of the thought pattern.
It has become so prominent that, for me, it seemed to kind of irritate my spirit. Whether I am watching TV or listening to the radio or talking to a friend or hearing a sermon, at points there are times when a new thought track was announced by “So…” The little bitty, two-letter word so may not be at the tip of your tongue or high on the list of things that need to be included in your vocabulary, but it is important.
The word actually means to introduce something that is extreme — extremely good or extremely bad or extreme. It can be used in a conversation to point out that what is about to be said is to the same extent of what has already been in the conversation. It can be used to provide a space filler, a thought moment that allows you to have just a second or two to think about what you are about to say or how you are about to respond. So, in other words, so stays close to us to use, to emphasize, to change the subject, or to have a moment of personal reflection to figure out where we are going to go in the conversation. So there we are.
I got to thinking about so, so much that so began to show up in my speech pattern more than I ever thought it did, and as I listened to everybody else’s conversations, I realized so was there more than I ever dreamed. So I thought to myself, “What does the Bible say about so?” So, I began to search the Scripture and realized quickly that so was a big deal in the Word of God.
Time and space do not allow me to deal with many of them, but just to give you an idea of how prominent it is in the Bible, in the book of Genesis if you sit down and start reading, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth,” you will only read seven verses until you find that God made the firmament and divided the waters, and under the firmament and the waters above the firmament, He put waters in spaces and places, oceans and lakes, and He closes that verse by saying, “And it was so.”
In thinking about the first time so ever appears in the Bible in Genesis 1:7, it is thought provoking at least to realize that here at the very beginning of all of creation, God provided water for us all around the planet and the Scripture says it was so. The reason that’s significant is because all living beings have to have water. When scientists talk about going to Mars, they keep wondering if there is any kind of water source there. In the dry, crusty surface of the moon, there has not been any water detected (nor have we found any little moon people walking around.) Water is essential for life as God designed it. So the very first time so is mentioned it is almost put there dramatically at the end of the great action God undertook for us in giving us water: “And it was so.”
Walk with me if you would and let me just point out some other times so is used. In Genesis 1:27, that amazing verse says, “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.” At the very outset, so introduces the amazing, wonderful fact that God is the Creator of human beings and God made us male and female. In a world that seems to be increasingly so confused that men don’t know they’re men and women don’t know they’re women and men think they can become women and women think they can become men, this verse says that God created us male and female. I do believe a continuation of God’s creative power is taking place every day in hospitals across the land and here in our state where male and female children are being born. I would only suggest that it would be far better in our culture that we help children understand how God made them, rather than trying to point them in the direction of letting them “discover” what they might want to be.
So God created man in His own image. God had a purpose and a plan for a man and a woman and in a world where that can be confused, above everything we need to help them understand that physically, sexually, and emotionally, God created them for His plans and purposes. Above everything, the fulfillment of life is found there.
In Genesis 3:24, we find another so as the verse begins with a so: “So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.” Sin had come into the world, and God took Adam and Eve out of the garden. It was not God’s anger or bitterness toward Adam and Eve, but man’s disobedience to God that made their expulsion necessary. When Adam and Eve sinned against God, the incredible truth found in this little word so, “So he drove them out,” is that so much is lost when we disobey God. There was one tree in the garden that God said, “Do not take it.” Man is instinctively drawn to do the wrong thing, it seems.
Just think about everything in the garden — everything on the planet – that was given for the blessing of the man and the woman. They focused on the one, singular thing that God said, “Leave that alone.” If I was preaching a sermon, which I’m not, I would take time to point out to people all around how many times they lose virtually everything because of one thing that they should have left alone. That fact can be applied to attitude or addiction. That fact can be applied to relationships or pleasures. God said, “If you’re going to live there, you can’t have these things.” So, He drove them out.
All of us have missed out on so many blessings in life because we too have sinned. We too have lost so many of God’s blessings, but let me give you just one other so found in Genesis 6:22. God was going to destroy the earth with water, but He found one man and his family to whom He extended His grace. Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord. Look at what it says about Noah: “Thus did Noah; according to all that God commanded him, so did he” (Gen. 6:22). You could probably tell the unfolding story of Noah better than I, but it is all hinged on one, wonderful experience — his obedience to God. Whatever God wanted him to do, so did he.
If today you want to find the joy of the Lord in your life and the blessings of God poured upon you, let it be said of you, “So did he,” or “So did she do the will of God.” God does have a plan for your life, so don’t miss it. So trust Him. So follow Him wherever He leads. So experience the blessings that only God can give you. Let me close by simply saying, “Lord, let it be so in each of us.”
The author can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dr. Jim Futral