It was early and walking toward the sun I had to shield my eyes from the brightness of the rising sun. Then, turning around to return home, I walked with my back to the sun and I saw beautiful shadows of trees and bushes and much more of God’s creative Hand.
Then it cam to me! In Exodus 33:18-23 Moses wants to see God’s Glory. But God replied that if Moses were to see God’s face he would die. So God arranged for a more ‘indirect’ view. I was blinded by the sun’s light when I looked toward it. But looking from a different perspective I saw Go’s hand in the shadows. That’s it! If we look carefully we will see the ‘Silhouette of God” all around us. In love God, for the time being, limits what we see. But the time will come when “We shall be like Him for we shall see Him as He is.” (1 John 3:2)
“Move your ***damned Prius and get over it! *** won the election” I read in an article forwarded to me. Every day from the local to the international stage we see more anger, more rage, more violence and more confusion. The term “Alternate Truth” has come to symbolize the times we are living in.
This morning in the shadow of all this I turn to Scripture and read again the story of Jeremiah and his rotten belt. God asked Jeremiah to buy a belt, wear it and then bury it. Much later, God told him to dig it up. It was rotten and useless.
“The Lord says: This illustrates how I will rot away the pride of Judah and Jerusalem (substitute America). These wicked people refuse to listen to me. They stubbornly follow their own desires and worship idols. Therefore, they will become like this linen belt – good for nothing! As a belt clings to a person’s waist, so I created Judah and Israel (America) to cling to me,’ says the Lord. ‘They were to be my people, my pride, my glory – an honor to my name. But they would not listen to me.
“So tell them, ‘The Lord, the God of Israel, says:… I will make everyone in this land so confused that they will seem drunk – from the king (President) and from the priests (preachers) right down to the common people. I will smash them one against the other, even parents against children, says the Lord. I will not let my pity or mercy or compassion keep me from destroying them.'” Jeremiah 13:12-14
America! Wake up! It is not about politics, budgets, military might, republican, democrat, or anything else. It is about God and His disappointment and anger at our unfaithfulness to Him.
Theology is the study of God’s Word. Science is the study of God’s Work. I believe that is a quote from Michael Faraday the physicist.
We don’t need to look far in God’s Work to see what God is like! From mountains to valleys. From the tiny grain of mustard seed to sprawling arrays of galactic clusters His Work is everywhere giving silent witness to this great and wondrous God of ours. We are told in the first chapter of Romans that this witness to all the world is intended to teach the world about God and His nature.
Today we see in America a newly minted President seeking to remake our nation and the world after his own image. When we look at what our president has created in his 70 years prior to this moment in time what do we see? Is that what we want? We should not be surprised by his craftmanship. But more, what does that say about those who wish to be like him, made in the image of the current president?
The light switch flipped and the light went out. They had been so warm and friendly but one word I said and all signs of warmth disappeared. I have never seen them since and none of my communication attempts have been answered. That was nine months ago. He had been affable and friendly and seemed impressed with me. But on that day I had been critical of his bad behavior towards subordinates like myself.
Often, when I speak with the Lord it is not conscious but a wondering about something in His Presence. The answer comes through Scripture or thoughts in my mind usually. The answer may be a long time coming but this morning His returned answer through my thoughts was almost immediate.
“They have nothing to do with their sins. Their sins are awful. They are afraid to look at them because they have nothing they can do with them. They do not know the Redeemer.”
Much, if not most of the time I have encountered this through self-proclaimed Christians! Perhaps not a surprise since I was a pastor for almost three decades. But then I thought about the reason for this and it is that people in church have heard the Good News so often that they have become deadened to its daily, living reality in their own lives. Perhaps God was never alive to them. Perhaps He was but now they have fallen away as in the parable of the soil types in Mark 4.
Thanks be to God for His great, unfailing Friendship. Our Redeemer, Friend, Counselor, and Oh…. so very much more!