Saturday, January 16, 2010

Bible Reading: Psalm 131(132)14-18

While thinking about the suffering of Haiti and preparing for a Bible commentary, I opened to this passage.

"Sion will be my resting place forever; in her will I dwell, for I prefer her. I will bless her with abundant provision, her poor I will fill with bread. Her priests I will clothe with salvation, and her faithful ones shall shout merrily for joy. In her will I make a horn to spout forth for David; I will place a lamp for my anointed. His enemies I will clothe with shame, but upon him my crown shall shine."

These are actual words spoken by God to King David, the pact where God promises that King David's descendants will always rule in Sion. You need to understand that God is always speaking of the present time and also the future, so there is the "here and now" meaning to King David and the Israelites, but also the "here and now" for their spiritual heirs and descendants. Thus Christians, such as those in Haiti, who are suffering today from the woes of the world can take some comfort in knowing that The Almighty God will never leave them, so long as they do not leave Him. Sion is now the spiritual Sion, the heavenly Jerusalem, which since Jesus Christ is no longer a physical place but the place of global faith in God.

Rather than turning their back on God, I see the Haitians seeing Him with even greater clarity since the earthquake tragedy. Those who honor the pact with God, sworn by King David, will find that God never leaves them.

In the Bible the horn often symbolizes power and authority, as the King and the priests use it to make the great sound. But it also represents the cornucopia, the outflowing of abundance and goodness. The horn that spouts forth for David is not of noise but of the arrival of Jesus Christ. The more that one puts one's faith in God and in Jesus Christ alone, the more that the goodness that only Christ can bring will flow forth from that horn.

Worldly well being ultimately depends on human rationality, righteousness, charity and neighbor-first priorities... all of which are very much needed in the chaos that has delayed for an unacceptable amount of time the delivery of goods and assistance in rescuing to the Haitians. The more that everyone embraces the pact, so that not only those who suffer turn their faces to Jesus Christ in hope and solace, but also those who are empowered with worldly means to help them, the more that the horn with overflow with what is needed to live, but also with eternal life and righteousness. Honoring the pact with God is the job of not just those who suffer, but also those who do have what they need, and more. I hope that Haiti softens and converts the hard and arrogant hearts of many bureaucrats, aristocrats, politicians, and professional "do-gooders," such as NGO's.

When one does not turn one's own hands and feet over to Jesus Christ on an ongoing day to day basis, one stumbles over one's own bureaucratic and selfish thinking (even when "doing good") when disaster strikes. That is because one is not truly prepared to drop everything and let Jesus be Lord. How can one find a way around shipping and airport obstacles, and fallen concrete, on the first day, if one does not have hands already open in anticipation of the need?

I hope this helps.