Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Dem bones dem bones.. dem DRY BONES!

Psalm 34
1 I will bless the Lord at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth.
2 My soul makes its boast in the Lord; let the humble hear and be glad.
3 O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together.
4 I sought the Lord, and he answered me, and delivered me from all my fears.
5 Look to him, and be radiant; so your* faces shall never be ashamed.
6 This poor soul cried, and was heard by the Lord, and was saved from every trouble.
7 The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him, and delivers them.
8 O taste and see that the Lord is good; happy are those who take refuge in him.
9 O fear the Lord, you his holy ones, for those who fear him have no want.
10 The young lions suffer want and hunger, but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.
11 Come, O children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the Lord.
12 Which of you desires life, and covets many days to enjoy good?
13 Keep your tongue from evil, and your lips from speaking deceit.
14 Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it.
15 The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their cry.
16 The face of the Lord is against evildoers, to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth.
17 When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears, and rescues them from all their troubles.
18 The Lord is near to the broken-hearted, and saves the crushed in spirit.
19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord rescues them from them all.
20 He keeps all their bones; not one of them will be broken.
21 Evil brings death to the wicked, and those who hate the righteous will be condemned.
22 The Lord redeems the life of his servants; none of those who take refuge in him will be condemned.

As always, I post this with the disclaimer that I have no theological training or education and I’m probably wrong about some most things.


If the Lord is with me, who can be against me!?

My very spirit rests in PRIDE and BOASTING, for I am His chosen and I will rest eternally with God in heaven. Let those who are humble – those who do not have the very knowledge and undoubting faith that they are saved and blessed by the Lord above – let them hear the pride and comfort and confidence of a soul loved, and let them be glad – let their own faith blossom and bloom. For the Lord loves us all – the Lord will bless your spirit with the boasting of one loved, too… if you ask. If you’re willing to die to yourself. If you’re willing to set all earthly pride and boasting aside… and serve your fellow man and your God, you’ll gain a pride so much more. Your soul will make its BOAST in the Lord.

Not exactly the way I’m used to talking about my faith, I’ll tell you. I know full well I can have confidence in my God, for there is none more powerful, more gracious, more loving, more wise than God. At the same time, pride and boasting just aren’t part of my vernacular when thinking or speaking about my spirituality. So, a little uncomfortable, I looked up the word boast.

Did you know that the word boast is used in masonry and sculpting? It’s a verb, just as the way we normally use it is a verb. It means, “To shape roughly as a preparation for the finer work to follow; to cut to the general form required.”

Ah… OK, I know this isn’t where the psalm was headed, but it’s something I can really get my head around.

The general form required? That’s about as good as I can get, for myself, isn’t it? That, for the artists around, is I guess something like the roughest first sketch you can come up with. It’s an oval on top with the basic shape of a body in thick, rough graphite lines on the paper… with no detail.

To shape roughly as a preparation….
How about this – I can only reach my finest form when I go to be with God. As long as I am human and I walk this world, the best I can do – the best I can do – is a rough shape – a preview of the fine work which is to be.

Can you imagine?! Think about the coolest people you know. Think about those people who EXUDE Jesus’ spirit! Think about those I’ve mentioned before in notes who you can just tell are at peace in their lives, who provide peace to others by just being there. Can you imagine that even those people are only a rough sketch!?

I’m on a journey to be healthy and strong. Remember this one? But no matter how much I work at that and how blessed I am in God while I am living – no matter how generously I am given to and how generously I give in this life, the best I can do is to become a rough sketch – a general form. What fun it will be when I am with God in heaven and God starts really perfecting me. I wonder if it will be instantaneous or if it will be a process. Whichever it is, I think it’s just awesome that it’s going to be perfect. Anyway, what’s time, in heaven???

Okay, anyway. I ramble (as I am so good at doing).
Another part of the psalm which is intriguing to me is verses 19-20. Many are the afflictions of the righteous. That’s right, isn’t it? The righteous are not without temptation, without sorrow, without pain. But the Lord rescues them from all! The Lord is like Superman without the Kryptonite thing. Don’t you just love how Clark Kent always just knew when something needed him?

The next verse is kind of cool too: He keeps all their bones; not one of them will be broken.
Beth likens this to Luke 12:7, “But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: you are of more value than many sparrows.” It’s kind of in the same boat as Isaiah 40:26, which Chris Tomlin’s sings about in “Indescribable:” You placed the stars in the sky and you know them by name.” I don’t know how many stars there are. I don’t know how many people there are. But I know there are 206 or so bones in the adult human body (Did you know most infants have 300-350 bones?) Can you imagine that God keeps all of our bones? Every person’s?

Can you imagine that there are probably better than 2 billion Christians in the world? And more than 14 million Jews? And depending on what you believe, you might throw in 3.2 billion Islam, Buddhist, and Hindhu? Well, let’s go for broke! 7 billion total people in the world have 206ish bones each. That’s 1,442,000,000,000 bones! But even at our most exclusive possible estimate of who all God’s looking out for, Christians and Jews alone have 463,500,000,000 bones. And God’s keeping them all for us! What a job.

Makes you wonder how God has time to answer all the email prayers God must receive! What a mighty God we serve!


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