Jerusalem – I am pondering on Jerusalem – I have a picture of the biblical version – a golden city with a magnificent temple and a glorious palace for the king (Solomon) and I find myself comparing that to what I saw when I was there – a broken city, only a wall of the once magnificent temple remaining, a mosque planted where it used to be – no sign of a palace or a king, torn by strife.
“Jerusalem represented my presence in the world – it was there that I introduced Myself to the world – I chose a people to whom I would show myself, introduce Myself to, so that the world would be able to come to know me and to meet Me. However because their hearts turned to other god’s and they gave their love to inanimate things and to worldly relationships – I took them away – to show them what it would be like if they were separated from Me. Nevertheless there was a remnant who loved Me and to them and to the rest of the world I brought my human presence, in the form of a man – Jesus. He came to bridge the gap and make it possible for Me to have a people who loved Me again and in the process He has replaced Jerusalem and the temple and the palace, they are all gathered together in Him – yet this is not the end because there is still a Jerusalem – a heavenly one – which is beautiful beyond description and imagination, mainly because I Myself am there. In the meantime keep My aroma around you, let it rise as incense to the heavens and let those around you smell the beauty of My presence”.
Now this was my interaction with the Lord yesterday on His day. I am sharing it with you today because of what happened afterwards, which was such a wonderful reminder of His reality and the fact that He still communicates with us.
So in my reading in the psalms I skipped a few which have the same theme and decided to read Psalm 19. What a wonderful surprise it was when later at church, Sean announced that he was going to preach on Psalm 19. So my ears were doubly pricked up and as usual I wasn’t surprised to realize that the word I had heard from the Lord fitted with message of the Psalm.
So why don’t you read Psalm 19 and here are a few relevant remarks: The Psalm speaks of 3 voices -vv 1-6 The voice of creation, vv 7-10 God’s voice through His law (the scriptures) vv 11-14 the response from the servant (probably David). So although the heavens declare the glory of the Lord… (and therefore man is without excuse if he denies him Romans 1:19.20), it has no voice vs 3. IOW it cannot explain itself or what it represents and what lies behind it. For that to happen man must hear God speak and He has done just that. The psalmist calls this revelation ‘His law, statutes, precepts, commands and ordinances’, all describing the same thing, the words that God has spoken to introduce Himself to His created beings. The psalmist finds these words even sweeter than the sweetest thing known on earth – ‘honey from the comb.’
What effect do they have on the one who hears them and understands them? ‘They revive, they give joy, they give light and most important they show where we are going wrong in our lives – our hidden faults and our willful errors so that we may live a blameless life’ . The purpose of all this is gathered in the last vs, which is the ultimate response to this revelation of God.
So friends, do you see the connection between the Psalm and the word God spoke to me? His aim has always been to make Himself known to us who are the pinnacle of His creation. From the beginning He has been demonstrating His glory in His creation, Jerusalem represented the site which He chose to come and to give His law and to show Himself to mankind through the whole sacrificial system and the the prophetic utterances, and ultimately the crowing glory, His very own Son who called Himself “the Word” (John 1:1). These are the ways He has been revealing Himself progressively to us and there was a stage where Jerusalem was key, but not anymore, long ago already . The beauty of His law moreover is only so sweet, perfectly sweet because it represents His perfect word to us, but the beauty lies not in the Word, but in the One who spoke it, the One who became that very Word.
So friends, once again, we listen eagerly, don’t we? We listen eagerly to hear Jesus speaking to us. That is the sweetest voice we will ever hear. We don’t just read the scriptures to learn how to be good. We read them to meet our Saviour. When we look up at the beauty of creation, we don’t see just that beauty, but the much greater beauty of the One who created it. So “May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, Lord my Rock and my Redeemer”. Lets go on listening to Jesus together then, shall we?