Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The Word of the Lord

I open my Bible to Psalm 44 and, at first glance, think it reads, "What have we done with out ears--that we haven't heard You?"  It's a good line, a provocative, inspired word and my brain races off. What have we done? have with overwhelmed our ears with the noise of our culture at decibels so loud that our hearing is shot? Have we stuffed our ears with the narrowness of 'churchiness' so that we think we know who and what and how to live and love, and it all comes out as legalism?  Have we waterlogged our ears with our own lusts so that we are deaf to anything but our own desires?  Indeed, have we always been hearing but never listening?  "What have we done with our ears that we haven't heard You?"  What have I done with my ears?

Then, after a long moment of pondering this profound thought, I reread the line, and oddly, the Psalm actually says the opposite.  Yes, almost the exact opposite of what I read at first glance, it says, "We have heard it with our ears, O God."  I don't know how I got it backwards, but this truth I must understand.  The true people of God will hear. The cream rises, so to speak, and His voice will be heard.  Over the clamor of culture, the sometimes narrow, sometimes even hypocritical voices of the church, the ones faithful in the land will hear Him.

He prevails.  Righteousness wins. Culture doesn't.  Hard-heartedness will not. Lust will not. God does. Even in me.  Even in the church.  God is God. As He has been, this Psalm says, so He will be now.  The God who drove out the nations is MY God. No matter what it looks like, no matter what the material world brings, He is true.

This is the word of the Lord.

In many churches, we say this sentence after the reading of scripture. "This is the word of the Lord."  I grew up saying it without a single thought of the power behind such a sentence.  But creation came into being by His word, we were created by His word, and His word stands when all else falls.  It's the one true thing in eternity.  So when we say those words, when we know such a thought or word is true, it should knock us over with the power and magnitude and glory of it all.  This one--that "We have heard it with our ears."  That we can HEAR God Himself--if it doesn't make you fall on your face in in awe, you're made of stronger stuff than I am. Because I need to hear Him.  I need it like I need air to breathe.  I need it like...well, like it's the one still point on which I can stand in this dying world. Really.

And I'm telling you, you don't have to listen to any other voice.  And if you don't think you can hear His, just open a Bible.  Right there in black and white (and a little bit of red letters), He lives and breathes and speaks loudly.

 As Psalm 44: 6-8 says, "I put no trust in my bow, my sword does not bring me victory, but You give me victory over our enemies, you put our adversaries to shame.  In God we make our boast all day long, and we will praise your name forever."

This is the word of the Lord.

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