Dabar [theme]

He shall cover thee with His feathers, and under His wings shalt thou find refuge: His truth is a shield and buckler
Psalms 91:4

Be it ours,when we cannot see the face of God, to trust under the shadow of His wings. C.H. Spugeon

Monday, October 10, 2011

Legacy: Thanksgiving

Ecclesiastes 2:21, For there is a man whose labour is with wisdom, knowledge and skill, yet he must leave his heritage (legacy) to a man who has not laboured for it. This also is vanity and  a great evil."

Wisdom and foolishness although separate in life are equal in death. Both are left to posterity.

Proverbs 3:35, The wise will inherit honour, but shame shall be the legacy of fools."

Proverbs 3:27-31
Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due,

When it is in the power of your hand to do so.
Do not say to your neighbor,
“ Go, and come back,
And tomorrow I will give it,”
When you have it with you.
Do not devise evil against your neighbor,
For he dwells by you for safety’s sake.
Do not strive with a man without cause,
If he has done you no harm.
Do not envy the oppressor,
And choose none of his ways;"

It seems that life is about doing without, when in reality life is about what we are doing 'with'. Life is not about what we are doing without, but what we are living with. "It is always possible to be thankful for what is given than to complain about what is not given. One or the other becomes a habit of life." Elisabeth Elliot

Every "do not" and "shall not" in the Bible and hence in God's economy does not solely indicate just a negative value or a restraint upon a man, but implies a positive and empowering action of the will. The misconception of Christianity and its predominant force throughout the ages has seemed to be its dampening of the human spirit and its constraints upon life's enjoyments. As compared to a worldly bent on life this is a solid argument, however, when life is viewed in the context of communion, both with man and God the pursuit of individual pleasures and enjoyments become a paltry expression of what life was designed to encompass. Man will part with anything rather than his sin.

Those throughout history who have sacrificed and strived for the greater good of humanity have earned the acclaims of the ages. Their efforts are not lost to the generations.

To 'do not' or observe the 'shall nots' can be seen as a legalistic way to seek and redress deviant behaviour without coming to terms with our own inherent deviations. What is implied in the Law is not judgement but grace and grace embodied in our actions underwrite those same judgements of God. We must 'Let God be God' and work at the means we have of implementing grace in our society. We as Christians cannot supply the means of Divine justice, nor can we satisfy the wrongs and attacks done to God's honour by sin.

"Do unto ... as you would have" is our mandate to express to the world justice, mercy and the bearing of evil with a goal of revealing God's grace to each and every person.

"He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does God require of you but to do justly, to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God."

We all have to labour and work and strive, not only for our daily substinence, but in our moral fortitude, in our mental attitude, in our spiritual wellness and the focus is always seemingly on what we are currently 'without'. We are paying a price for a debt which we never incurred. God says that in this world of thanklessness to be conscious of sacrifice; in this world of consumption to be aware of how mercy and justice can be fully expressed.

"Be anxious for nothing" is one of those Biblical double entendres which occur as a result of translation from Greek to English, but I find the effect enlightening. Be thankful that there is nothing required by you or I that grace has not supplied.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Grace is not simply leniency when we have sinned. Grace is the enabling gift of God not to sin. Grace is power, not just pardon.—John Piper (pastor, author)