Friday, January 17, 2020

Psalm 65

You visit the earth and water it;
you greatly enrich it;
the river of God is full of water....
—Psalm 65:9

Rain. We take it for granted. Or we consider it a nuisance, if we have a picnic planned. ("Who'll stop the rain?")

But David saw rain as a sign and a sacrament, pointing us to God's eternal love for growing things. Rain is God "visiting the earth" to water it and enrich it (65:9).

Showers sweep across the plowed ground, "watering it's furrows, settling it's ridges, softening the dirt clods, blessing it with growth" (65:10). Rain is God, walking through the earth like Johnny Appleseed, leaving behind His bounty: "The paths on which He walks overflow with goodness" (65:11).

Here's a dimension of truth that most folks have lost. It’s a vision, a perspective, a way of “seeing.” Put simply, it is the capacity to see "through" rather than "at" creation.

Nature is a signpost pointing to God, but tragically, most people only look at the sign. C.S. Lewis described our foolishness as a "dog-like" way of seeing. (If you point at your dog's food dish and say "Eat," he will stare at your finger, confusing the sign with the thing signified.) 

A little thing like rain reveals the face of God if we have eyes to see it. The little hills, the pastures, the valleys take in God's love. They shout and sing together for joy!" (65:13).

So should I!

Sweet the rain’s new fall
Sunlit from heaven,
Like the first dew fall
On the first grass.
Praise for the sweetness
Of the wet garden,
Sprung in completeness
Where His feet pass. —Eleanor Farjeon

David Roper

[Yes, I know, rain also brings floods, raging streams, stagnant ponds and anopheles mosquitoes. We don’t rhapsodize over the beauty of these aspects of nature. It’s because of the existence of such things, however, that we realize that something has gone wrong.]

The Purpose That Is Purposed “This is the purpose that is purposed with regard to the whole earth, and this is the hand that is stretch...