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(Part 32)


December 4, 2009

Today’s readings again give us insights into our theme for next year. We start off with a verse from Isaiah, that speaks about awe and reverence for God.

“When his children see the work of my hands in his midst, they shall keep my name holy; they shall reverence the Holy One of Jacob, and be in awe of the God of Israel.” (Is 29:23)

Isaiah refers to Jacob, and his children are the Israelites. God’s people will be in awe of Him when they see His mighty works. To see is to witness, to experience. The mighty works of God are all around us -- His awesome creation, the wonder of life, the many miracles one experiences from day to day.

Being blind

But the world is blind to these wonders. They are taken for granted. They are unappreciated. Worse, the world has become destructive of these mighty works of God. Just look at environmental degradation all around us, destroying God’s creation. Just look at the scourge of abortion, destroying life in the womb.

Since we are blind, we need to see. We need to have both physical and spiritual sight. We receive sight when we turn to Jesus.

Two blind men did just that. They followed and approached Jesus. Jesus touched their eyes “and their eyes were opened.” (Mt 9:30a). Isaiah says that “the eyes of the blind shall see.” (Is 29:18b).

In order for us to see, we need to turn to Jesus. In order for us to know where we are to go and how we are to live our lives, we need to turn to Jesus. Just like the two blind men who sought Jesus’ help, our prayer should be: “Lord, show me your way; lead me on a level path” (Ps 27:11).

Seeing God

When we do turn to Jesus and allow him to restore our sight, what happens? What is that right path that God has for us?

First, we will experience a reversal of fortunes, for the better. The world is in darkness and sin; we need to be brought into the light and to a life of holiness. There is oppression and injustice in the world; we need to experience the justice and righteousness of God. Knowing Jesus and allowing him to transform our lives will result in blessings.

  • The lowly and the poor will find joy (Is 29:19). The lowly and the poor today live miserable lives. But in Christ they will rejoice.
  • The unjust oppressors will be done away with (Is 29:20-21). These oppressors today commit injustices at will, with impunity, with no fear of being taken to account. Evil reigns. But God will exact judgment, in His time and in His own way.
  • Those who err in spirit will acquire understanding and instruction (Is 29:24). Many are lost, living according to the wisdom of the world, which leads to destruction. In Jesus we will be guided along the right path, receiving godly wisdom.

Second, our lives will be characterized by hope, joy and trust.[1]

  • We can hope in the Lord. “Wait for the Lord, take courage; be stouthearted, wait for the Lord!” (Ps 27:14). We hope because we see God’s love and care for us. God will never abandon us. His love and care are greater than what we experience even from our earthly parents. “Even if my father and mother forsake me, the Lord will take me in.” (Ps 27:10).
  • We will have joy in Christ. “I will offer in his tent sacrifices with shouts of joy” (Ps 27:6b). Knowing that God is always there to care for us, knowing that we can always turn to Him in the challenges of our lives, such is cause for great joy.
  • We trust in Jesus. “Though war be waged against me, even then do I trust.” (Ps 27:3b). Because we trust, we need never fear. Fear is the opposite of trust. “Though an army encamp against me, my heart does not fear; though war be waged against me, even then do I trust.” (Ps 27:3). Why will fear be banished in our lives? If God is my savior who redeems me from darkness and sin, if God is my refuge to shelter me from harm, if God is my light to show me the way, then I need never be afraid. “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom do I fear? The Lord is my life’s refuge; of whom am I afraid?” (Ps 27:1).

Third, when we see the works of God’s hands, when we become in awe of Him, then we will show Him proper reverence. We are creatures of the omnipotent Creator. We are sinners redeemed by the Savior. We are slaves of the divine Master. As such, our proper posture of reverence and awe brings us to worship. “I will sing and chant praise to the Lord.” (Ps 27:6c).

Fourth, having experienced the mighty hand of God, we will be led to proclaim Him to all. We become evangelizers. We must become like the two beggars who “went out and spread word of (Jesus) through all that land.” (Mt 9:31). Not even the stern warning of Jesus himself not to speak about the miracle they experienced could stop them![2]

Seeking God

We are all created by God to be with Him eternally in paradise. Our being children of God is built into our DNA. Our souls yearn for God. Our spirits cannot rest secure until they rest in God. Thus the most natural thing is for us to seek God, to want to see Him. “‘Come,’ says my heart, ‘seek God’s face’; your face, Lord, do I seek!” (Ps 27:8). If we seek God, we will see Him.

When we do see God, when we humbly bow down in worship, when we are awed by the holiness of God, then we should also desire to be holy, as He is holy. When we see and are awed by God’s mighty works, we “shall keep (His) name holy” (Is 29:23). Holiness is God’s call to us. Holiness is what forms us in the image and likeness of God, in which we were created.

As we seek God, as we turn to Jesus, as we grow in hope, joy and trust, then we already have a foretaste of paradise in the here and now. “But I believe I shall enjoy the Lord’s goodness in the land of the living.” (Ps 27:13). But this is just a foretaste. We look forward to the fullness of life in the Lord in the heavenly Jerusalem that is to come.

Then will we dwell with our Father for all eternity. Then will we forever be praising Him. Then will we see Him face to face, in all His beauty and grandeur.

“One thing I ask of the Lord; this I seek:
to dwell in the Lord’s house
all the days of my life,
to gaze on the Lord’s beauty,
to visit his temple.”
(Ps 27:4)

Then will we rightly exclaim: The Almighty!

* * *

[1] Hope, joy and trust are our themes for 2007, 2008 and 2009, respectively.
[2] The two beggars disobeyed Jesus. Is it ever permissible to disobey Jesus? Check out my write-up on “Disobeying Jesus” last January 28, 2009.


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