Tuesday, June 04, 2013

The Banner of the Deliverer appears through the gloom, for the sake of the tender love he bears to them.


Andrew Bonar looks away from himself to the banner of the deliverer.

Daily we die. We're being killed. Slaughtered. There are days that swear words were invented for. Days to cry with Solomon: 'hebel', smoke, vanity and meaninglessness.

Aching limbs and tired eyes whimper and whisper: what just happened... again and again.

Not every moment. There are rays of light.

We went on a road train and saw Llamas, and ate cookies by the river.

But, for me recent months have been hard. My friendship with the Psalmists is stronger for it. My trust in my Saviour too. More days in which I have no words to pray, yet a deeper sense of my security in his love. My longing for the renewal of all things never more tangible.

Again, let me not overplay it: there is food in my fridge, I have a fridge, and a roof over my head, my family around me but the chronic frustration of this world and particularly it's effect on my second son have made life sadder, gloomier.

Psalm 44, on which Bonar reflects, is a Maskil - a teaching song. One of the many by the Sons of rebel Korah. Men sentenced to death yet remarkably found alive (Num 16/26:11). They sing to their Saviour for the good of the people. Teach me, dead men who walk!

They follow v4 - God as their King, trusting him (v1-8).
He puts the world (and them) to death but gives life to his people.
Not by their own sword did they win the land, nor did their own arm save them, but your right hand and your arm, and the light of your face, for you delighted in them.
Their King is their saviour. His arm. His face. His delight.

Yet, v9-22, they suffer. Not as those who have abandoned their King but as those who trust him. They are "killed all day long", "regarded as sheep to be slaughtered".

Verses that Paul applies to Christians who are kept in the love of Christ in Romans 8. Calvin: "As we are adopted in Christ ,we are appointed to the slaughter."

My God is King, his name is Jesus. With them, in troubled times, I turn to their Lord for rescue. Seek the Slaughtered Lamb who is the Shepherd King, and sing:
Rise up; come to our help! Redeem us for the sake of your steadfast love!
Nothing can separate those who trust Christ from his love. Though he was slaughtered he rose. And "we are more than conquerors through him."  Safe in his love though it all. And there are always Llamas to put a smile on your face along the way.

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