Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Seeing Psalms

Abraham Kuyper (1837-1920)- a Reformed Christian, Dutch theologian, politician, journalist, university founder and seminal thinker of modern Calvinism; wrote this when he was in the Alps, recovering from his breakdown.

In the Roar of Your Waterfalls

God the Lord did not give us His revelation in a land of plains but in a land with mountains. Only in these highlands does a person learn to understand many a saying in Scripture.

David, too, roamed the mountains when he fled from Saul. There in the mountain caves, amidst cliffs and rocks, he heard an exhausted deer cry out for streams of water. In that cry he heard echoed the cry of his own soul for his God.

From mountain heights the world looks majestic, elevated, divinely great. On the plains and in the valleys man is everything. There he builds his cities and towns and fills them with his worldly possessions. There he accumulates his wealth, creates his pleasures, and covers the earth with the works of his hands.

But on mountain heights the picture is very different. There man is the creator of nothing and God alone is the majestic master craftsman. There every peak, every cliff, every gorge is an eloquent witness to His divine greatness. There one sees lightning and thunder clouds working in concert, not above himself but below and all around. There God the Lord has His eternal snow and never-melting icefields. There the only witness of His royal splendor is the eagle and only the gemsbok prances before His face.

Silence, a sacred silence, fills the air over those mysterious highlands. There the pounding of hoofbeats, the rattle of implements, the buzz of human voices is never heard but everything lies wrapped in solemn and divine quiet. God's power on those mountains became to him a revelation of His wrath. As on those mountains, so were things in his own soul. There, too, deep gorges yawned. There, too, the waters of the Lord came down with a dull roar. And when in nature, full of majesty, deep called to deep, David felt how in his own soul one abyss called to another with an enormous groan, ever calling out to the God of his life in whom alone was his help.

Still, it is not in the mountains but on the plains that God has provided a home for humanity. Though a person might roam on the mountian heights, he could not live there, and after years of being tested David too, returned to the plain of Jordan. But in the memory of his God as he received it in God's mountains remained indelibly imprinted on his soul.

A Song of Ascents.
I lift up my eyes to the hills.
From where does my help come?

My help comes from the LORD,
who made heaven and earth.

He will not let your foot be moved;
he who keeps you will not slumber.

Behold, he who keeps Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.

The LORD is your keeper;
the LORD is your shade on your right hand.

The sun shall not strike you by day,
nor the moon by night.

The LORD will keep you from all evil;
he will keep your life.

The LORD will keep your going out and your coming in
from this time forth and forevermore.
-(Psa 121:1-8)

I had the privilege to meditate on this reflection here and saw how the psalms jumped to Life every day.