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Ps. 1:1-3
How blessed is the man
Who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked,
Nor stand in the path of sinners,
Nor sit in the seat of scoffers!
But his delight is in the law of the LORD,
And in His law he meditates day and night.
He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water,
Which yields its fruit in its season
And its leaf does not wither;
And in whatever he does, he prospers.

God uses terms that man understands: like “path”, “sit in the seat”, “day and night”, “delight”, “tree firmly planted by streams of water”, etc.  These terms relate clearly to the Hebraic mindset because of understanding that being in relationship with God is to be fully human, alive and very concerned with passionate service to God and humanity in this world. Western Christians tend to view spirituality as being detached from things of this earth and looking instead at heavenly values.  The orientation of the Hebraic understanding of God is that God created the earth and everything in it and thus finds a sense of holiness and sacred in the world. A Jew would not think of asking God to bless food for “health and nourishment” to his body.  His prayer would be one of thankfulness to God who gave them the land to grow the food. The thought that it might not be good for him would not cross his mind because God provided it.  (Possibly a hold over from the provision of manna and quail)

Deut. 8:10
When you have eaten and are satisfied, you shall bless the LORD your God for the good land which He has given you.

 An outshoot of the doctrine of the desire to be away from the earth (whether Heaven or the Kingdom), Western Christians have seemed to lose the love of the earth that God made.  Asceticism is an outgrowth of this way of thinking. Is it possible that when thoughts are consistently on only the Kingdom it may foster a passive detachment from this world – transcendence to a more pleasurable place before its time?  Like living in the future instead of the now?  Or on a place rather than in relationship to God now?

A popular song says, “This world is not my home, I’m just a passin’ through.”  I disagree.  We are living in this age and we are a very important part of God’s creation here on earth with a definite purpose.  Our final “home” will be here on earth.  This earth is it, not some otherworldly place out there.  We have only a few years to make the best of our time here.  God gives us extremely important work now to do in our community in preparation for the coming age.

Hebraic roots bring a balance of living for the coming King and Kingdom by being fully aware of the earthly gifts such as family, the body of Christ, the lost, and the smell of roses and even suffering.  The awesome gift, connection, of holy spirit sets us apart from the evil of this age and affords us the ability to live for God while Satan is loose.  We can be in such a hurry to “blow this pop stand” that we may miss the work (the person next to us?) that God has for us each and every day.  He provides blessings by a snow flake or many snow flakes, the food we eat, the people we talk to – BECAUSE HE IS THE CREATOR OF IT ALL.  Instead of focusing on this world as evil and to be distained, focusing on YHWH Who is the Creator of all happenings, blessings, and life grounds us to this earth that is our home for now.  The remodeling comes later.

Sources about Hebraic thought: Wilson, Marvin, Our Father Abraham; Ladd, G.E., I Believe in the Resurrection of Jesus; Heschel, A.J., God in Search of Man

4 Responses to “This is My Father’s World”

  1. on 27 Mar 2007 at 6:37 amSean

    Agreed, this world is my home and I’m here to stay! You bring up some good points here. Once I came to believe in the gospel of the kingdom (that God was going to restore this earth to Eden) my whole perspective regarding this planet changed. I don’t think of this earth as temporal or transitionary. This earth and I are going to be together forever.

    Even so, I was recently reminded how corrupt nature is. I was watching a show called “Man vs. Wild” in which some British ex-special forces guy is dropped off in the middle of a tropical rainforest and his task is to make it to the ocean to find civilization. This man is an expert in what he does and still he struggled greatly just to survive. Little bugs constantly pestered him (i.e. misquitos, etc.). Snakes were a constant threat. The water from the streams made his stomach sick once. His hands were lacerated from trail blazing through thick bushes. His feet had blisters from getting wet. Throughout the entire show he would report statistics of how many tourist hikers died last year in this way or that. I came to understand that allthough this is my Father’s world, it is severely damaged goods. In its design and complexity it certainly bears the fingerprints of a brilliant creator. But in its cruelty, unforgiveness, and brutality it bears the fingerprints of Satan. (And I’m just talking about nature, everything is much more blatant when one enters the realm of humans).

    So, I agree with you, this is God’s world, but at the same time, He isn’t reigning now. At the last trumpet He will begin to reign. Then all of creation will shout for joy! So in a sense I must look forward to the coming age (i.e. seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness) in order to survive and persevere. However, I don’t look at the planet as if it is a temporary place away from home. This is my home.

  2. on 27 Mar 2007 at 9:02 amMary Ann

    The show sounds quite interesting. I do know that many years ago I was a part of a mountain climbing group and also learned how to be a bull fighting clown. I learned from those experiences – clearly out of my frame of reference – that my sucess came absolutely, positively, completely because of God energizing me. I remember deliberately walking behind the leader across scree (large boulders that look like someone dumped them out of a sack onto the top of the mountain) that was quite dangerous. I knew I would give up if I was at the end of the line. I would look up at the top of the 8,000 ft. mountain and faint in my mind, (the air was quite rare too!) but I knew I could take one more step. I was so elated at the top of the mountain and energized because I KNEW it was God that got me through that mess without a mishap. The others (young buff 20 year old males), looking to their own strength and hiking ability, had hurt limbs, bruises and cuts. Actually the miracle was that they did not throw me off of the mountain because I was so excited and happy! Anyway, I have proved to myself that there is no task, no jungle, no challenge (just face a 1500 pound bull without any protection) that my God cannot see me through. He can even make my path straight for the Kingdom!! I just have to follow behind Him as I did the leader of the hiking group. I just love it.

  3. on 27 Mar 2007 at 3:25 pmPat

    Ever since I was a child ,I can remember having ” a love affair with the glorious creation” When I thought that our final destination was Heaven, I lost some of the excitment and awe of it. There was a song that the Way use to sing, I remember one impt, line , the things of ea,rth will,. grow strangely dim in the light of his glory and grace, how blessed was I when I learned about the kingdom. Now I can look forward to an even more beautiful place for eternity.

  4. on 28 Mar 2007 at 9:03 pmRich

    Mary Ann

    Thanks for a very refreshing article. I agree that those of us living in Western culture are often very out of touch with the world which our Father created, even if it is now in a diminished state.

    Learning to appreciate the wonders of nature can be a source of great joy to those of us who know God, because we can experience His handiwork in a personal way. It can certainly refresh our souls a lot more than most of the things many folks do to entertain themselves (TV, watching sports, cultural activities, etc – which mostly glorify men in some way or other)

    I have learned to love the times I can spend outdoors in His world, enjoying and thanking Him for all that He has created.

    Rich

  

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