“Let me hear what God the LORD will speak, for he will speak peace to his people, to his faithful, to those who turn to him in their hearts.” (Psalm 85:8)
I started this week’s reflections on scripture based on the idea the Elijah was running away from a situation that he did not consciously plan on but felt lead to complete, due to his being “very zealous for the Lord, the God of hosts.” Later in the week I considered that maybe Elijah was not running in fear but retreating to rejuvenate himself and prepare for what was to come. Just as Jesus often retreated to communion with the Lord God who sent him. Now I consider that “fear” of the Lord, which is not fear that paralyzes but fear that draws forth awe and worship (like the disciples worshiping Jesus who walked on water and calmed the sea). But still, we journey in this life – towards that which will support and under gird us.
“Surely his salvation is at hand for those who fear him, that his glory may dwell in our land.” (Verse 9)
This running from & running towards bespeaks a good deal of action and energy. But where is rest and shalom? (Answer coming.)
“Steadfast love and faithfulness will meet; righteousness and peace will kiss each other. Faithfulness will spring up from the ground, and righteousness will look down from the sky. The LORD will give what is good, and our land will yield its increase.” (Verses 10 – 13)
We abide, beloved reader, in our world but we walk and act according to the kingdom that we are assured will come. In the Kingdom of God faithfulness springs up under us and righteousness looks down upon us – like look cool verdant grass and cool cloudless sky. But here, in our present reality, it may seem there is little relief from stress & turmoil, aggression & hatred, violence & war. We would run away in far if there was not hope or relief in our reality; maybe that is what Elijah felt. The disciples in that “little boat” probably felt pressed upon and endangered. But Jesus came out to meet them, right where they were. And the Presence of the Lord came to Elijah in a quiet and gentle way, as opposed to the turmoil he had just been through. Paul told us that the righteous that calms and soothes comes from our faith in Jesus Christ and the Divine. Which is good because our present reality does little to calm and soothe.
The psalmist says of the Divine, “Righteousness will go before him, and will make a path for his steps.” (Verse 13). There is also a path for us, beloved reader. This path of righteousness is also for us; not that righteousness will automatically stretch out in front of us. But that of all the possible paths that are before us, we should seek and chose the righteous path.
It is good to know what to run from, beloved reader. And it is also good to know what to run to. May you chose wisely, and may the Presence of the Holy Spirit guide your way. Shalom & Selah!