THE ANCIENT OF DAYS RESTORING HIS ANCIENT PEOPLE TO HIS ANCIENT LAND
On the morning of August 22, 2014, the 26th of Av, 5774, I woke from one of those dreams in which I was reminded of David's Psalm 16 declaration, "even at night my heart instructs me".
In the Psalm, this "instruction" comes in the context of declaring that, "LORD, you have assigned me my portion and my cup; you have made my lot secure. The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance", which leads him to say, "I will praise the LORD, who counsels me"; the counsel of the heart, then, results from a state of mind in which David understood himself to be an integral part of the LORD's purposes, and "will not be abandoned to the grave", but continue living eternally.
My dream, although not many details survived, gave me a clear sense of being in the midst of events, all of which, regardless of their nature, or my lack of understanding, in some way move within the world of THE ANCIENT OF DAYS, and that I am where I am not by accident. My Creator "knit me together in my mother's womb", and "assigned me my portion and my cup" in life. I am who He made me to be, and what He expects of me is what He has prepared for me to do; "For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them." (Ephesians 2:10).
If you have checked my Facebook page in the last few weeks, you know that I have been caught up in the events swirling around the land of which Moses says, "It is a land the LORD your God cares for; the eyes of the LORD your God are continually on it from the beginning of the year to its end."
Today this land is surrounded by people whose leaders are obsessed with exterminating the ancient people that the Ancient of Days is restoring to His ancient land.
So I seem, to myself, a bit like the grasshoppers that the "spies", sent to scout out the land before Israel would enter, felt they were like in comparison to the enormity of what they saw.
They pressured Moses into digressing from what the LORD would have enabled them to do; only Joshua and Caleb were convinced that the LORD would equip them for the task; and both were abundantly rewarded later. As we know, that "digressing" caused a 40 year Wilderness Wandering, not a consequence I wish to experience.
I came out of the dream knowing beyond any doubt that even the small "contribution" I am equipped to make is necessary for the whole to be the whole. "Do what I've called you to do; everything is in MY HANDS", I sensed Him say to me.
Frequently, in semi-conscious reflection on dreams, I burst into "Praise the LORD, O my soul"; the morning of this dream was no exception. I recited the whole Psalm, and realised that in it David expressed the wholeness of the Universe in the hands of its Creator, and did the obvious: PRAISED THE LORD.
Tremendous encouragement and empowerment grew through these reflections, and, to conclude the blog, I will share a few of those observations.
1 Praise the Lord, my soul;
all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
2 Praise the Lord, my soul,
and forget not all his benefits—
3 who forgives all your sins
and heals all your diseases,
The benefits begin with forgiveness and healing; then can come redemption and satisfaction
4 who redeems your life from the pit
and crowns you with love and compassion,
5 who satisfies your desires with good things
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
6 The Lord works righteousness
and justice for all the oppressed.
7 He made known his ways to Moses,
his deeds to the people of Israel:
8 The Lord is compassionate and gracious,
slow to anger, abounding in love.
9 He will not always accuse,
nor will he harbor his anger forever;
10 he does not treat us as our sins deserve
or repay us according to our iniquities.
11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is his love for those who fear him;
12 as far as the east is from the west,
so far has he removed our transgressions from us.
13 As a father has compassion on his children,
so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him;
14 for he knows how we are formed,
he remembers that we are dust.
15 The life of mortals is like grass,
they flourish like a flower of the field;
16 the wind blows over it and it is gone,
and its place remembers it no more.
17 But from everlasting to everlasting
the Lord’s love is with those who fear him,
and his righteousness with their children’s children—
18 with those who keep his covenant
and remember to obey his precepts.
After this wonderful expression of the heart and strategy of the LORD's unfolding work in the theatre of Mankind, those He created in His Image but who are ephemeral and easily forgotten by fellow-men, David returns to the HEART OF THE MATTER.
19 The Lord has established his throne in heaven,
and his kingdom rules over all.
"The LORD works righteousness and justice for all the oppressed", and the parallel declaration, "The LORD has established his throne in heaven, and his kingdom rules over all", are used by the poet to frame his vision of the LORD revealing his ways to His Prophets and unfolding them for the benefit of His Children.
20 Praise the Lord, you his angels,
you mighty ones who do his bidding,
who obey his word.
21 Praise the Lord, all his heavenly hosts,
you his servants who do his will.
22 Praise the Lord, all his works
everywhere in his dominion.
Praise the Lord, my soul.
That is the reason for the poet's self-talk: "Praise the LORD, my soul"! What else can he do?
Reciting this Psalm always empowers me for the day, but this morning, after I had been so remarkably reminded in the dream that I did fit, in however small a role, into the LORD's work in the earth, was particularly invigorating.
I think the LORD gave the dream at this time because Grace and I are in the midst of packing to leave for two months in Israel, and the turmoil unleashed by Hamas in the Sovereign LORD's land is troubling.
Grace also experienced a powerful dream during the morning of August 23, 2014, the 27th of Av, 5774; perhaps she will share it in a future blog.
The LORD is preparing us.