Postcard from Palestine
Just back from a ramble this morning. My mind turned to one of my favorites. I drooled for a few moments on the delights of Psalm 104.
This is a Psalm which reveals the glory of Christ. The introduction to Hebrews shows it speaks of Creator Jesus.
The description of our now-incarnate, crucified, risen, glorified Mediator is truly stunning in this praise - Jesus is commander of angelic servants, hosepipe-sprinkler of hills, fashion designer for fields, home furnisher for all our curious feathered and diverse furry friends, happy heart maker of humans, and supervisor of works both diurnal and nocturnal - all things in God's house He does well and orders wise.
O LORD, how manifold are your works! In wisdom have you made them all; the earth is full of your creatures ...May the glory of the LORD endure forever; may the LORD rejoice in his works - Psalm 104:24, 31
Well my heart was full of joy as sights and sounds filled up my soul: sweet bird-song chirped from branches, hay lay cut and rolled into bales, sunshine streamed through russet boughs, and then there was a fluff-bomb, Lucy, our Bernese - with her pink tongue hanging out, and her outline casting a shadow on the ground, she shared the panorama and looked even happier than me.
Could it get any better? That was the question that began to echo in my brain!
And then a nourishing thought - Psalm 104 also works as a prophetic type of Paradise. In what ways do you mean? Well, think about it with me...
There bird song will be sweeter and drowned out by angel choirs - saints will hit perfect notes as the Slain Lamb takes all the praise.
There all creatures will be well fed, lion and sheep eat straw together, with children playing in the snake pit, for cosmic harmonization will be complete.
There joy-surges will not be fleeting, but everlasting and sustained - not focused just on Creation, but enraptured with Redemption: threads dark and golden, woven into tapestry-like lives of saints, by the skillful, sovereign, loving, most-wise, hand of God will be seen to combine to form the perfect picture of Christ's face!
There wine will gladden man's heart, not the wine matured in barrels, but the wine we drink with Jesus, which reminds us of His blood.
There bread requires no labor but we enjoy non-stop stores of manna: our souls fill to brimming with Christ, who was nailed, pierced and crushed as a punishment for us.
There sunbeams won't split trees but yield to more intense, holier, rays - in God's lamp-less House, His blinding glory radiates, and is the constant marvel of saints, observed through the contact lens of Christ.
No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. And night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever - Revelation 22.3-5
Is the Psalmist lost in wonder at the Postcard from Palestine - should we not turn up the volume, and let hearts to overflow with blood-bought expectation of the Postcard of Paradise? Rejoice in new-creation delights to which this psalm of creation points?
After all, this is where the Psalm ends - with a prayer to erase sin from every square inch of Christ's Mediatorial Kingdom! Then every pore on Christ's body will sweat with celestial milk and honey!
I will sing to the LORD as long as I live; I will sing praise to my God while I have being. May my meditation be pleasing to him, for I rejoice in the LORD. Let sinners be consumed from the earth, and let the wicked be no more! Bless the LORD, O my soul! Praise the LORD! - Psalm 104:33-35
Even so, maranatha - come Lord Jesus, to take and transform your possession!