Date: Tuesday, May 9, 2000 (re-worked August 13, 2005)
Gary wrote a wonderful posting to the mailing list about Psalm 8.
O LORD, our Lord, how excellent is
thy name in all the earth! who hast set thy glory above the heavens.
Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast thou ordained strength because of thine enemies, that thou mightest still the enemy and the avenger.
When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained;
What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?
For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour.
Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet:
All sheep and oxen, yea, and the beasts of the field;
The fowl of the air, and the fish of the sea, and whatsoever passeth through the paths of the seas.
O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth!"
In that posting Gary mentioned how he had a wonderful and beautiful place where he would retreat to pray and meditate. Eventually his retreat was totally lost because developers came along and cleared the land and built on that once peaceful spot. Gary loved that place of solitude. Developers are destroying those kinds of places for the rich deposits of cash they receive for their efforts.
When we read: "For thou hast made him [man] a little lower than the angels,..." we see a glimpse of what Saint John saw when he was inspired to write how "...it doth not yet appear what we shall be..." [See 1st John 3:2]
This Universe was formed so magnificently and we are so awesomely and fearfully created to live for a moment within the Universe. Nevertheless this visible creation is very temporary. There is something so much better and so much more perfected ahead...a place where Satan and his helpers cannot touch or pollute.
There is a problem that must be overcome if we are to enter the corridors of God's Heaven. We cannot bring any unholiness into that perfect place. God inhabits that place and the Word of God tells us that "...our God is a consuming fire."
HIS glory eats up sin, wickedness, evil, hate, lust, darkness, rebellion and all forms of iniquity! And so to go to Heaven all iniquity must be purged from our being. Only death can bring purity. We must die to all that is of Earth. That begins when we receive the forgiveness of Jesus Christ. The cleansing continues when we follow salvation up by dying to sin. We can die to sin in either of two ways. We can go through the fires of physical death at the end of our natural life. (That fire removes all our interests in this old World.) Or we can spiritually die to sin through the fire of the Holy Spirit purging us clean. The Holy Spirit purging is preferred because it has many benefits associated with it. The Baptism in the Holy Spirit cleanses us in a deeper way. It empowers us with tools and spiritual gifts so we can achieve God's will in a fuller way. It separates us to HIS Divine service. It opens the door for a victorious life of joy. It causes us to please our Heavenly Father in a way that is very agreeable to HIM.
The Lord made this world so perfectly...but man and Satan vandalized it. As a result death has entered the creation. It is fading out. This World is unraveling. When Adam and Eve sinned the glory (the light of Heaven) fell off their beings. Eternal life departed from them...death began to stalk the earth. Animals stopped being vegetarians and began to eat each other. Thorns and thistles sprang up. The weather became harsh so that man needed a house. Before sin there was no rain...just a gentle dew. The plants, the Bible says, were all lovely food. Every leaf was a tasty salad. But after sin poison plants prevailed.
Years ago Gary stayed in his secret place of beauty to meditate. He sought God and prayed there. That place faded by the hand of developers. They polluted the place and turned it into something that looks good today but will deteriorate in the tomorrows. The forest renews itself...but man-made buildings slowly fall apart. Man-made lakes must be maintained because they are not naturally formed.
Disneyland was such a lovely place the day it opened in 1956. I was there way back then. Today it is bigger, more complex...but man must constantly refurbish it. It keeps rotting away. It is not natural. It is contrived. It is made to look like a bit of heaven...but in reality it is only a business.
I agree with Gary's posting...I'm looking "...for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God." [Hebrews 11:10b]
God's City is a place that is far more permanent. It does not fade away.