Thursday, 6 December 2012

The Light of Christmas Pt. 4 {Waiting for the Purpose}

Continued from Part 3

Have you ever noticed that things don’t work very well when they are not used for their intended purpose?  I speak from experience:
A high-heeled shoe does not make a very good hammer.
A dog does not make a great vacuum cleaner because she leaves behind vegetables and dog slobber.
Hand soap does not equal shampoo as a cleaner of hair.
So one must wonder as we look around this planet, “what on earth is the purpose of man?” for are we not a mess?!  Surely the God who created a perfect creature intended more than this?
“Man is born for affliction, like the sparks fly upward”, cried Job ( 5:7).
Job knew affliction.  He lost everything he had in just a few days - his livelihood, his children, everything.  The only thing left was his wife.  And she told him to curse God and die.
The Israelites knew affliction.  Sold as one child slave (Joseph) by his brothers, the nation of Israel was increased to a mighty population within Egypt. They knew God had promised them a great and fertile land for their own, and this was not it.  When God did lead them toward it, they complained and grumbled and so were left to wander aimlessly in the wilderness for 40 years.
Injustice abounds the world over and has since the fall of mankind.  Adam, created in the image of God, bore a son, created in the image of sinful Adam, and then another.  The first born son of Adam killed his own brother.  Why?  Because he was evil and his brother was righteous. With the first murder injustice was born.  What started with Cain has continued and increases seemingly more each day.
Solomon in his wisdom lamented, “Moreover, I saw under the sun:  In the place of justice, wickedness was there; and in the place of righteousness, wickedness was there.”  Ecc. 3:16 
Sparks from a fire do fly upward, but was man really born for affliction?  Were we created to bear the burden of oppression, poverty, injustice?  Or were we created for something better?
The Westminster Shorter Catechism assures us that actually man’s primary purpose is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.  So what are we doing then?
Enjoy God?  Like Adam and Eve who walked in the garden with him, enjoying his friendship, his company, his greatness. “You will show me the path of life; in your presence is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” Ps 16:11
Glorify God?  Like the heavens which “declare the glory of God, and the skies the work of his hands”.  Declaring God’s greatness, enjoying His presence, loving Him for who is really is.
For that we have been created.  That we do not do.  No wonder the world is in such a state of affliction, we are not fulfilling the purpose to which we have been created. 
Like the high-heel which breaks when used as a hammer, man is afflicted when he tries to be God.
We have been blinded by the darkness, the sin.  The deception of the serpent which first spoke to Eve still speaks, still blinds us.  And so as a fallen creation, we cannot do what we were created to do and God “makes [us] wander in a pathless wilderness.  [We] grope in the dark without light, and He makes [us] stagger like a drunken man.” Job 12:24-25
He answers those like Jeremiah who cry out “Why does the way of the wicked prosper?”, and David who asked, “How long, O Lord?”. 
He answers with this precious promise:
“Lift up your eyes on high, and see who has created these things, who brings out their host by number; he calls then all by name, by the greatness of His might and the strength of His power; not one is missing. 
Why do you say, O Jacob, and speak, O Israel: ‘My way is hidden from the Lord, and my just claim is passed over by my God?’  
Have you not known? 
Have you not heard? 
The everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, neither faints nor is weary.  His understanding is unsearchable.  He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might He increases strength.  Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall, but those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.”  Is. 40:26-31
God had a plan. To enable the blind man to see; to re-establish His created purpose within man; to bring light for those grope in the dark.  
But for a time he said to those who would listen, “Wait patiently, the Light is coming.”
“Arise, shine; for your light has come!  And the glory of the Lord is risen upon you.  For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and deep darkness the people; but the Lord will arise over you, and His glory will be seen upon you.  The Gentiles shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising.” Is. 60:1-3

To be continued.....

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