Friday, June 20, 2014

Psalms 96:11-13 -- On Taking Out the Trash

"Let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad; let the sea roar, and the fulness thereof.
Let the field be joyful, and all that is therein: then shall all the trees of the wood rejoice
Before the Lord: for he cometh, for he cometh to judge the earth: he shall judge the world with righteousness, and the people with his truth."
Psalms 96:11-13

I like the idea of the earth and the sea and the field and the wood all being aware and happy that the Lord is coming.  The idea of being happy about being judged isn't something that we usually encounter in our everyday lives.  Often, judgement is something that we are afraid of, or that we attempt in a broken way so that we offend people and leave a mess behind.  But the abundant joy in these verses isn't for our broken kind of judgement or even mostly for a scary judgement that we would like to run from.  I think this is something that we all want at our cores.  ... For the world to be just and whole.  For the corruption to be gone.  To be able to love and trust without fear of being used or swindled.  We want to be able to support leaders who are good.  We want to know that our children can play without fearing a kidnapper.  I even think that for the most part we want the bad part of ourselves to be gone, even if we aren't sure how to go about it, or it seems impossible or too painful right now.  ... And I think that is why the earth and the sea and all the rest are rejoicing.  Because God's judgement offers us freedom from all the bad things.
God will judge us with truth.  Interesting, and a little scary perhaps.  We are often afraid of people knowing the whole truth... what we really think about something, shame of past actions, fear that people would treat us differently if they knew what we felt or thought about this topic or that topic, or if they knew what we had done.  So, definitely natural to be scared of all the truth coming out.  But thinking about all the good that it will *also* do... I think we can understand a little joyfulness on the part of the trees. :)  And in a way, is the truth something that we *want* to be afraid of?  It might sting a little at first, but then it seems like it could be so much better than before.  Won't it be a relief to know all the secrets, and have other people know ours?  We never will have to hide from anything again.  If we can get past that initial reveal, then all of our relationships will be better--nothing left that could be based on deception or pretense.  And even though we have done bad things, isn't it *also* the truth that we want to change and grow and become different, better people?  If we can accept that about each other, and even help each other with the process, it seems like the absolute truth could be a glorious, beautiful place to live. :)
Today, let's remember the joy of God's judgement... and let's start getting ready for our place in that better world by cleaning up our lives, and getting rid of the things that we don't want anyone to see in our hearts and our minds.  God will help us take out the trash, no matter how dirty the job... we just have to get to the point where we are willing to let go of it.

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