Saturday, May 18, 2013

"The Peace of the Dew"

     In a media age where a portion of Christianity and of Christians has become very public, I remain convinced that the vast majority of God's working occurs privately among the unknown, the hidden, the forgotten, and the nameless.

In the morning the dew lay round about the host. And when the dew that lay was gone up, behold, upon the face of the wilderness there lay a small round thing, as small as the hoar frost on the ground. And when the children of Israel saw it, they said one to another, It is manna" (Exodus 16:13-15).

    We rightly focus on the manna when considering God's provision for Israel during their wilderness sojourn.  Note, however, that the manna did not come alone.  It came with the dew, which evaporated into forgotteness as it left sustenance to the Jews.  As purposed by God, had there been no dew, there would have been no manna.  Nevertheless, we don't hear many sermons or read many books or articles about the dew, which is just as it should be.

    "We preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord" (II Corinthians 4:5).

    The human heart does not fare well when exposed to fame and notoriety.  Doubtless, there are notable exceptions for whom we should hold much respect.  Most of us, however, would find our flesh profoundly energized if we ever received the "15 minutes of fame" that Andy Warhol once said would eventually characterize the experiences of people in the 21st century.  First, we'd think far too well or highly of ourselves, believing that we had achieved of our own devices the adulationaffirmation, and attention of the masses.  It wouldn't be long,however, beforpersonal disillusionment began to chip away at the inner monument we erected to ourselves.  We would know our unworthiness of the smiles, the cheers, the pats on the back, and the place we held in the deluded hearts of our admirers.  Such a contradiction creates a profound spiritual and moral unease in the heart, which explains the strange and self-destructive behaviors we see among so many entertainers, politicians, athletes, and sadly, even Christian luminaries.

    Thankfully, Warhol's expectation has yet to fulfilled.  Most of us remain obscure, a blessed gift for which we should often offer grateful praise to the Dewmaker.  History ever moves toward the fulfillment of the prophet's blessed promise: "the Lord alone shall be exalted in that day" (Isaiah 2:11).  Moreover, the Holy Spirit ever moves in our hearts and lives to elicit such quiet godliness that even our left hand remains unaware of the doings of the right (Matthew 6:3).  This is peace, the peace of the dew that rejoices in its evaporation whereby the manna alone remains to be found, consumed, and gratefully appreciated.

"Not unto us, o Lord, not unto us, but unto Thy name give glory!"
(Psalm 115:1)

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