Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Theocratic… (Psalm 72) 170209

I have come to the end of Book 2 of Psalms. I cannot imagine how this can be done without the grace of God. As I have a Day Alone with God at home yesterday doing laundry, changing bed sheets, cleaning up the floors, going out for 20 laps of swim and a haircut. I was trying to experience how Brother Lawrence (a kitchen monk) was so soaked in the presence of God while doing his daily chores, washing wine bottles and cutting potatoes. And of course, I read a book, The Race by Robert Solomon.

I am not here to share about my Day Along experience, maybe some other times. I am here to reflect on Psalm 72, the last psalm of the Book 2 of Psalms, which is divided into 5 Books (Book 1: Ps 1-41; Book 2: Ps 42-72; Book 3: Ps 73-89; Book 4: Ps 90-106; and Book 5: Ps 107-150). This Book 2 ends with a very beautiful psalm. As Stanley L. Jaki describes, such beautiful psalm is liked all beauty, can be a distraction.

Indeed, this psalm describes the splendor of Israel while under the leadership of King David and King Solomon. It speaks about the psalmist, Solomon, successor of David, having the desire to rule with justice and righteousness (v2-4, 12-14). It also speaks of the greatness and the prosperity of the time (v8-11, 15-17). But most importantly, it speaks of God centeredness in the ruling of Israel (v1-2, 18-19); this is what we called: Theocratic – The Government of God (I think this is the best I can put it).

Theocratic is about God as the ruler of the nation, not the king. Theocratic is about God as the Law by which the country is being ruled and governed. The king or the human government is only representation of God’s people, taking direction and guidance from God to manage the nation. The king is merely a human agent of God. Such rule should be seen in church, a spiritual and symbolic Israel. (I am not for the idea that the church has replaced the nation of Israel in every sense.)

In many ways, the manner the church should be managed is not by the Senior Pastor, neither by the Session (for the Presbyterian) nor the Bishop nor the Board of Director nor the congregation. The church should be governed by God. The question is: how does a church rule by God? Through those people mentioned earlier.

Then isn’t this a chicken and egg problem? Maybe, maybe not. As long as the one who is leading the church is submissive to the leading of the Lord, the church is led by God.

As a pastor, though I am not leading the entire church, but I am, by the grace of God, placed in the position to lead in some church ministry. In fact, if you are a parent, or teacher of any sort, or leading and influencing other people’s lives, and I suppose you lead your own live; you are a leader. I have to constantly check my life and make sure that I am in submission to God. I have to let God rule my life first, before He can rule His people through me.

Are you ruled by Christ? Or you simply rule your own live without God? It is easier to be self ruled, but self ruled may lead to no rule, and a life without rule is a life without security. I know that as God rules me, He also protects me. I know there are many things in ministry I am not in control, but God is.

As the church has given me the responsibility to facilitate the forming of Adult Bible Fellowships (ABFs) of other life stages besides the Young Adults, I am out of my wits how to even get it started. I don’t even know how to gather the people, because other life stages of people do not have such fellowship setting before this. And there isn’t sufficient facilities (as in rooms, always have to beg YABF to use their room), and also no leaders availing themselves to serve. The most importantly, I am not willing to take up that leadership, because God has not given me the green lights to do so. I simply have to wait for God’s timing to raise His people to lead and meanwhile, I just have to be faithful in keeping the ABFs going. It is not easy, because it can be quite discouraging to organize ABFs without people attending. But I just have to keep going, until God send His chosen one to lead.

I think I have shared too much. Just keep this me in prayer to remain faithful and do not lead without the approval of God. He desires obedience more than sacrifices. I desire a Theocratic life.


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