At least, that’s the way I’m seeing them as I drive a few back roads outside our town. Psalm 96:11-12 is in my head:
Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice
let the sea roar, and all that fills it;
let the field exult, and everything in it!
I drove out to see the exuberant fields for myself.
I’m glad I live near where things grow. Picturesque farms nestle up against wooded mountains, just begging for a watercolorist to chance by. The tilled land with its furrowed soil, is dotted with green. Even farm machinery seems to be discs of sunshine today.
With God as the sovereign king over creation, there is much to rejoice about.
And yet, the world is not what it should be. As I drive, NPR is in my ear. It reports on more death and destruction in the Middle East. Another political leader caught in scandal. Increased international instability. There is so much that’s screwed up. As an African brother prayed this morning on a call I was on: “We call good evil and evil good.”
I stop and get out of the car to compose a shot of car tracks in a field that seem to veer off from the rising sun. That seems an appropriate visual for our troubled, self-driven world.
It’s a reminder that the rejoicing in Psalm 96 is not that God is an absent king, benignly viewing from his distant home in heaven. The joy is in the promise that he will come, as the Judge, to set things right. He will straighten the crooked roads. Evil will be revealed as evil. Good shall shine as good.
So, I stand at the edge of this field, soaking up the morning sun and rejoicing in the growth all around me. But I join in that greater joy and anticipation summed up in three words later on in the Psalm:
For he comes.
Great and glorious King, creator of the fields, coming Judge of all creation, we celebrate what you have done and what you will do. And with creation, we groan to see your Kingdom revealed in its fullness. Sometimes, we are lost in all the pain and trouble in this present age. Show us again the true north of your sovereignty.