Colum Cille (12)
The tottering and despotic and momentary glory
of the kings of this present world is set aside by the will of GOD…
The waters that are bound up in the clouds the Lord ofttime droppeth,
lest they should burst forth all at once, their barriers being broken
from whose fertilizing streams as from breasts,
gradually flowing through the regions of this earth,
cold and warm at divers seasons,
the never failing rivers ever run.
By the divine powers of the great GOD is suspended
the globe of earth, and thereto is set the circle of the great deep,
supported by the strong hand of GOD Almighty…
- Colum Cille, “Exalted First Sower”
He sends out His command to the earth;
His word runs very swiftly.
He gives snow like wool;
He scatters the frost like ashes;
He casts out His hail like morsels;
Who can stand before His cold?
He sends out His word and melts them;
He causes His wind to blow, and the waters flow.
He declares His word to Jacob,
His statutes and His judgments to Israel.
He has not dealt thus with any nation;
And as for His judgments, they have not known them.
Praise the LORD!
- Psalm 147.15-20
Stanzas 10-12 of “Exalted First Sower” develop further the theme of God’s sovereignty over the cosmos and its creatures. Living on the island of Iona could be frightening at times. Kings warred almost continuously on the mainland. Mighty storms drove waves against the rocks and shores of Colum’s monastic home. Rains could come suddenly and with great power. And then there were all the wonders and mysteries suggested by the night sky.
Colum experienced these fears and uncertainties. More importantly, he understood that all those who came to study and serve with him experienced them as well. So he gave himself and them a hymn to remind them all that God rules sovereignly over the vast cosmos and its creatures.
In the threats and uncertainties of a fallen world, Colum could see the hand of God. Willful, violent kings only served His will and peace. Rain fell as He determined, to water the earth and provide for His creatures. The vast powers of the cosmos all rest in the powerful hand of God.
Colum understood that we can know God and grow to trust and love Him more when we seek Him both in Scripture and in creation. Scripture sets forth the principles by which we understand the glory of God in creation. The message of Scripture is that God loves His children and will provide for all their needs. Thus, when we look upon the world around us, no matter how challenging or intimidating it can appear, we know God is at work in it for us, and we can rest with joy in Him.
The earth and the cosmos belong to the Lord, Colum taught, and we belong to Him as well. The creation is His servant for our needs (Ps. 119.89-91). He will never fail us nor forsake us. He invites us, in all things, to see His hand, experience His power, know His love, and rest in His promises and Word.
The monks who went out from Iona as missionaries for Jesus learned to see their challenges and trials from God’s vantage point, and not just their own. They were the subjects of Him Who is the Ruler of all things; they had no reason to fear men, hesitate because of uncertainty, or doubt that God would use them according to His wisdom and will.
It’s no wonder that men with such a vision and sense of the divine Presence were able to accomplish so much with so little. Would that we might be more like them.
1. Are you accustomed to seeing the hand of God in creation, especially in those situations or things that seem threatening? Explain.
2. How does knowing that God is Ruler of all embolden and guide your work in your Personal Mission Field?
Psalm 147.15-20 (St. Anne: Our God, Our Help in Ages Past)
His Word to earth runs to and fro to carry out His will;
He brings the rain, He sends the snow, and none can keep Him still.
His Word He to His Church bestows—His promises and Law.
No other nation God thus knows: Praise Him with songs of awe!
Thank You, Lord, that I can rest in Your sovereign power and care, so that I…
T. M. Moore, Principal
Seeing as God sees
God is at work throughout creation to bless and guide His people. How can you know that? By taking up the study of God’s works in creation. Our book, Consider the Lilies: A Plea for Creational Theology, can help you get started in knowing God’s Presence with you always. Order your free copy by clicking here. If you’d like to learn how to see the world as God does, order a free copy of our book, Vantage Point, by clicking here.
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All Psalms for singing from The Ailbe Psalter. Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.