Thursday, March 27, 2008

Non Nobis

Non nobis domine sed nominee tuo da gloriam.
"Not to us, O Lord, but to Your name be the glory."  
In the year 874 after the victorious battle of Etheldun, King Alfred led his men in "Non nobis..." the opening words of Psalm 115.  Likewise, after the battle of Agincourt in 1415, King Henry led his army in the singing of this same Psalm.  Again, in 1807, after 30 years of defeat, the gallery of the British Parliament rang out with "Non nobis...!" in praise and thanksgiving for the passage of William Wilburforce's bill to abolish slavery.  
Last Sunday, 2008, we sang this same phrase and listened to the exposition of this mighty Psalm.  Not to us, but to thy name be glory!  We are given to trusting in anything but God, but by His great grace and mercy He calls us to trust in Him; and better still, His own Spirit enables us to trust in Him.  For of ourselves, we are nothing.  In Him, the Resurrected Son, the first fruits of righteousness, we are the sons of God. Not to us, but to thy name be glory!  

The Psalmist again writes in 95:4, "In His hand are the depths of the earth; the heights of the mountains are His also."  No matter the unknown places we go, the deep and dark corners of the heart and mind, God has plumbed those depths with His light and knowledge.  We cannot go where His hand does not hold.  Likewise, when all is glorious in our life and going wonderfully well, it is good to remember that the mountain top of the moment is not due to our making, but to the greatness and goodness of God.  "Not to us, O Lord, but to thy name be glory."  

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

The Stones Cry Out

God's Word tells us that the heavens and the earth show forth His glory.  
"The heavens declare the glory of God..." (Isaiah 6:3) and "...the whole earth is full of His glory." (Jer.6:3).  
The photo above is of a geode, a Celestial Geode, a stone from within the earth which reveals the heavens - a beautiful example of the heavens and the earth crying out in testimony of God's glory.  In his March 23rd entry of Morning and Evening, Spurgeon writes of the glory of God, and if the stones cry out and give testimony, why shouldn't we?  We who were once as dead as stone.

"I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out."  -Luke 19:40

"But could the stones cry out?  They most certainly could if He who opens the mouth of the dumb commanded them to lift up their voice.  If they were able to speak, they would have much to testify in praise of Him who created them by the word of His power.  They could extol the wisdom and power of their Maker who called them into being.  Will we not speak well of Him who made us new creatures and out of stones raised up children of Abraham?  

The old rocks could tell of chaos and order and of the handiwork of God in successive stages of Creation's drama.  Cannot we talk of God's decrees, of God's great work in ancient times, and all that He did for His church in the days of old? 

If the stones were to speak, they could tell of their breaker who took them from the quarry and made them fit for the temple.  Cannot we tell of our glorious Breaker, who broke our hearts with the hammer of His Word so that He might build us into His temple?

If the stones could cry out, they would magnify their builder, who polished them and fashioned them into a palace.  Will we not talk of our Architect and Builder, who has put us in our places in the temple of the Living God?

If the stones could cry out, they might have a long, long story to tell by way of a memorial.  A great stone has often been set up as a memorial before the Lord.  We, too, can testify of the great things God has done for us.  They are our Ebenezers, our stones of help and pillars of remembrance.  

The broken stones of the law cry out against us, but Christ Himself, who has rolled away the stone from the door of the tomb, speaks for us.  Stones might well cry out, but we will not let them. We will hush their noise with ours.  All our days, we will break forth into sacred song and bless the majesty of the Most High, glorifying Him who is called "the shepherd, the stone of Israel" (Gen.49:24).