Apocalyptic Advent Day 9: God and Trust

Psalm 115:1-11.

Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to your name give glory,
for the sake of your steadfast love and your faithfulness!

2 Why should the nations say,
“Where is their God?”
3 Our God is in the heavens;
he does all that he pleases.

4 Their idols are silver and gold,
the work of human hands.
5 They have mouths, but do not speak;
eyes, but do not see.
6 They have ears, but do not hear;
noses, but do not smell.
7 They have hands, but do not feel;
feet, but do not walk;
and they do not make a sound in their throat.
8 Those who make them become like them;
so do all who trust in them.

9 O Israel, trust in the Lord!
He is their help and their shield.
10 O house of Aaron, trust in the Lord!
He is their help and their shield.
11 You who fear the Lord, trust in the Lord!
He is their help and their shield.

Our waiting, our Advent, is about the glory of the Lord. Our waiting reveals the steadfast love and faithfulness of God. It also reminds us that God is sovereignly in control. He is in heaven and he does all that he pleases.

This is the proper response to our waiting. Not answers to all of our questions, but a reminder that God is still loving. He is still faithful. And this loving and faithful God is doing whatever he wants. And that is a good thing. He will come as a baby when he’s ready. He will return for us in the clouds when he’s ready. Not before. Not after.

There are many days when we ask where is God? There are many days, even at Christmas time, when others are asking where is the Christian God? He seems to be absent. Missing. Silent. And so we’ve replaced him. With Santa. And family. And lights and tinsel. And services. And food, lots of food. Advent for us has become a big extended party, not a season of waiting through the silence. We don’t understand delayed gratification and so Advent is lost on us I fear. This is why the Psalmist warns us, don’t let your heart turn to idols. Those who make them become like them – blind, deaf, dumb, and powerless.

Rather, trust in the Lord. He is our help and our shield. Three times he repeats this admonition. But this is the paradox of our apocalypse. God has revealed himself not as a mighty warrior but as a helpless baby. The God of the nations was in a manger. He came to help and shield us by being one of us. By giving his life for us.


Alex learns to sacrifice

“To live is Christ” is to live in waiting. But it is never to say “Where is our God?” Our God indwells us. He is emmanuel – God with us. Now we can wait with trust instead of doubt. This is how our waiting is different from the Psalmist’s. Ours is a waiting from the other side of the manger. The other side of the cross. The other side of the empty tomb. God is in heaven and he does whatever he pleases. And we have seen what pleases God.

Isaiah 53:10. Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.

Do you trust in the Lord as your help and shield? How does your union with Christ allow you to trust him today in your waiting?



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