Sunday, April 25, 2010

Caramelised Spiritual Transfiguration

“The remnant of Israel will do no wrong;

they will speak no lies,

nor will deceit be found in their mouths.”

~Zephaniah 3:13a-c (NIV).

Smells like honesty to me.

Our day of hope—even in these days—won’t come until we’re found honest to the core.

And the rendering of “no lies” is singular; ‘a lie’ “is something that pretends [and is] not merely contrary to the truth.”[1] This means not only is it a lie, it knows it’s a lie—this acknowledged lying is far from the Remnant. The lie that masquerades as truth was rampant in Zephaniah’s day—as it is in our own.

The truly steadfast will always remain. These who’re not swayed by the winds of change and the desires of their hearts—indeed, having conformed them—will enjoy all their glorious food in keeping with true repentance and no one will make them afraid (3:13d). They will enjoy perfect peace.

Moyter marks out for us five characteristics of the Remnant from Zephaniah’s viewpoint in 3:12-13c. They’re humble. They’re intimately aware of “their own beggarliness,” and are never too far from a critical self-awareness of their sinfulness, and God’s gracious response despite this. They see in this their dependence on God; they “fly to him constantly for refuge,” believing in the saving nature of his Name. They concern themselves to be the redeemed remnant of Israel—this is their unshakable identity. Finally, as they utter no wrong they do not deviate from the law of their God. They create for themselves very little cognitive, emotional or spiritual dissonance. If they do breach God’s code they repent of it immediately they become aware, so vibrant is their sense of the fear of the Lord.[2]

We are the Remnant, if we want it so.

And as the Remnant, saved and sanctified in God, we can take hold of a liturgy of holiness such as Psalm 15 and begin to enter into living it as our mantra for life.

This process started and endured, comes to some point of completion; we gaze into a reflective soul-mirror and wonder how much like God we truly have become.

This is the purpose of life... to become like Jesus. Life is the learning ground to this end. We need to get to a place where this concept sticks. It caramelises over us and “sets” us in our spiritual transfiguration.

© 2010 S. J. Wickham.

[1] J. Alec Moyter, The Minor Prophets – An Exegetical & Expositional Commentary (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Books, 1998), p. 954.

[2] Moyter, Ibid, p. 953.

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