June 16, 2008 Ration

Psalm 111:2-3a

“Great are the works of the Lord; they are studied by all who delight in them. Splendid and majestic is His work…”

Step back for a moment and affirm this reality: The works of the Lord are great, splendid and majestic! Everything has its origin in God: man, mountain, animal, laws of physics, chemical bonding and reactions, sound, sound receivers, minerals, the brain, the heart, the body, the unending universe, etc. These are just a sampling of His works that involve mass or properties related to mass. God’s works also include all that He does with and through these works of mass, which is where this Psalmist is headed: his delight in God’s works of grace, mercy, provision, covenant keeping, power, benevolence, faithfulness, justice, trustworthiness, longevity, redemption, holiness, and awesomeness. These great works of God are made known through the employment of God’s great works of mass. Apart from God, there is nothing. And all of these works of His are truly, incredibly great!

The great works of God awaken our inquisitor, or should awaken, which is itself a work of God. We find God’s works to be pleasurable, we delight in them, and so we study them. And when we study a particular work, we find that we are more able to enjoy more of its pleasures due to a better understanding of it. The more we delight in it, the more we evidence and affirm our understanding of just how great, splendid, and majestic His work is. And the more we enjoy the works of God, the more we enjoy the God of the works.

Wait a minute, is this how our affections culminate in our enjoyment of the great works of God?

When I find myself delighting in an artist’s work, I find myself studying his work. I find myself growing in a greater knowledge and understanding of the author of that work, the work that I delight in. I then find myself better able to enjoy his work where I have a better understanding of the artist’s thought and intent in his artistic expression. And ultimately, the artistic work leads me to my enjoyment of its author. Albeit, more understanding of a human author can often reveal characteristics and traits that are so undelightful, that I am left mixed and disturbed in my pleasures taken in their works.

Artists, why is it so easy for our affections to connect an artist’s work with an artist, and yet so hard to connect, or admit, an artist as being a work of God? The most insanely talented artists of all time are, all of them, works of God. They have no other author. No one does. Do you study them that way? Do you study the artists that you delight in as a work of God? Do the artists that you study understand themselves to be a work of God? Even a man’s rebellion, arrogance, and errors will teach you amazing truths about God.

One great, amazing work of the Lord is His free outpouring of mercy upon any proud, arrogant, self-serving, rebelling artist who would cry out for it! To genuinely plead for mercy, however, an artist would have to have a sincere fear of the Lord, his Maker, and this is where the Psalmist concludes his poem: “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; a good understanding have all those who do His commandments…”

Do you delight in God’s great work of mercy, artist? If you do delight in God’s work of mercy, not just know about it, but actually take delight in it, then that delight evidences wisdom, which evidences a healthy fear. It is that fear that encourages you to walk uprightly, which results in understanding. And understanding is needed as you study the works that you delight in. The artists, whose works you delight in, are themselves works of God. Do you study them this way? Do you delight in God as you study His works? Do you delight in what God delights in - in His works? No artist has his beginning or end in himself, or more stupidly, in art. We are all works of the amazing God!

How great, majestic, and splendid are all God's works. So delight in and study them, artists, and then tell us all of your delights.

Jason Harms


© 2008 The Gaius Project