The title of this meditation came to me after Gill and I returned from my Aunt Maureen’s funeral. I understand why I had those words — it was a climate change hot day and it was bittersweet in a way unanticipated. Meeting family again was uplifting and affirming — just as when we gathering in His name and His presence is palpable.
Where are we to go from this point, Lord? A funeral service, of necessity, concentrates on love and loss — love for the departed; but also the grievous sense of personal loss, as a result of that love. The emotional contradictions inherent in such times are indeed bittersweet, but magnified, as when the sun shines through a lens.
All inhabitants of the world and dwellers on the earth: when he lifts up a banner on the mountains, you see it; and when he blows a trumpet, you hear it.
For so the LORD said to me, "I will take My rest, and I will look from My dwelling place like clear heat in sunshine, like a cloud of dew in the heat of harvest."
[Isaiah 18:3-4 NKJV]
Heat in sunshine
In these verses, Isaiah talks of heat in sunshine, but also of the heat of harvest. The heat of sunshine — and yes, we all want rest then — but Our Lord says that He looks from His dwelling place like that. Baffling, surely? It becomes even more puzzling when we discover that the word for ‘heat’ is identical to the word translated as ‘sunshine’ What is the ‘clear heat in heat’?
I venture to suggest that Isaiah means ‘very hot’, or ‘hotter than hot’. The Lord’s gaze is piercingly hot — enough to burn through any nonsense on our part and see right through to the heart. It is the heat of ‘the refiner’s fire’.
Heat of Harvest
The word used here for ‘harvest’ is translated in a number of ways and can mean the harvester, the time of harvest, as well as what is being harvested. It can mean bough or branch, which can be considered as the place of the harvest. The dew is a type of the Holy Spirit word, which settles upon us when we are at rest. Job says, ‘My root is spread out to the waters, and the dew lies all night on my branch.
My glory is fresh within me, and my bow is renewed in my hand.' [Job 29:19-20 NKJV]. It is the Lord’s strengthening, often during the night hours, when we are refreshed and renewed, all the while unaware.
We speak of magnifying the Lord; of praising and glorifying Him, but the truth is that His Holy Spirit proclaims His presence in an amazing way. We see His banner, we hear His trumpet. He rises to the occasion. He is magnified. He is glorified. He is the cloud of dew in the heat of the Harvest for us.
The only one who prays in the Holy Ghost is the child, the child-spirit in us, the spirit of utter confidence in God.
[from ‘If Ye Shall Ask’]
“Oh Magnify The Lord” (medley) — Trinity Choir