|When I study the scriptures I use a modern trans-lation of the Bible like the New Revised Standard Version. If I was a real scholar I would not have let my biblical language skills lapse, and I would be reading texts in the original Hebrew and Greek. Alas, such is not the case. |
I was raised on the King James Version of the Bible. Its antiquated words and phrases can be difficult to wade through, but for sheer poetry of language it is still beautiful to me. When I remember passages of scripture I most often recall them in King James English.
I have been thinking lately about two words found sprinkled through the KJV. 1 Samuel 7:12 says, “Hitherto hath the Lord helped us.” Then in Psalm 125:2 the psalmist says, “As the mountains are round about Jerusalem, so the Lord is round about his people, from henceforth even for ever.”
Those two archaic, seldom used words can have contemporary meaning for us during these difficult days. We have watched with ever-growing anxiety as our nation’s economy, and the world’s economy, has nose-dived into recession. More and more we have the sense that something cataclysmic is bearing down on us like a freight train.
Yet, those King James words come back to me. Hitherto God has helped us. Until now we have seen the hand of God at work
|in our lives. The testimonies we have heard during the “Faith Focus” portion of our Sunday worship speaks to the hitherto of faith. Is there any reason to wonder if God will continue to be God in the days to come? |
So henceforth we can trust God to see us through the days ahead. We may not be able to see into the future or predict what the economy will do, but we can trust that the God who has been with us in the past will be with us in days to come.
It is the same when we think about our beloved FCC. Like most churches these days we are facing an uncertain future financially. Thankfully, we are in better shape than many other congregations, but the window of opportunity to accomplish many of the tasks we feel called to do seems to be getting smaller every day.
Again, however, hitherto God has helped us. Until now God has guided us, challenged us, comforted us, and strengthened us. One does not need to be a spiritual giant or a brilliant theologian to see the hand of God at work in our lives in recent times as well as years before. All one needs is eyes of faith. Is there any reason to wonder if God will continue to be God in the days to come?
Henceforth — in the days to come God will continue to help, guide, challenge, comfort, and strengthen us. Our renovation effort, as well as other tasks, will not be easy, but they can be done. All we need is the right vocabulary.
Hitherto. Henceforth. Amen.