Thursday, February 02, 2006

God the dragon


Whenever someone asks me what my favorite animal is, I always say “dragon.” I love how they’re strong and wily. Especially the dragons in the Wizard of Earthsea series. These dragons hold the key to power because they speak the ancient language of creation. The words don’t just describe reality, they create reality. And, if the dragons will talk to you, this means you’re worthy of learning that language yourself.

So imagine my surprise when my Psalm reading had a dragon in it. As I wrote a few weeks ago, I’m starting to read a psalm whenever I sit down to pray. And there it is, Psalm 18 has a dragon.

6 In my distress I called upon the Lord, and cried unto my God: he heard my voice out of his temple, and my cry came before him, even into his ears.

7 Then the earth shook and trembled; the foundations also of the hills moved and were shaken, because he was wroth.

8 There went up a smoke out of his nostrils, and fire out of his mouth devoured: coals were kindled by it.

9 He bowed the heavens also, and came down: and darkness was under his feet.

10 And he rode upon a cherub, and did fly: yea, he did fly upon the wings of the wind.

11 He made darkness his secret place; his pavilion round about him were dark waters and thick clouds of the skies.

12 At the brightness that was before him his thick clouds passed, hail stones and coals of fire.

13 The Lord also thundered in the heavens, and the Highest gave his voice; hail stones and coals of fire.

14 Yea, he sent out his arrows, and scattered them; and he shot out lightnings, and discomfited them.

15 Then the channels of waters were seen, and the foundations of the world were discovered at thy rebuke, O Lord, at the blast of the breath of thy nostrils.

16 He sent from above, he took me, he drew me out of many waters.

17 He delivered me from my strong enemy, and from them which hated me: for they were too strong for me.

18 They prevented me in the day of my calamity: but the Lord was my stay.

19 He brought me forth also into a large place; he delivered me, because he delighted in me.

--Psalm 18:6-19

God: an avenging dragon coming to my rescue, breathing fire on my behalf, drawing me out of the water of my fear, and setting me down in a “large place” because He delights in me. What a powerful image! He doesn’t just send some meek little angel to comfort me, He comes blasting out of the very hills to rush to my side and deliver me.

Do we think of God as our champion? I’m starting to. Truth with its flaming sword, Spirit with its inexhaustible energy, Love with its infinite affection—don’t these add up to a Being that will come to our defense when we need it? And oh, how we need it!

Be not afraid—He’s coming to save you.


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2 Comments:

At 2/02/2006 01:03:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

CHET-NUN

Interesting! Laura, I never heard the Almighty equated with dragon-like qualities. To be draconion is to be a tyrant, and the Science and Health interpretation of the Bible liken a dragon to lust, envy, hypocrisy, hate.

But then in the Book of Job, chapter 41, we see the qualities of leviathon are quite humbling to mortal man. Are you aware than some scientists on earth today are still searching for this large, bashful, aquatic creature? Lake monsters they sometimes call it. The search is quite a discipline for some people. You might enjoy what they have discovered, and conjectured. about this large animal.

Perhaps the identity of the one in Isaiah 42 and 63, when made more clear, will confirm that vast amount of power your blog entry hints at for the divine deliverance of the followers of the Messiah (Hebrew: Ha Messiach).

Peace be with you (Arabic: asalamu alaikum),
Lo-Ammi

 
At 2/02/2006 05:06:00 PM, Anonymous Rev. Veronika Birken said...

Dear Laura,
You inspired me to look up this Psalm in the translation of THE MESSAGE. As I read on I loved what I found (verses 20-24):

“GOD made my life complete
when I placed all the pieces before him.
When I got my act together,
he gave me a fresh start.
Now I am alert to GOD’s ways;
I don’t take GOD for granted.
Every day I review the ways he works;
I try not to miss a trick.
I feel put back together,
and I’m watching my step.
GOD rewrote the text of my life
when I opened the book of my heart to his eyes.”

David must have had a mighty healing experience to write his vision of it in such pictures as described in the earlier verses! This is why I loved reading what came after “the stilling of the storm.” It seemed like a true reformation had taken place in David.
Love, Veronika

 

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