June 01, 2015
From the desk of Dr. A.J. Higgins
God Visiting the Earth
“Thou visiteth the earth … Thou greatly enrichest it.”
Many years ago, during the Jimmy Carter presidency in the USA, the President, in an attempt to show his interest in the “common man,” began a practice of visiting homes. These “visits” were, of course, not spontaneous. They were carefully selected party faithfuls, and even more carefully orchestrated to portray a President who had an interest in the common man. Finishing his visits, the president was whisked away by limousine or helicopter to return to his White House Mansion.
There was a visit, however, vastly different. It was even far different from the visit the Psalmist envisioned and spoke of in this Psalm. He was thinking of the goodness of God in giving rain and sun, crops and fruit. His was the prosperity of the earth; ours is the prosperity of the eternal.
There was a visit which an ancient priest spoke about: “the dayspring from on High hath visited us” (Luke 1:78). Not merely refreshing waters as the psalmist spoke of, but the dayspring Himself. He did not visit the common man, but became one of the “common men,” a peasant carpenter. He did not visit and then ride away in a limousine or similar conveyance. “He dwelt among us,” living out His days in the same circumstances of others of His generation. There was no air of condescension which marked Him; no touch of haughty humility as He dwelt among us. He did not constantly remind men of the sacrifice He was making in being here; and He was not attended by a prepped press corps which sang His praises. Unrecognized, unappreciated, and unwanted, He visited us.
Mythology and pagan religions told of the gods coming to earth, some even living among men. But none imagined that their god would live as our God lived – humbly, simply, yet full of grace and truth.
But more still – He enriched us. He that was rich became poor. Not merely the corn and vine flourishing as a result of divine visitation, but fruit from the lives of men. We could have produced nothing to delight God had He not come. There would have been nothing for God had He not gone to a cross. His visit ended in a violent but vicarious death. And we are enriched.
- Verse 11 says that God crowns “the year with Thy goodness and all Thy paths drop fatness.” While this is a lovely verse to use at New Year’s time, think of some of the ways God has crowned your year with goodness and some of the fatness He has placed in your life.
- What is the thought of the “dayspring” of Zacharias’ song in Luke 1:78? Look up the meaning of the word.
- The visitation of the “dayspring” is linked with the first mention of “peace” in Luke’s Gospel. “Peace” is a characteristic word in Luke, occurring 19 times (as many as the three other Gospels combined). What does it signify about His visit? Is peace just the absence of problems?