Of Faith and Good Works: Part 2
“Tell ye the daughter of Zion, Behold.” Matt 21:5
Such waking up is necessary for the reason that everything that concerns faith is against reason and nature.
While discussing faith and prayer, my friend and I agreed that what we hope for hardly ever turns out the way we expect or reason that it should. We understandably agreed that prayer, in its huge wake of tears and pleas, first purposes to change us—to dis-reason us—to bring us closer and closer to the fact that we can trust God, even with our lives and the lives of those for whom we plead!
“Behold.” With this word he rouses us at once from sleep and unbelief as though be had something great, strange, or remarkable to offer, something we have long wished for and now would receive with joy. Such waking up is necessary for the reason that everything that concerns faith is against reason and nature; for example, how can nature and reason comprehend that such an one should be king of Jerusalem who enters in such poverty and humility as to ride upon a borrowed ass? How does such an advent become a great king?
But faith is of the nature that it does not judge nor reason by what it sees or feels but by what it hears. It depends upon the Word alone and not on vision or sight. For this reason Christ was received as a king only by the followers of the word of the prophet, by the believers in Christ, by those who judged and received his kingdom not by sight but by the spirit-these are the true daughters of Zion. For it is not possible for those not to be offended in Christ who walk by sight and feeling and do not adhere firmly to the Word.
Let us receive first and hold fast this picture in which the nature of faith is placed before us. For as the appearance and object of faith as here presented is contrary to nature and reason, so the same ineffectual and unreasonable appearance is to be found in all articles and instances of faith. It would be no faith if it appeared and acted as faith acts and as the words indicate. It is faith because it does not appear and deport itself as faith and as the words declare.
Oh, that our gracious God would bless us with healthy eyes to see His splendor, the warning signs and scars of sin, and even our wayward ways and shabby things. Sight, yes sight is a wondrous gift, though it can ruin us, if it should become our lead, lord, and anchor.
“It seemed intended by the blessed providence of God that I should be blind all my life, and I thank Him for the dispensation. If perfect earthly sight were offered me tomorrow I would not accept it. I might not have sung hymns to the praise of God if I had been distracted by the beautiful and interesting things about me.” –Fanny Crosby (1820 – 1915)
In “Blessed Assurance” Fanny Crosby sings of visions that cannot be found by earthly eyes.
“Perfect submission, perfect delight,
Visions of rapture now burst on my sight.”
Faith requires perfect trust, not in what is seen but in what is heard, proclaimed by the prophets in God’s Holy Writ regarding Christ and all that He is (2 Peter 1:19). And thus, true faith submits perfectly, delightfully, and peacefully to the sovereignty and providence of God.
If Christ had entered in splendor like a king of earth, the appearance and the words would have been according to nature and reason and would have seemed to the eye according to the words, but then there would have been no room for faith. He who believes in Christ must find riches in poverty, honor in dishonor, joy in sorrow, life in death, and hold fast to them in that faith which clings to the Word and expects such things.
God blessed us exceedingly in that He gave us much more than earthly vision. He gave us faith.
“Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion;
shout, O daughter of Jerusalem:
Behold, thy King cometh unto thee:
he is just, and having salvation;
lowly, and riding upon an ass,
and upon a colt the foal of an ass.”
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