Daily Office Readings for Monday of the 4th Week of Advent 2020: Year 1
AM Psalms 61 and 62; PM Psalms 112 and 115:
Isaiah 11:1 to 9; Revelation 20:1 to 10; John 5:30 to 47
“God has spoken once, twice have I heard it, that power belongs to God.” (Psalm 62: 11 or 13 depending on the translation)
There are two ways to interpret this verse. First, it could mean that God has said it once but to two peoples, once in the Hebrew Testament, and once in the Christian Testament. Therefore, if we are Christian, we hear God’s Word twice, once in each Testament.
The other way to understand this verse is that Power itself (that Power, all power) belongs to God, no matter who uses power, even if it is misused, it is God’s power. So we move from the number of times we have heard it to what it is that is being heard. Has God told us in the Hebrew Testament that power belongs to God, and then again in the Christian Testament, that power belongs to God?
In today’s Gospel reading we see where Jesus tells them that Moses of the Hebrew Testament has already written about eternal life. But they didn’t believe it and he said to them, “Do not think that I will accuse you before the Father; your accuser is Moses, on whom you have set your hope. If you believed Moses, you would believe me, for he wrote about me. But if you do not believe what he wrote, how will you believe what I say?’ (John 5: 45 to 47)
We, as Christians, have the Hebrew and Christian Testaments (Old and New). This is God speaking to us through the two Books of the Bible. Truly such power really does belong to God. Our Lord Jesus reminds us of the ancient words of God in our New Testament. God does not speak it twice, but rather, it reverberates through the Old Testament to the New Testament from the prophets to the saints. And so we hear it twice. We should be reading the whole Bible.
The truth is, it makes no difference how many times we hear God’s word if we are not going to change our ways. Hearing it twice, or one hundred times, makes no difference if we are resistant to the message of love that God wants us to have. We need to listen to, and respond to, the prophets and saints that carry God’s message, in both scriptures and in person. “God has spoken once, twice have I heard it, that power belongs to God.”
Let us hear what the Spirit is saying to, and through, the saints of God, and then ponder anew what the Almighty can do. John