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Welcome to Soleil de Justice (Sun of Righteousness) !

Welcome to Soleil de Justice (Sun of Righteousness) !

Purpose of this blog.

To help, encourage and inspire people who desire growing in their intimacy with God and blossom in their faith put into action,

by sharing the riches that I discover through my passionate reading of The Word of God. My understanding is the fruit of my intimacy with God, my life experience and my knowledge of maltreatment and its consequences.

Why sun of righteousness ?

“But for you who fear my name, the Sun of Righteousness will rise with healing in his wings. And you will go free, leaping with joy like calves let out to pasture. On the day when I act, you will tread upon the wicked as if they were dust under your feet,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. Mal 4:2-3

Picture of the simplified logo

This logo is an abstract of this verse of the prophet Malachi, which presents to us the metaphor of the “sun of Righteousness” which is an illustration of God.[1]

At the core of the love radiating from the Trinitarian God of The Bible we find The Cross, which is God’s response to injustice. Jesus came to open us a way to God so that we might find our original place as vis-à-vis and collaborator with Him.
Let us allow The Sun of Righteousness to touch us. Let us shelter under his wings, so then a path of healing, restoration and freedom can open up in us.
We will be able to discover our bond of sonship with God and enter into the mandate that he has entrusted to us. Jesus first embodied this mandate with a life of authority over creation, circumstances, disease and the world of darkness. God’s plan for us is that we walk in Jesus’s footsteps.

The Good News is that there is no fatality with God. If we invite Him, He comes into our lives to do justice: to bring peace (Shalom) through redemption and perfect joy. From this perspective, it is not what has happened to us that will determine the course of our lives, but the experiences we have as we walk in faith.

Christian life is an adventure of hope and life that we can embrace and share around us so that others too can benefit.

[1] I developed this Scripture verses of Malachi 3:20-21 in my first text. I divided into four parts. You can find it here below.  

 

“But for you who fear my name, the sun of righteousness shall rise, and healing shall be under its wings; and you shall go out and leap like the calves of a stall, and tread down the wicked; for they shall be as ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I prepare, says the Lord of hosts”. Malachi 4:2-3 (NLT)

 This verse has been with me for years. The picture it describes is like a summary of the Gospel. It is found in the last chapter of the last book of the Old Testament, as if he is introducing the New Testament.

Sun

 For me, in this passage, the sun is an image of The God of The Bible: He is Three in One, The Holy Trinity, The Triune God. It is a mystery that we cannot explain but only welcome.

In his goodness God inspired the prophet Malachi to help us grasp a little of the person of God. He is far above what this picture can show, for He is the Creator. The sun is creation.

The sun is light, warmth and energy. These three realities are part of the Sun. Even if we can distinguish them according to their proper function as light, warmth and energy, we cannot separate them from each other. Likewise, God is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. They are three persons in one divine reality: The Triune God.

Here is how I perceive this metaphor, knowing that They are ONE, so each has got the characteristics of the two others.

The light, like Jesus, The Son, who came among us and enlightens us with his word in order to lead us to the Father.
Warmth, like God The Father who is love. Love warms and does good, as a cosy place of security in which we want to refuge.
Energy, like The Holy Spirit who is the power of God in action among us, for us and in us.

 The sun rises over all creation, both good and evil, in the image of God.

“The Lord is good to everyone. He showers compassion on all his creation”. Ps 145:9 (NLT)

 

Sun of Righteousness

This sun is unique in its attribute: “of righteousness”. God is a just/righteous God.

Deut. 32. 4 He is the Rock, his works are perfect, and all his ways are just.
A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is he”.

God is also good. He only can fully live these two realities: justice and goodness.

We can see this in Psalm 145: 17The Lord is righteous in everything he does;   he is filled with kindness[1]”.

 

In this world full of injustice, the question of suffering is at the centre of the questions that we ask ourselves, and which some even throw in God’s face: “If God is love, why does He allow this to happen?” This is a legitimate question, when, as men and women, we are confronted with the misunderstanding of death that strikes too soon or of any situation of suffering and exposure to evil. Only, when we are angry with God, we aim at the wrong target, through lack of knowledge. There is an invisible world, which interferes in our world much more than we want to believe.
There are therefore spiritual laws to which every human being is subject, as he is to the laws of physics.

In this passage of the prophet Malachi God says that for those who revere Him the sun of righteousness will rise. This term “Sun of Righteousness” can also refer to Jesus, God announcing the coming of His Son who has come to fulfil His righteousness[2].

You may than ask me: “is it God or is it Jesus?”  I would respond that it is ultimately not so important, since we cannot separate the Triune God. As Jesus will tell us in the gospel of John: “He who has seen me has seen the FatherDon’t you believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words I speak are not my own, but my Father who lives in me does his work through me.  Just believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me. Or at least believe because of the work you have seen me do. Jn 14: 9-11 (NLT). It is Jesus, but it is also God.

 

I want to highlight a last point: Love is at the origin of God’s response to injustice through Golgotha. “God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life”. Jn 3:17 (NIV)

Jesus himself said that no one took his life from him but that he gave it (Jn 10:18). Thus God The Father sent his Son Jesus, who came to redeem our sinful life, that is to say a life of wandering and loss of reference, because cut off from God. He did justice, triumphing over evil and the evil one. We can therefore raise our heads and begin to hope and dream of God’s plans, for we are forgiven, redeemed, justified.

Through the Holy Spirit, our attitude of faith opens a way for the Son of God to meet our neediness/ poverty, to heal our broken hearts, to proclaim that we are delivered from our imprisonments, to put an end to our blindness (emotional and spiritual), to free ourselves from all oppression, to proclaim a year of the Lord’s grace (see Luke 4:18-19)

 

Do you believe that God so loved you that he sent Jesus for you too, that the sun of righteousness rises for you as well?

 

[1] Kindness: translated as ‘filled with unfailing love’ in NLT translations, e-g Ps. 145: 8

[2] There is this play of words: ‘Sun of Righteousness’ and ‘Son of Righteousness’.

 “But for you who fear my name, the sun of righteousness shall rise, and healing shall be under its wings; and you shall go out and leap like the calves of a stall, and tread down the wicked; for they shall be as ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I prepare, says the Lord of hosts”. Malachi 4: 2-3 (NLT)

 Let us pause on the notion of fear of God that we find at the beginning of this passage of Scripture. “For you who fear my name…».

I know that that word makes people react because they have in mind ‘fright’. They think God wants people to be afraid of Him, in the sense of being anguished.

For me this word is not a scary kind of fear, but reverential fear, in the sense of awe, respect, deference.

Two passages of the Bible lead me to think so.
The first concerns the prophet Ezekiel. Twice he is confronted with the glory of God and he falls, face down, as though felled. The first time God asked him to get up again because he wanted to talk to him. Immediately The Spirit of God put him on his feet (see Ez.1: 28-2: 2). The second time he found himself again on the ground, The Spirit of God raised him up just before God spoke to him
(see Ez. 3: 23-24).

I see in this passage that God is not interested in us being on the ground, overwhelmed by being frightened. He wants to talk to people on a position of face to face. He does not want to dominate by fright, because He is not a tyrant. He seeks to develop a relationship based on trust derived from love. This type of relationship is developed in the New Testament. First through Jesus, who introduces us to God as Father. When the disciples asked him to teach them to pray, he started by saying: “Our Father who is in heaven...” Mt 6: 9. Second, Jesus recalls very clearly the relationship of believers to God, when he says to Mary, after the resurrection: Do not hold on to Me. I have not yet gone up to My Father. But go to my brothers. Tell them that I will go up to My Father and Your Father, and to My God and Your God!». Jn 20: 17 (NLT)

The second passage which confirms me in the idea of fear- respect for God, is the explanation that the apostle John develops on the love between God and his own children, in his first epistle, in chapter four. “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. Jn 4: 18 (NIV)

This attitude of reverential fear implies an attitude of deference to his Word. It is to consider it, to take it seriously to the point of putting it into practice by obeying its precepts, its commandments. This dimension of obedience is found in this verse of Proverbs: “The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life,   turning a person from the snares of deathProv. 14: 27

Further on, in the New Testament, Jesus gives us the secret of obedience: it is love. Because we are loved by God, we learn to love him. From this love derives the desire to obey him (see I Jn 4: 19;

Jn 14: 23).

To take seriously what God says has a positive effect: the sun of righteousness is within reach.
In the book of Malachi it is a future, for Jesus had not yet been given to the world. Since then, He has stood up and accomplished everything to make the promises of the Word manifest.

I conclude this little reflection by leaving you two passages of the Bible:
Psalm 147:11The Lord delights in those who fear Him, in those who expect His goodness”. The English translation of the New Living Translation says “… in those who put their hope in his infallible love”.

Psalm 112:1-10. “Blessed is the man who fears the Lord, who delights greatly in his commandments…”
I leave you to meditate on the rest of this passage.
May it be a stimulus to strive to attached to this fear-reverence of God and to expect the fruits of such an attitude of life.

 

 

 

 “But for you who fear my name, the sun of righteousness shall rise, and healing shall be under its wings; and you shall go out and leap like the calves of a stall, and tread down the wicked; for they shall be as ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I prepare, says the Lord of hosts”. Malachi 4:2-3 (NLT)

 Under His wings

Here is another picture within the picture: Jesus took it back when he said that he wanted to gather Jerusalem under his wings like a hen gathers its chickens (see Mt 23: 37).
God will never force the door of our heart. He created us with a will. We are free to choose whether or not to accept His offer. But for those who accept it, who take His Word seriously, a path will open that leads to God’s closeness, to His intimacy.

Can you imagine the scene? To be hidden under God’s wings, to feel safe, to feel His warmth, to hear His heart beating for you, and, in the silence of intimate communion, to listen to His voice taking you into the knowledge of who He is and who you are in Him.

For it is His word that is active and can make its way into our hearts when we feel good, peaceful and relaxed in His presence. This process, which takes place over time, gives us justice, by repairing what has been bruised or destroyed. Isn’t God The One who brings the dead back to life and who creates new things out of nothing?” Rom 4: 17

 

… there is healing

This word has a broad meaning: it includes the healing and liberation of the whole person, spirit, soul and body, as well as the restoration of relationships: to God, to self and to others.
For us, this promise is based on the last words that Jesus spoke before putting His spirit into the hands of His Father: « It’s done . . . completeJn 19:30 (MSG).
Indeed, at the cross there was this exchange: his life for our life, and his death for ours, so that we might live free from the constraints of evil, of the evil one. The fulfilment of Isaiah’s prophecy: “by his stripes we have healing, by his shed blood the forgiveness of sins” (see Is 53).
This is why Malachi specifies: under His wings there is healing: an eternal present. It has been written in heaven. Malachi gave there a prophetic word.

It is free, it is all about grace. Only, God will not force our will. He proposes and waits and hopes. It is up to us to make the choice to come to Him. He desires a cooperation in this process of recovery.

There is the healing of our spirit, which may have been wounded by circumstances as well as our soul. And we know how closely the soul and the body are connected. If one suffers, the other will also suffer. The divine order can be restored: the spirit, leading the soul and body, allows us to experience an inner pacification and spacious place.
To heal our ability to be connected is essential: to regain trust in God, in oneself and in the other opens us up to the world. As all obstacles to come to God, to go towards others or to love oneself are little by little removed, our anchor goes deeper in the Father’s love.

 

The freedom of the children of God

You will go out and jump like calves in a stable”.  The fruit of this heart-to-heart with God, of the exposure to his love, is freedom. It is a fruit of the healing that is taking place. It is described by these calves coming out of the stable for the first time. They “frolic with joy when they are released into the open air. It is the image of a life full of joy, energy and serenity”. [1]

We are called to life in abundance: it is not to survive or to live in cramped conditions, but to live free, to take our space, to let our gifts develop and our true personality express itself. This is the legitimacy of being oneself, of taking one’s place under the sun, of passing from a state of being a slave of fear to the freedom of the children of God, having our sonship restored. It is freedom to enter into our call to follow Jesus, to put our gifts and love at the service of our Father. It is to taste the abundant life that Jesus speaks of (see Jn 10: 10).

 

Spiritual authority and power

You will tread upon the wicked”. In addition, we have access to another dimension of salvation: authority over the enemy of our souls.  This last verse reminds us that there is an invisible world. There is Satan, the evil one, the thief, who ”comes to kill, steal and destroy” Jn 10: 10. He cannot bear the good that God does. He is the accuser, the liar, the one who sows discord, to name just a few of his characteristics. He will do everything to divert us from the right path, from our fellowship with God.

 But Jesus “stripped the rulers and authorities (of the world of darkness) and made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them through the cross”. Col 2:15.

So, being called to do the same works as Jesus, we can, with, by and in Jesus-Christ, crush the enemy under our feet. In other words, we have authority and power over the devil, to resist and destroy his works of darkness, because victory was already won over 2000 years ago at the cross. (see I Jn 3: 8).

 

I bless your feet: may they be sensitive to the presence of Jesus, to follow him, sometimes in the secret place, sometimes towards the encounter with a neighbour or in taking a stand in the face of adversity to crush the adversary under your feet.

 

[1] John MacArthur. The Holy Bible with commentary by John MacArthur. Bible Society of Geneva. 2006.

 

 “But for you who fear my name, the sun of righteousness shall rise, and healing shall be under its wings; and you shall go out and leap like the calves of a stall, and tread down the wicked; for they shall be as ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I prepare, says the Lord of hosts”. Malachi 4: 2-3 (NLT)

 There is one last element I would like to emphasize from this Scripture: the community aspect. The “you” as a plural is its expression. God is community, he is family: Father, Son (Jesus) and Holy Spirit. And since the coming of Jesus, there are all the adopted children! By being born again, we are introduced to the family of God. As Christians, we are called to experience faith both personally and in the Body of Christ, another name for this community reality.

As Christians, by the new birth, we are part of God’s family. We are called to live the experiences of faith both personally and within the Church. It is important that we connect with brothers and sisters in the faith, for we cannot flourish alone. The wisdom, witness, the prayers and love of each others are necessary ingredients for our growth in faith.

We are invited to participate in fellowship: to receive and to give; to work together for the Lord with one heart and in the complementarity of forces and gifts. It is important that we live experiences of faith together and that we encourage one another when doubts overwhelm us.
It is also together that we can triumph over the enemy.

It is sometimes a delicate subject, for the church has been a place of suffering for many people. As a result the hearts of wounded people have shut down to protect oneself or people have deserted the church.
It is a reality: there is no perfect church, because there is no perfect persons! Nevertheless, if we want to grow in faith it is important to be part of one form or another of the Body of Christ, for each of us is a member of it.

I was one of those who had been hurt by the Church. I know what it is like to be wary of leadership and to prefer to fend for yourself. At some point in my life, I made the decision to renounce this closing attitude, asking God for His love for the Church. I chose to forgive and to seek to create bonds, without waiting for others to come to me first. It requires courage and humility, a letting go. But when it is lived carried by the Love of God it becomes an exercise that produces joy!

 

And you, where are you in your relationship with the family of God? Have you found a place of life where you can practice brotherly love while exercising your gifts?

“The not yet and yet already”

As children of God we live in two realities: the earthly time (chronos time) and the Havenly Eternity time, where the "all is done!" of Jesus' words echoes. We are to unfold on earth the reality of Heaven. A challenge, for we are facing resistance... we have to...