We sang the song…“As with gladness men of old, Did the guiding light behold; As with joy they hailed its light, Leading onward, beaming bright…”*
And I sat there, wondering…
What drew them?
It wasn’t just the knowing, that evidenced the pull. It was the going.
Men in Jerusalem knew, too, yet nothing in the record says they went. Facts were enough for them perhaps? (Mt 2:4-5) Even too much (Mt 2:3)?
But those astronomers…
Three hundred years later Augustine wrote about other “philosophers” of their kind who…
“have discovered much, and predicted eclipses of the sun’s light, or the moon’s, many years in advance, indicating precisely the day, the hour, and the extent of the eclipse and their calculations have been accurate. It has therefore been possible for them to make forecasts and draw up rules from their research. On the basis of these rules, …still studied today, it can be predicted in which year… month… day of the month… at what hour an eclipse will occur, and what proportion of its light the sun or moon will lose.
“And, as forecast, it happens. People think this is wonderful…, while the philosophers strut and make merry. In their impious pride they draw away from You and Your light, because these scholars who foresee a future eclipse of the sun long beforehand fail to see their own in the present, for want of inquiring in a religious spirit from Whom they have received the very intelligence which enables them…
If they discover that You have made them, they do not give themselves to you so that you may preserve what you have made, nor do they slay in your honor those selves of their own making, nor immolate their high-flown pride…”**
Such was not so of those scholars of the star’s rising who followed it to Bethlehem.
What drew them? Why did they go?
What made them choose sand stinging cheeks and blinding eyes, day heat sweltering and night cold biting, weary wasteland and tedious travel, difficult and dangerous? What inspired them to carry gifts that spoke what they “couldn’t know” of the tiny King before whom they’d fall down, bowed low, prideless?
…What drew me?
I reminisced and pondered:
Star-whisper of double promise, vague light beaming into a darkened life: “Come here for the Truth those philosophies lacked.” “Come for the filling of that strange inner chasm of vague craving.”
Augustine’s words speak well of what that whisper caught hold of in me:
“Great are You, O Lord, and exceedingly worthy of praise. Your power is immense, and your wisdom beyond reckoning. And so we humans, …who carry our mortality about with us, carry the evidence of our sin, and with it the proof that You thwart the proud, yet… a part of Your creation, [we] long to praise You… You have made us and drawn us to Yourself, and our hearts are rest-less until they find their rest in You.”**
That same Daystar (2 Pet 1:19) that gave the ancient travelers light, that same breath of heaven (John 3:8), that blew sandy wastes and magi hearts, that stirred Augustine’s, also stirred mine, and drew me strong. Could I not have followed?
I only rejoice that I did!
Q4U: What drew you? (Or, is drawing you?)
* William C. Dix, “As with Gladness Men of Old.” **Augustine of Hippo, Confessions, 5.4 **Confessions, 1.1
8 thoughts on “What Star Drew You?”
I have pondered that myself. I felt drawn to God from earliest memories. I was taught to pray from a very young age, even though our family rarely attended church. I resisted the Gospel when my sister got saved at a vacation Bible school. Pride it was, I was the religious one, I didn’t need saved. But I WAS drawn mysteriously, to seek God, to read my Bible, to attend church whenever the opportunity arose (invited by the neighbors). Raising my hand at an altar call at age 13–I told the Pastor “my hand went up by itself.” I drift, I detour, but I am always drawn back by the power of His Love.
It IS mysterious, isn’t it, Laurie? Not at all easy to condense to nutshell size and stuff in a little box. I think, too, of the evidence of His drawing me, of something in me that wanted Him, way back in my childhood, that got eclipsed by the world before I finally came to know Him in a redeemed relationship. Something in the interval made me resist the gospel, too. Hard skepticism, I guess, that had come from not wanting to get fooled “again” by fairy tales. But at last I found out what’s really fairy tales and what’s unshakable Truth. It was He that did the drawing, I know it. It had to be.
Thanks for you beautiful comment. I hope you are feeling better today.
I love Hosea 2:14 and pray it often for those still on their way to Him (your comments here reminded me of this 🙂 ) – “Therefore I am now going to allure (woo) her;
I will lead her into the wilderness
and speak tenderly to her.
15 There I will give her back her vineyards,
and will make the Valley of Achor[b] a door of hope.
There she will respond[c] as in the days of her youth,
as in the day she came up out of Egypt.
Such a beautiful thing to ponder, how we are drawn, in spite of all odds! Thank you so much for sharing this!
Ah, the irresistable drawing of God. I love what R.C. Sproul says about this is Chosen by God. Wonderfully enlightening.
Pam, that’s a lovely piece of scripture to adopt and adapt into prayer. I have been looking more and more to scripture for my prayers, for surely its are the best, and often their words express my own heart better than I could. Plus, passages such as Hosea 2:14-15 reveal the will of God, the spirit of God, according to the name (character/ essence) of God in which we are to pray. Yet this passage never occurred to me as the rich prayer material it is! So glad you left this comment. Thank you for it.
Yes, Mary, beautiful and incomprehensible thing to ponder. (Why does He care and bother so?) Passages like the one Pam cites in Hosea help me do that. Right now I am thinking of the bride in Song of Solomon who says, “Draw me, and we will run…” Another good scripture prayer to pray…
It does seem irresistible, doesn’t it, Lynn? And yet we do resist, or turn away. Why? (I think you have me writing a new little post…)
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