“Bring me my Bow of burning gold;
Bring me my arrows of desire;
Bring me my spear; O clouds unfold!
Bring me my Chariot of Fire!”
William Blake wrote these stirring words. I don’t know what to think of the Apocrypha or its claims that Jesus toured England as a young man. Theologians through the ages did not accept the Apocryphial books as inspired, therefore they are not included in our Biblical canon.
Regardless of whether or not Jesus ever walked on England’s soil in flesh, His Spirit walks the hills even of North Georgia, and I think that was certainly Blake’s intent with the poem, which was made into the Anthem Jerusalem, and in turn featured on the later movie Chariot’s of Fire. The movie is a story of two runners and their faith in God, and their pursuit of excellence.
John referred to heaven as the “New Jerusalem” in the glory of his penultimate vision. Blake’s words approach the beauty of John’s, even if they aren’t divinely inspired. The New Jerusalem is being built in the hearts and minds of God’s children here in the spirit world, by the approach of Jesus’ Kingdom. And, He’s not hitting the brakes yet.
I certainly can see my God driving a Chariot of Fire! :) Psalm 68:17 This passage in Psalms can give you the idea that God drives chariots. The chariot metaphor in the anthem is definitely an allusion to the rapture of Elijah. And, obviously if God wasn’t in the driver’s seat of that Chariot, it definitely came from His Angelic Fleet, and He certainly sent the whirlwind that snatched up Elijah! 2 Kings 2:11
God can and does choose to reveal Himself gloriously to the eyes of man, and He most certainly can and will use miraculous intervention to perform His divine will. But, it’s a given that more of God’s will is carried out by these feet of clay God calls "Adam" than through miracles.
Think about it…God wants most to use me and you as His chariots of fire. We all have our limits and failings, but what do you think brings God the most glory, driving Golden Chariots or using our limited flesh to move His Spirit? We are the body of Christ, we are His hands and feet, and (if the angels are his chariots) we can be His chariots as well.
Oh, but don’t you find yourself consumed with His fire? Like Jeremiah cried after a night in jail for merely speaking the truth, it’s like fire in my bones. Jeremiah 20:9 Here is a larger part of Blake’s epic poem titled Milton: A Poem (1804.) The tune Jerusalem is now playing and the video is a segment of Oscar Pistorius, a double amputee known as “the blade runner.” He reminds me of the dichotomy of God running on feet of clay...we chariots of fire. Oscar embodies the spirit of a Chariot of Fire. He houses fire in his soul that will only be satisfied by running. May I yet be more contemptible than this before the Lord. 2 Kings 6:17
And did those feet in ancient time,
Walk upon Englands mountains green:
And was the holy Lamb of God,
On Englands pleasant pastures seen!
And did the Countenance Divine,
Shine forth upon our clouded hills?
And was Jerusalem builded here,
Among these dark Satanic Mills?
Bring me my Bow of burning gold:
Bring me my Arrows of desire:
Bring me my Spear: O clouds unfold!
Bring me my Chariot of fire!
I will not cease from Mental Fight
Nor shall my Sword sleep in my hand:
Till we have built Jerusalem,
In Englands green & pleasant Land.