Friday, October 21, 2011

Dwelling in tents

"By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance; he went out, not knowing where he was to go. By faith he sojourned in the promised land as in a foreign country, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, heirs of the same promise; for he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and maker is God." (Hebrews 11: 8 - 10)

Why is this scripture one of the PL scriptures?  I was attracted by the fact that Abraham showed the obedience of faith when he left his native land for a foreign country not knowing what to expect.  The Enterprise is a journey of faith.  It is a journey where I pray every day that the joys and sorrows, the delays and disappointments will make for the growth of faith, patience, wisdom, humility, courage, peace and contentment.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Waiting for the Lord 2

“I wait for the LORD, my soul waits and I hope for his word. My soul looks for the Lord more than sentinels for daybreak. More than sentinels for daybreak," (Psalm 130: 5 - 6)

How long can we wait for the Lord to answer our prayer?  The scriptures below are very revealing.  In summary, they say that we wait until the Lord answers.
a.       Wait for the Lord (Psalm 27: 14; 37:34)
-          Wait patiently for him (Psalm 37: 7)

b.      I wait for you (Psalm 25: 21)
-          For you I wait all day (Psalm 25: 5);

c.       I wait for the Lord more than a watchman wait for the morning (Psalm 130: 5-6);
-          I wait for God my savior (Micah 7:7)
-          I wait patiently for the Lord (Psalm 40: 1)
-          I wait in silence for God (Psalm 62: 1, 5)
-          We wait for you (Isaiah 26: 8, 33: 2)

d.      Those who wait for the Lord renew their strength (Isaiah 40: 31)
-          Those who wait for the Lord will inherit the land (Psalm 37: 9)
-          Blessed are those who wait for him (Isaiah 30: 18)
-          May those who wait for you not be ashamed through me (Psalm 69:6)
-          This is our God for whom we have waited (Isaiah 25:9)
-          The Lord is good to those who wait for him (Lamentation 3: 25)

e.      Be like men waiting for their Master (Luke 12: 36)
f.        Saul was told to wait 7 days for Samuel (1 Samuel 10: 8; 13:8)
g.       David will wait until word came (2 Samuel 15; 28)

(Roget’s Thesaurus of the Bible)

Sunday, October 16, 2011

"But you, prepare yourself; stand up and tell them all that I command you. Do not be terrified on account of them, or I will terrify you before them; For I am the one who today makes you a fortified city, A pillar of iron, a wall of bronze, against the whole land: Against Judah’s kings and princes, its priests and the people of the land. They will fight against you, but not prevail over you, for I am with you to deliver you—oracle of the LORD" (Jeremiah 1: 17 - 19).
The mission laid out for Jeremiah and the manner of its accomplishment reminds me of that of Ezekiel which is reproduced below:
"The voice said to me: Son of man, stand up! I wish to speak to you. As he spoke to me, the spirit entered into me and set me on my feet, and I heard the one who was speaking say to me: Son of man, I am sending you to the Israelites, a nation of rebels who have rebelled against me; they and their ancestors have been in revolt against me to this very day. Their children are bold of face and stubborn of heart—to them I am sending you. You shall say to them: Thus says the Lord GOD. And whether they hear or resist—they are a rebellious house—they shall know that a prophet has been among them. But as for you, son of man, do not fear them or their words. Do not fear, even though there are briers or thorns and you sit among scorpions. Do not be afraid of their words or be terrified by their looks for they are a rebellious house. You must speak my words to them, whether they hear or resist, because they are rebellious." Ezekiel 2: 1-7)
The message in Ezekiel 2: 1 – 7 is very clear.  God is sending His envoy to a very challenging mission.  The target audience has a terrible reputation.  Not only are they very rebellious and obstinate, they are notorious for intimidating and treating badly any ambassador sent to them.  To be forewarned is to be forearmed.  The word of God reveals our true identity to us.  It also reveals our mission.  With a tough mission comes a solid assurance of protection from the Almighty.  “Do not be afraid of their words or be terrified by their looks for they are a rebellious house. You must speak my words to them, whether they hear or resist, because they are rebellious."  With this type of assurance, I too count myself ready to go.
There is no ambiguity in the message.  I remember now the mission of Mary as communicated to her by the Prophet Simeon.   I paraphrase it thus:  Your Son will be a sign of contradiction.  His life and mission will be the cause of the rise and fall of many in Israel.  You will be intimately involved in this titanic battle.  A sword will pierce through your heart but you will survive the mortal blow. 
Why are Ezekiel 2: 1 – 7 and Jeremiah 1: 17 – 19 part of the PL scriptures?  Each time I read or hear them, I take particular notice.  The mirror is an image of the word of God.  What do I see when I look into the mirror of Ezekiel 2: 1 – 7 and Jeremiah 1: 17 – 19?  I wonder whether there is a message for me here.