Guys! Something momentous has happened in a small way in my house. I have actually set up a real writing space. Which means I have now for real invested actual money in my “writing.” Don’t be alarmed, I will not let it go to my head. I will not show up to events wearing an ascot, smoking a pipe and carrying a brief case. This is simply a small way to be obedient to what I think God is calling me to. I could be wrong and it may end up piled high with clothes that need to be folded so let’s just all stay flexible. This space is in my bedroom. I can close my door and come in here and write. My bookshelves need book ends because the books just kept sliding off, so it’s a work in progress. Here is a picture of my space, then lets jump into the reading!
I Samuel 14: 1-52
Yesterday we had the example of what can happen to you when you let fear be your boss. Saul chickened out, let the circumstances around him become more real than God and listened to fear. Fear said don’t wait for that crazy old coot, just do the sacrifices yourself. There are consequences when we so into fear instead of the Lord. Saul lost the kingship that day. God was already in the process of giving it to someone else. Today we see Jonathan jump up and trust the Lord. Jonathan knows he can trust the Lord because the Lord promises him victory. He acts on his faith instead of fear.
The whole fasting thing and then trying to battle is exactly what the Lord promised them with a human king. We do not read that the Lord asked Saul to have the men fast, so we assume this is some sort of idea Saul had. Also, up to this point God has always provided food for his people, yet the king they wanted denied them food. Jonathan unknowingly goes against the king’s orders. The king hears silence from the Lord and instead of looking inward at his sin, ya know, like making your army suffer hunger to the point that they eat animals without preparing them properly, he assumes someone else has sinned. And then we see the stickiness and confusion of having a human king. He says the Lord has said one thing and uses the Lord’s name to vow to carry out judgement, then we see the people say a totally different thing. So how are they to know who is right. In a perfect world they would remember that they are supposed to go to the Levitical Priesthood for answers from the Lord, but don’t hold your breath on that one. We see God move the story alone despite their confusion. Jonathan does not die; he is hailed a hero. But God also uses Saul to grow the Army of Israel. It is just another example of how God does not need perfect people to carry out His perfect plan.
John 7: 31-53
I absolutely love the frustration the leading priest experience when their guards they sent to arrest Jesus come back claiming he is the Messiah! They actually think the crowd who believes him are foolish, without understanding. They are lost in the details. Instead of investigating in an honest way, they trust their own judgement alone and call for his death. Jesus knows this and is trying to tell them that time is running out for them to come to him and that he is the one that can quench the thirst.
The earliest manuscripts that we can read don’t have verses 7: 53-8:11. We are going to read the story that is in these verses tomorrow. This is not something to lose our minds over. Here is what we can acknowledge. 1. This is not in the earliest manuscripts so was probably a story verbally told in addition to the gospel of John. The early church fathers thought it dynamic and powerful and included it. 2. We will not build our entire theology around this one set of verses. 3. God’s word is fully protected by the Lord, it cannot contradict itself, or contain mistakes.
Psalm 109: 1-31
This Psalmist is teaching us what to do with our righteous indignation. This is what we do when we see unrighteousness in the world that we can’t actually fix; we pray. We ask God to fix it. Notice please that I said, “righteous indignation” not “self-righteous indignation.” You may not call these curses down on someone who cuts you off or offends you personally.
Proverbs 15: 5-7
Here we go with “correction leads to wisdom” again. Gosh it is so hard. I want to say also, that as a parent it is hard to correct. But we have to do it, so we don’t raise fools with no good advice to give.