Obedience (part 2)

But you shall go to my country and to my relatives and take a wife for my son Isaac. See to it that you do not take my son back there. He will send His Angel before you and you will take a wife from there for my son. (Genesis 24: 4, 6,7b)

Following the order of Abraham to fetch a wife for his son Isaac, his servant Eliezer went to God and prayed, “I pray You cause me to meet with good success today and show kindness to my master Abraham.” That’s the secret of obedience: a humble heart before God and man. Eliezer did not go fetch a wife for his master’s son on his own power and wisdom. He acknowledged his limitations and asked God for help. This is a beautiful story of God’s faithfulness expressed to Eliezer. His heart was tuned to God’s frequency in His plan for Abraham’s posterity. He blessed Eliezer by answering his prayer and giving him Rebeka as a wife for Isaac.

Obedience

                                                            (Matt.28:7-10)

Then go quickly and tell His disciples, He has risen from the dead, and behold, He is going before you to Galilee; there you will see Him. Behold, I have told you (vs. 7). As they went to tell, behold Jesus met them and said, Hail, and they went up to Him and clasped His feet and worship Him. Jesus said, do not be afraid, go and tell my brethren to go into Galilee (v.9).

After YAHSHUA’S resurrection, Mary and the other Mary continued to look for Him among the dead. In the process, they witnessed supernatural events beyond their imagination at the time they arrived at the place where the Lord’s body had been buried. First, there was an earthquake, followed by an angel of the Lord descending from heaven to roll the boulder back and those keeping guard were frightened and agitated and trembled and became like dead men (Matt. 28:1-4). At that sight, the angel told them, YAHSHUA is not here; He has risen, as He said. Come, see the place where He lay; go quickly and tell His disciples, He has risen from the dead, and behold, He is going before you to Galilee; there you will see Him (Matt. 28:5-7). Leaving the place joylessly, they went to tell the disciples. Their excitement overtook them; they could not wait to share the greatest miracle they ever witnessed.  To make their day even more exciting, while on their way, behold, the Lord YAHSHUA met them saying, Greeting! They went up to Him, clasped His feet and worshiped Him (Matt. 28: 8-9). Echoing the message from the angel, He said to them, Do not be alarmed and afraid; go and tell My brethren to go into Galilee, and there they will see Me (Vs.10). The angel emphatically expressed the command to them by saying, Behold, I have told you. That means, attention, look! His command was for them to go quickly and tell the disciples that the Lord YAHSHUA had risen from the dead.

For Your Dew O Lord Is a Dew Of Light

(Isaiah 26:19-21)

Life sustaining in that small sparkle of condensed water called dew is formed when the temperature is low and the atmospheric vapor is condensed. When we walk in the early mornings being greeted by those crystals like drops of water, with the sun barely shinning its light on it, making its sparkle more visible, we think nothing about it. But in reality, these little drops speak of life. It is life sustaining for the grass and plants, especially in dry climate, as in the desert.

Anxiously, the vegetation waits for them to fall over them in the dawn on the day to be refreshed, after a day of intense heat, for their roots depend on its water which slowly, slowly  penetrates deeply enough to moist them, for it is the only source of water they have for sustenance, besides occasionally some rain. Its silence contrasting with the noise of the rain, is gentle; it nourishes the vegetation one drop at a time. If we could only take the time to learn the importance of little things as dew, we would appreciate God’s wisdom in His creation and His love toward us, in His care for us by providing means to sustain life through a small drop of water, called dew.  The word dew is mentioned more than thirty times in the Bible, symbolizing blessings. Used poetically and symbolically, dew is light out of darkness, as it comes with the dawn of a new day. It speaks of bounty, as we see in Isaac’s blessings over Jacob: May God give you of the dew of heaven and of the fatness of the earth and plenty of grain and wine (Gen. 27:28).

He Performs What He Planned for My Life

(Job 23:14)

The words of Job spoken thousands of years ago still resonate strongly in our ears today when we read them. He desired that his words were written; that they were inscribed in a book; that with an iron pen and lead they were graven in the rock forever (Job 19: 23-24). Yes, God heard the prayer of His righteous servant, Job and years later, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, Job’s words were inscribed in a book that has lasted thousands of years. They have encouraged many in their valleys and strengthened their faith because they came from a man in his suffering and not in his days of prosperity. He said, He performs [that He has] planned for me, and of many such matters He is mindful (Job 23:14). Job could see beyond all God’s faithfulness in completing in him His purpose for what He created him. He knew that God was aware and mindful of all his sufferings. We are blessed to have these words written in order to know without a doubt that God is aware and mindful of everything that happens to us, too. When God created a life, He created with a purpose. The destiny of every one is written in His book. David said, Your eyes saw my unformed substance, and in Your book all the days [of my life] were written before ever they took shape, when as yet there was none of them (Psalm 139:16). Every human life is precious to Him; He was involved in every detail of creating us. He formed our inward parts; He knit us together in our mother’s womb… (Psalm 139:14a). After all, He gave us life. Not one single life created – born or unborn is a waste.

Counting the Blessings So That They May Know

(Psalm 78)

Israel experienced God’s presence in their journey through the desert in the form of a cloud and a pillar of fire. The cloud served as an umbrella against the heat of the sun; and the fire as light to show them the way in the dark of the night. God’s mercy, love and faithfulness to Abraham were fulfilled many years later in Abraham’s descendant.  In His mercy, God was to Israel a shield of protection. One reason why God took Israel the long way to the Promised Land was to create in them a righteous nation, from whom He would send His only Son. They were to shine the light of the only true God to all nations through all the signs and wonders they had experienced. In that period of forty years, Israel experienced the presence of God in a supernatural way when He came down to Mount Sinai.  It was wrapped in smoke, for the Lord descended upon it in fire; its smoke ascended like that of a furnace, and the whole mountain quaked. There He spoke to them in an audible voice. They saw then the glory of His holiness, for which they trembled in fear. After they had lived four hundred years in a land of so many pagan gods, Israel had adopted them for themselves and their spiritual condition had deteriorated  and in need for transformation. Only through the long way through the desert, they would not have gone back to Egypt and through the miracles God had performed in their midst Israel’s spiritual eyes were opened to believe in the existence of the true God.

A Book of Remembrance

Then those who feared the Lord talked often one to another; and the Lord listened and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before Him of those who feared the lord and who thought on His name (Mal. 3: 16)

I remember when young while living in the orphanage in Brazil, I was given a book of remembrance where friends and acquaintances wrote beautiful thoughts of encouragement and what they thought of me. It registered sentiments that would later bring me memories of those days, although not all positive, but sifting them through in my mind, there were a few wonderful memories which I treasured. They bring me joy as I relive those days. It is to me a privilege to know that the Lord is aware and taking notice of the things we say that is pleasing to Him to the point of having them written in a special remembrance book.

Psalm 91- A Covenant Promise

A covenant is an agreement between two people; it will only work if both parties will honor their obligation to it. Therefore it is conditional. God had a covenant with Abraham, from which the nation of Israel was born. The Lord also promised Abraham’s descendants the land of Canaan, from the river of Egypt to the great river Euphrates. When Abraham was tested on the mountain “The Lord will provide,” God blessed him by saying, I have sworn by Myself, says the Lord, that since you have done this and have not withheld or begrudged your son, your only son, in blessing I will bless and in multiplying I will multiply your descendants like the stars of the heavens and like the sand of the seashore. And you Seed will possess the gate of His enemies. And in your Seed [Christ] shall all the nations of the earth be blessed and [by Him] bless themselves, because you have heard and obeyed My voice (Gen. 22:17-18). Although Abraham kept the covenant between God and him, his descendants did not; reason why they lost their beautiful Promised Land covenanted with them, conditionally upon their keep of the contract.

Go Into the Plain and I Will Talk to You There

(Ezekiel 3:22-27)

The Prophet Ezekiel was one of the prophets who received from YAHWEH difficult tasks to represent the spiritual conditions of the nation Israel. He grew up in the environment of the temple, having been born in the priestly family. Unlikely some prophets, he grew up knowing the things of God firsthand.  He was only thirty years old when YAHWEH called Him while he was in the midst of idolatrous surroundings of Babylon. In chapter one of his book, he describes the vision given him. He starts by saying, the heavens were opened and I saw visions of God (Ezekiel 1:1). After seeing the vision in its completeness, he was instructed in three things: to hear what YAHWEH was telling him; not to be like those rebellious people, and to eat the words given him. Meanwhile, the Lord warned him that the people were not going to listen to his message, for they were a rebellious nation. Ezekiel’s responsibility, however, was to warn them, listening or not, otherwise, he would be held responsible for the blood of that person. The instructions how to deliver YAHWEH’S message were difficult for one to follow. Ezekiel, however, had no complaint, except for one. He willingly did exactly what the Lord commanded Him. Arise, YAHWEH told him, go forth into the plain and I will talk with you there (Ezekiel 3:22b).