The boy Samuel is now living at the temple with the High Priest Eli. The Bible says that the revelation of the Lord was hardly seen or heard.
However, the Lord choses to speak to Samuel. Thrice, the Lord calls Samuel. Samuel hears him, but thinks he is hearing Eli. The first two times Eli kind of blows him off. The third time Eli picks up that it is the Lord speaking and tells Samuel to respond, “Speak, God. I’m your servant ready to listen.”
A fourth time, the Lord speaks and makes himself present with Samuel, standing before Samuel. Imagine that, the message is so important that the Lord manifests himself and his presence is tangible in Samuel’s bedroom.
This statement caused me to ask myself a few questions.
Who in my life do I run to thinking it is them speaking when it is God? Do I mistakingly have someone else’s voice masquerading as Father? Whose voice do I find myself more attuned to- another persons or Gods?
When Father speaks, do I know it is him? And, am I able to listen for his voice and recognize it as such? Could I handle Father standing at the end of my bed telling me something akin to what he says to Samuel?
And am I his servant? Would I call myself that? Is servant a title I often use of myself when talking to God? Is servant a title I use of myself when talking to anyone else?
Finally, am I ready to listen? Do I take time to listen to the Lord? Am I able to hear his voice clear enough that I can say, I can hear the voice of God when he speaks?
I am going to take some time reflecting on this statement and see if there is something the Lord wants me to learn from it. I want to hear the Lords’ voice. That is a particularly specific presence of the Lord in my life. I don’t ever want to miss his voice. I don’t want to miss a significant turn in my life and end up a different direction than I am supposed to be. I want Father’s presence in my life. How about you? Blessings.
Difficult reading today for sure. I can see why it is hard to get through this book. This in no way keeps me from giving up, oh on the contrary, I dive in deeper. It is not time to quit. It is time to be disciples and forge ahead. To challenge ourselves to daily living in the presence of the Lord.
So what does reading about skin diseases, bodily emissions, sex with relatives, mildew, various punishments, priestly rules, feasts and festivals, tell me about the presence of the Lord? Both the presence of the Lord for them then and the presence of the Lord for me now?
Initially, it speaks of the Lord’s desire for our best. We are the creation, he is the creator. Typically the creator knows best. The creator has the plan, the schematic, the ingredients, and the wisdom to know how the creation ought to work best. All we have is what is written for us in the scriptures about Father’s love for us and His desire for us to live the best lives possible. There was an old TV show called, “Father Knows Best.” Anyone remember it? When in doubt, fall back on that saying. One place says, “His ways are higher than our ways, his thoughts above ours.” Now this doesn’t exempt us from further study. For me it is an invitation to understand Him deeper and more intimately.
Secondly, we have a lifetime on this planet of seventy or so years, give or take a few here and there. It is the Lord’s desire that we live it healthily, well, fully blessed, and prosperous. I would say that if some or many of the things listed as ‘don’ts’ are done, ones life would be pretty jacked up. Regardless of what you think of the law, it was designed and spoken for the best of folks’ lives, not their suffering or torture. The Lord gave the Law so folks could live well.
And lastly, even though we are on this side of the cross, there are some things listed and present in Leviticus that when ongoingly adhered to bring a blessing and grace on one’s life. That is an continual presence of the Lord in our life. A daily recognition of His wisdom and design for the best life today even though we don’t have Levitical priests helping us with sacrifices and skin inspections.
Father does know best.
Humans can’t really understand how God can do it. When I hear someone complaining, I don’t want to reward it, I tend towards a punitive reaction.
There is a situation noted in the sixteenth chapter of Exodus where the Exodonians are complaining to Moses about their conditions. Antithetically speaking their complaining doesn’t repel Father it attracted Him. Father’s compassionate heart towards His people brought about His Presence with them.
The incident in question here highlights the miracle of the “What is it?” and the quail. Manna would appear 6 of 7 mornings and quail landed in the evening. So much quail, one verse says it was coming out their noses. Wow!
The Children of Israel had a faithful, loving, and kind Heavenly Father who cared so much that even in their complaining He took care of them. This is not a formula I typically prescribe. Thankfulness attracts presence better than complaining. Let’s err on the side of gratitude to experience Father’s present daily work in our lives. I don’t know of many situations where complaining does this, however, this Exodus 16 story does state otherwise. What an amazing God we know and serve. I want to be more like Him.
“Moses and Aaron told the People of Israel, ”This evening you will know that it is God who brought you out of Egypt; and in the morning you will see the Glory of God. Yes, he listens to your complaints against him.” (Message)
‘Better is one day in your courts, than a thousand elsewhere.’ Ps.84
I have heard of people who faint at the sight of blood. Fifteen percent of us have our blood pressure drop when the red liquid is in sight. Admittedly, when I see someone’s life source pouring out of their body, I want to make it stop so no other issues occur, like death.
The nauseous sensation when one sees blood is universal and timeless. It made me think about the incident in Exodus 12 where the Lord is at the end of his rope in dealing with Pharaoh and the Egyptians. The last plague involved death to every firstborn male in a household. Whether it was Pharoah’s firstborn or the firstborn of a slave-girl, even the firstborn of animals born to ones home, there was going to be wailing and a lament unlike anything anyone had heard before.
The solution to not having this happen was to slaughter a young lamb and to take its blood and apply it to your house. Fortunately the blood from one lamb could be shared just a bit. But the idea was that every household used their own possession because there is something about a sacrifice when it costs something.
But I digress, this idea of using fresh blood to protect a household from the angel of death is quite a precaution. So for the hearers of the news on what to do, it must have been a head-scratcher. The prophetic implications of this action was not known then, but is significantly clear to us today. Never-the-less, if one applied blood from a lamb to the main doorway into their house it saved their lives.
There is so much that can be said about this action. Bottom line- it is the presence of Jesus, the spotless, young lamb of God, that saves you and me, even if it just the presence of His blood. It is only when we apply the blood of Jesus to our lives, to the proverbial doorpost of our heart and mind, that we can be saved from a death that brings a wailing and lament like no other we can imagine.
Living in the presence of Jesus is both a now and a later blessing. Salvation is not just for the future, it makes life so much better now. It makes living on planet earth that much better. I would rather live in the presence of the Lord than any other option. How about you?
B90X2016 is now the seventh year CRBC has ventured through the entire Bible in 90 days. It is not easy, I won’t sugar-coat the challenge. It takes discipline like one has never had before. But you know what? It is only 90 days. Anyone can alter their lifestyle and schedule for a ‘no more noble task’. The additional depth of love for God’s word is unsurpassed. The grasp of events, context, and understanding is like no other.
I have read three different versions of the Bible through the years. The Complete Jewish Bible was a good one. The author inserted Hebrew words in place of our English which brought additional insight.
We did the Chronological Bible one year. Again that one provided context in the order of events which occur historically. Since the typical English versions like the NIV are not in chronological order, it can be confusing trying to fit Job, some of the Psalms, and the prophets in their proper place historically.
This year, I have chosen “The Message” by Eugene Peterson. It reads like a story, which makes it so much more easily understandable and one can stick to it more attentively. One of the problems with reading the Bible all the way through is the desire to want more information. Many, many Christians have not read all of the Bible, so to do so they encounter information, names, and places they have never heard of. There is a desire to want to look at maps, read footnotes or study notes at the bottom of the page, or try and pronounce a name.
While these things are all noble, they are pitfalls to accomplishing the reading. The fruit of reading through the Bible in 90 days is not that one comprehends and understands everything they have read. au contraire. The goal is to read it all. The Message allows one to read without distractions. There are no verse numbers, there are no maps, there are no footnotes, there are no study notes. It is just text. It is just the story.
I love reading the Bible in big chunks like this for another reason- inevitably, I learn something new or have a greater understanding of something. This task is akin to driving on the same road every day. Even though you know where every pothole is, where to look, where to turn, and what to look for, if you pay attention differently by looking at buildings and landscape differently, you can see and know new things. The same with reading the Bible year after year. There is something new on every page. When one reads with the eyes of their heart, something new comes along.
The goal to B90X2016 – read the Bible. You can do it. It really isn’ that hard.