“Increase our Faith” (Luke 17:5). As we travel through the scriptures this year, we are looking at how faith, belief, and trust are present in the stories and incidents of Bible characters. The faith or lack of faith of a person ought to spur us on toward faith. Let’s use the fruit and results of their lives to help us increase our faith.
Today, as I was reading the last half of Exodus, I was struck by the story of Aaron, Moses’ brother and first high priest of the Hebrew religious system. Particularly chapter 32 when the people became impatient when the man of God spent more time in the presence of the Lord than they wanted him to. In their impatient state they asked Aaron to make a god for them rather than faith in Yahwah, the invisible. Interestingly, they even named the golden calf they fashioned Yahweh.
The questions I had of the text pertained to Aaron and how he failed in his faith. He was the appointed and anointed High Priest. He could speak for the Lord. He saw miracles. He was in the presence of Moses as He heard from God. He knew all the spiritual and material articles of the tabernacle and vestments of the priests. He had access to the urim and the thummim.
So what happened? His faith failed. His trust in the Lord wavered. His memory of all that had happened waned. Why? What was the state of his soul that he could so easily be bent towards bowing the the request of the people? What words or actions were so convincing that he agreed to go along with their crazy idea? What part of “you will have no other gods before me,” did they not understand? Where the voices so loud and obnoxious that he relented out of shear overwhelming? What did Aaron think he would gain from the decision? He built the alter, he planned the festival, he agreed to the revelry, he participated in the eating and drinking.
I am going to pray about this today. I don’t want something like this to happen to me.
When one reads through the Bible in 90 days, it only takes four days to get through all 50 chapters of Genesis.
Genesis is easy reading. It is also full of crazy stories that seem like they just are made up, almost unbelievable. It is the collection of the beginning of earthly existence for the heavens and the earth from the macro to the micro. One sees the hand of God present and active in the lives of some very unlikely characters hosting the power, life, and legacy of the Lord.
Today at CRBC, to kick of the weekly series of sermons as we walk through the Bible, was my preaching professor, Scott Wenig.
Interestingly, as I read through Genesis this go-round, Joseph made a heightened impression on me. His integrity, his wisdom, his patience, and his faith seemed to all speak voluminously to faithful believers for millennia to come.
Joseph and his life was the subject-du-jour for us today. The big idea was this, “Do you believe that God is always good and that He is always at work in your life?” That question needs be be answered with a resounding, “yes.” If not, that is a good goal to reach for. It is good to make that connection. To see God as bad, absent, or an antagonist to your life is no way to live and think.
For the next few days, as you read through some of the more challenging portions of scripture, ask your self this question and see what kinds of ideas you have. Hopefully you will answer in the affirmative time and time again.
“Increase our faith!”
Every once in a while a video comes up that demands the time to watch it and to ponder the implications to each of our lives.
This particular graduation speech is eight years old. However may be one of the absolute best there ever was and will be. David Foster Wallace was the commencement speaker at Kenyon College in 2005. To give a fresh and original grad speech is not easy to do. With the thousands given every year, the themes and styles are ‘oh-so’ similar that merely changing the date and the face of speaker is all that is required.
This one however, is, not just a cut above, but, from a completely different paradigm, yet as close to the core of who we are, what makes us tick, and a solution to a truly joy-filled life.
The speech is about nine minutes long and provides keys to a wonderful life, not just for grads, but for folks of every age and education level.
In Horev they fashioned a calf, they worshiped a cast metal image. Thus they exchanged their Glory for the image of an ox that eats grass! They forgot God, who had saved them, who had done great things in Egypt, wonder in the land of Ham, fearsome deeds by the Sea of Suf. Therefore he said that he would destroy the, [and he would have,] had not Moshe his chosen one stood before him in the breach to turn back his destroying fury (Ps 106:19-23, CJB).
The location of the incident repeated above is originally found Exodus 32. Quite a group of folks whom Moses had to lead out of Egypt into the Promised Land.
A couple of things that I was thinking about this morning as I read this:
1. There may not be a golden calf in which I have melted down all my gold to replace for God, yet, is there something instead? Have I forgotten God and created something else in place of Him? What have I called Yahweh instead of Father? What have I exchanged my imago Dei for?
2. As a church we are participating in a Seder Dinner this March 7th. The purpose of a Seder is to remember all that the Lord had done for the descendants of Abraham in setting up for them a land of promise, a land of refuge and peace, and a place to show Father’s glory. Father was faithful in his promise, but the people were not. The above says, “They forgot God, who had saved them, who had done great things in Egypt, wonder in the land of Ham, fearsome deeds by the Sea of Suf.”
The main point to a Seder is to never forget.
Not to forget,
not to forget who saved them,
not to forget the great things,
not to forget the wonder,
not to forget the fearsome deeds.
Father, I pray we never forget all you have done for us. From all you have redeemed us. From the old. From the degenerate. From the habits. From the addictions. From it all. Help us to have constant reminders of your glory in our lives and the image we possess and how that image is to interact with the world’s we live in. Amen.
Posted in B90X
Tagged churches in Castle Rock, CRBC, Exodus 32, forget, glory, golden calf, imago Dei, Moses, prayer, Psalm 106, remember
“Lord, please instill in my children a soul that follows hard after You; a heart that clings passionately to You” (Psalms 63:8).
I almost feel like we should have prayed this first and then continued to pray it along with each other day’s topic. To have a heart that clings passionately to Father, in my opinion, is the root of all Godly behavior. Is there anything more important than having passion for Father? Everything else in our lives will fall into place when we have passion for Him first. We will genuinely seek His will and search His Word, we will have a desire to act lovingly towards all, and have a heart for His kingdom. If we are passionate about our creator everything else follows naturally.
I want to continue to pray each of these attributes over my kids for the rest of their lives and eventually my grand children’s lives, but praying for a passion for Father will be something I try to pray every day from this day forward. I can’t think of anything that would make me happier than seeing their passion for Father affect every aspect of their life in ways that only Father can.
May our children’s passion for Him not be wavering, but may it be consistent and may they cling to Him and all His truth, love, grace, and mercy.
Guest Post- Rachel Theobald
Posted in 31Ways to Pray
Tagged 31 Days of Prayer for our Children, 31 Ways to Pray for your Kids, Bible, churches in Castle Rock, CRBC, Father, Godly behavior, passion, passion for God, pray, prayer, Psalm 63:8