“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.
In thinking about the promises we make, the movie “Hook” came to mind. It is a wonderful film about Peter Pan, Hook, and Tink starring Robin Williams, Dustin Hoffman, and Julia Roberts respectively. There are many life and spiritual lessons within for any family who would like to use it as a platform for great discussion.
One of the issues embedded in the film is the busy life of Peter Banning and his dysfunctional relationship with his son, Jack. In an attempt to juggle work and family, Peter makes empty promises to his son. The tragedy occurs when, due to the Jack’s awareness that his father’s words are empty, Jack’s affections wander towards someone outside his family. Jack begins to trust someone other than his father. In this case, he begins to trust in Captain Hook, regardless of who he was.
Jack gravitated towards someone who showed true interest in him, not for what he could do, but for who he was. Captain Hook is a swarmy character antithetical of a father figure, however, did portray the quality of speaking truthfully to Jack.
In doing life as many years as I have, it is so much easier to work with people who keep their promise. Those who are more thoughtful about their words and the vows they make. If I enjoy working with people who possess this quality, then I have to believe that others do too. So I want to work really hard at thoughtful promise making and then promise keeping.
Jesus encouraged us to let our yes be yes and our no be no. Maybe it was more than an encouragement, maybe it is an significant element to a life of integrity.
Let’s be conscious of the promises we make.
For one of the best sermons on Daniel I have ever heard, refer to our website under “Media” and click on the tab for Sunday, Feb 27th by Scott Wenig. Scott joined our B90X series for Daniel and idea of “Standing for God.” Please take the time to listen- here is the link http://www.castlerockbiblechurch.org/media/sermons
We finished up Ezekiel, the last of the longer prophetic books and we now get into the last group of books, also prophetic, but of a lesser length, of which there are thirteen. The first one is quite enigmatic, especially the last six chapters. To avoid redundancy, I will keep the information short about Daniel.
Good day Friends~
I know that the pace is rigorous, stay faithful my friends. The volume of reading is heavy and the blessings are even more so.
I wonder if anyone has categorized every proverb. Giving a tag name to each of them to see what the topical flow looks like. For instance, 19:24 and 20:4 could be categorized as laziness, however, 19:28 could be justice, lying, words, or mouth. Right off the top of my head, I would think that the tongue or how we speak, money, and honoring others are at the top of the list. Certainly the words one uses to describe the proverb can vary. But there must be a top theme in the whole bunch of them. If anyone comes across a chart like this, please pass it on. Curiosity is getting the best of me on this one. Continue reading
Good Sunday morning Friends~
Rarely do you get an email on Sundays. Surprise!
In reading through Psalms, other literature about Psalms, and devotionals from Psalms, there is so much going on there which we miss on a cursory perusal of the book. There are issues of Hebrew poetry, called parallelism, which when understood, makes some of the material make more sense. There are issues of metaphors within the book, which, when understood, helps to make sense of some of the word-pictures. Then there are all the musical terms- maskil, alamoth, higgaion, sheminith, shiggaion, and the ever elusive ‘Selah.’ I think it meant, the worship leader broke a guitar string, to wait a minute, just ponder. And what about some of those song titles- “death of the son,” “do not destroy” (whatever is that about?), “doe of the morning,” “doves on distant oaks.” Must have been something with having the letter D in the name that was important? Maybe Iron Butterfly got there famous tune In A Gadda Da Vida from Psalms 45 & 49 “tune of the lilies.” Continue reading