Tuesday, February 19, 2013

is that all there is? No! not at all

Reading: Exodus 21, Mark 8

It would have been an incredible privilege and very exciting to be one of those chosen by the Lord Jesus to be His disciple. Can you imagine waking up every morning knowing that something could happen that had never happened before? As a disciple you had a front row seat to the blind being made to see; the deaf and dumb hearing and talking; the dead raised; the demoniacs made into gospel preachers; and a few buns and a couple of small fish made to feed thousands. But then the Lord Jesus instructed His disciples to pick up all the pieces of bread (and fish?) that had fallen to the ground. For what? To eat later on when they were hungry? When the disciples would have to blow off the dirt or sand and after the bread was dried up. And who knows whose grubby hand this wasted bread was in before it was dropped on the ground.

How dramatic to be one of the Children of Israel as they experienced the greatest, most majestic display of miracles ever. Then every day had its own new miracles with manna appearing each morning, and low, slow flying quail showing up each night.  They received the Ten Commandments with all the fire and lightnings while they stood with mouths agape before Mount Sinai as God Himself descended upon it.

But with the big Ten came all these little laws about all the nasty things that may happen, and that people do to each other. Slavery and poverty were taken for granted. If a man was too poor, he sold his daughter into slavery. These were real women, with real lives. And slavery for a woman always meant the imposition of sexuality. The rules for this were: If she does not please her master, or the master’s son, or if the master does not then provide her the fair amount of food and clothing, “or her marital rights” she shall go out “for nothing, without payment of money.”

How do we reconcile, how can we consider this incongruous life mix of the mundane with God’s stupendous moments of intervention?

Eric wondered in yesterday’s lesson how the disciples appeared to totally forget about the feeding of the five thousand when the Lord Jesus talked to them about their dilemma of having a crowd of four thousand hungry people. He said to them, “I have compassion on them because they have been with me for three days and have nothing to eat.” (Apparently their 12 baskets of ground scraps was gone by that time.)

Here’s a thought: There is nothing that our Lord values more from us than our trust. A favorite verse of mine is Hebrews 11:6. “Now without faith it is impossible to please Him…” When things are just so mundane, so day after day, so always breaking down and deteriorating; that’s when we make real our faith in a good, kind and loving God. We remember all He has done for us. We remember most of all that He sent His Son to die for us, while we were yet sinners. And then we trust Him, when at this very present time in which each of us is living, things just really aren’t that great.

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