Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Know the Word – Breaking Ground

This post is part of the Christian Writer's blog chain. This month's topic “pursue”. Please visit my fellow bloggers listed to the right.

This is the third try at a topic I thought would be rather simple to write about – Pursue- right? Not the case. I began with a quick run down on the typical themes, but something didn't feel right, something missing – something nagging me, calling me, pursuing me. For a writer getting the words right is a big deal, after all that is what we do.

Finally it hit me – the Proverbs of Solomon – the Book of Wisdom. How wise was Solomon, how true His council “Fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge. Only fools despise wisdom and discipline” (Proverbs 1:7). Some of my life verses are found in the book of Proverbs – pure nuggets of gold!

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, do not depend on your own understanding. Seek His ways in all you do and He will direct your paths. Don't be impressed with your own wisdom. Instead fear the Lord and turn you back on evil” Proverbs 3:5-8

It was many years ago, during a study of Proverbs that I learned the basics of Godly wisdom and discovered how much I didn't know. It was the Lord breaking up hard ground that had been compacted by many years of living in the world, so many erroneous ideas about the Lord and what He expected of me. I discovered that to FEAR the Lord is to honor Him – to Pursue a relationship with Him.

The prophet Hosea wrote, “Oh, that we might know the Lord! Let us press on to know him! Then he will respond to us as surely as the arrival of dawn or the coming of rains in early Spring” Hosea 6:3

In pursuit of knowing the Lord I've gained wisdom and understanding while He continues to prepare the soil of my heart to receive more and more from Him. “Choose my instruction rather than silver and knowledge over pure gold” Proverbs 8:10

But, it's not a one way street, the Lord is in constant pursuit of us. “Trouble chases sinners, while blessings chase the righteous!” Proverbs 13:21

We have been chosen to receive God's mercy and blessing as we put our faith in His Word.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Know the Word: Setting the Record Straight

Investigation. Perspiration. Dedication is required to rightly discern what God has spoken to us. The Holy Word of God is a treasure of wisdom for living and thriving in this ungodly world. When we open up His Word we are immediately confronted with eternal truth – the knowledge of the Holy One. But how did this come into being?

For thousands of years each generation told the creation story, the fall, the flood, the call of Abraham and the creation of the nation of Israel – God's chosen people. According to the historical record of the Bible, there was no one writing the Creation account or the Flood account or even the Covenant account until approximately 2800 years later when the Lord chose the time and appointed the messenger – Moses.

Moses sat in the presence of God as He told him what to write as the true and accurate record of God's work with the people of the world. We have the benefit of complete council of God, because God wanted to set the record straight.

Genesis is the account of how all things came into being, the first people and the tragedy of disobeying God. The first recorded murder and the miseries that accompanied that decision. The genealogy of those who knew God and their relationship with Him prior to the flood. The evolution of the sin nature to incredible levels in less than two thousand years after the garden, God could not find anyone, except Noah, who listened to His voice. After the destruction of the flood, (by the way, all cultures have a flood story) it was a time of renewal. Within a few generations, evil was back to pre-flood levels.

As tragic as it all seems, God in His wisdom had plans, but He just needed someone to get on board with Him. After the flood, people were blessed by God to be fruitful and multiply – God want's Kids! More importantly, He wants kids that will listen to His voice.

In a seemly insignificant incident where Noah in a moment of indiscretion was found naked by his son Ham who disrespected his father by snickering, resulted in a curse. Ham's descendents did not receive the blessing that Shem and Japheth received. Talk about 'Watch your attitude!”

The Bible continues to list the tribes of each of Noah's sons and through Shem came Abraham, the one God chose to reveal His plans. God established a covenant (contract) with Abraham, that He would care and establish his descendents in their own land.

Digging into the Word of God, I've discovered that prior to establishment of the Nation of Israel, there was no such thing as “religion”, it was relationship with God. There were those who listened to God and those who did not. According to Romans 1:19, people have always had an intuitive knowledge of God, but refused to worship or honor Him in any way – so God in His mercy, let them believe their own foolish ideas. It wasn't until the establishment of the written Law that God began to hold all people accountable.

The beauty and perfection that God established through the nation of Israel is unsurpassed. A family line that God chose to reveal himself through to bless all people. The family line that God Himself would enter into His creation. The law gave them the standard of living that pleased God, so that He could bless them in every way. God's blessing and promises reveal His love for all people and through this one nation, He wanted to draw all people to Himself.

The story revealed in the Old Testament is one of triumph and tragedy that continues to this day. Instead of accepting God's gracious favor and becoming a blessing to all generations, their hearts were hard towards Him. God constantly struggled with the decedents of Jacob/Israel, but they are His beloved people. God keeps His promises as you can see that God brought Israel back to their homeland, after centuries of being put in “time out.”

What a love story! What an awesome Father of us all! How patient and long-suffering He has been with everyone. Through Jesus God established the final covenant so that He could give us, all those who would believe Him and accept His gracious love - More!

We are so important to the Father, that He will not leave one stone unturned. He gave us the evidence of His power through creation, and He gave us His eternal Word in a tangible form and in these last days He has poured out His Spirit through His Son to further move in the hearts of those seeking to know God.

Next in this series: Know the Word – Breaking Ground