Of Trust and Timing

Reading about David and his reign, about his life.  It is striking to me how God clearly gave him his kingship; his kingdom, yet he always had to fight for it.  He had to fight to keep it together; to keep it in one piece; to even have it.  He lived for years as a fugitive; as a homeless, wandering warrior after he had been anointed as king.  He could have stood up and forced the issue with Saul long before the matter was resolved yet he did not.  He waited on God’s timing.  He used to time to protect himself and his followers, but did not necessarily even work toward establishing his kingdom.  He worked toward establishing and deepening his relationship with God.  He could have stood up against Absalom and all the others that stood against him at other times much more than he did.  He didn’t even wish Absalom’s death, which would have been perfectly understandable from a human standpoint.  After all, he had many sons- what’s the death of one?  Death of one as an example for all?  He chose mercy, both in this situation and with Saul, when he refused to kill him, even though he was given the opportunity numerous times.  I think about how I deal with conflict in my own life- how often I think that ‘because God wills it, it will be easy, or it will be at least semi-easy”.  How often I want the absence of the things that stand in my way without thinking about WHY they are in the way, without thinking about them in terms of mercy and grace.  Without relying on God to provide the way through.

Although I am not big on the idea of modeling our lives on anyone except Christ, it is something to really think about.  David was the king of this very prosperous, but very tiny country.  He had power, wealth, esteem, boldness, strength.  Yet he humbled himself to follow God.  He waited on God.  He was patient.  It was costly to him to do this- he lost years of when he could have been acting king.  He lost time with his family, time with his friend Jonathan; I would venture to guess it cost much money and reputation.  How does it look to have a king who won’t kill a rival?  Yes, merciful, but also weak.

But his strength was in God.  God’s timing was everything to him.  And reading Psalms, I don’t believe he had some prophetic knowledge of knowing when or how long everything would take.  He just trusted.

So I guess the lesson to be learned is to trust God always, to let go of striving to make it in our own, and to seek God above all else that we seek.

Micah 6:8- He has shown you, O man, what is good,

And what the Lord requires of you.

To do justice,

To love mercy,

To walk humbly with your God.

Christianity vs. environmentalism?

Matthew 12:12 (MSG)

Surely kindness to people is as legal as kindness to animals!” 

I get so tired of Christianity being seen as a political position, as a religion.  In truth, it is neither; it is a relationship with the Creator.  But, as a ‘political position’ it is often seen as the non-environmentally friendly people, the ones who care just about a God who others see as non-existant or irrelevant….  especially when it comes to the care of animals, to whom are made less important that people.  All sorts of abuse have been and are done under this ‘banner’ of religion.

I feel like oftentimes the above verse is used to justify kindness to people, which it should be, but at the expense of animals.  But, God created them too.  Yes, we have dominion over the animals; we are higher than them.  But we are to care for them, to be good to them.  They are not our slaves or servants.  They are our companions, our providers, our helpers.   They are not test subjects orsubjects for genetic mutations.  They are God’s creation, something to help us see Him and His love for us.  We have been given them to eat if needed, to aid us when we need.  But we should not take advantage of that.  God forgive me for all the times I have!!!  They are His creation, His creatures and they are precious to Him.  As to the least of these, so you do to Me…   I believe as we come into a full relationship with Him, as we begin to see as He sees, we have more compassion; more love for everyone.  Including animals.  All of creation.  If we are to esteem the Creator, we must esteem the created.  Yes, I believe environmentalism is a very Christian thing, and it is a sin that we are not supporting it more.  I should support it more.   But, it must be done, as everything, with our eyes on Him.  All must be done for Him.  We cannot judge the actions of others or make environmentalism our chief goal or our religion.  It should flow naturally out of a relationship with Him.  With the God of the universe, of us all. 

How to achieve such a thing?  Simply by pursuing HIm and only Him.   By living as He did here on earth, with compassion and generosity and love.  Ruled by love.  Not seeking self to the detriment of whatever is in the way, but instead living in moderation and giving to others as needed.  There is no conflict between Christianity and environmentalism, provided it is done in this way.  

Loving people does not exclude loving the world or animals, nor does it excuse our actions toward them.

Encircling Love- a study of ‘beloved’

Nothing is lukewarm about God- He is are all fire and passion and completeness.    He says we are His Beloved.  What is beloved?

Deuteronomy 13:12  Benjamin: “GOD’s beloved; GOD’s permanent residence. Encircled by GOD all day long, within whom GOD is at home.”

God’s home, surrounded by God.  He surrounds us, always with us.  Encircling like a seraphim…..  Benjamin, the youngest child, the least, the runt of the litter, the bottom, but also the favorite.  The beloved one.  The last son of a prized wife.  One who was born motherless, as his mother gave her life in birthing him.  A picture of how God gave His Son so that I could be reborn into Him.  I am just a little one, but worth His life, worth everything.  He forgave us with His dying breath, just as Benjamin’s mother named him with her last breath. He called us His own with His last breath.  He loved me until the very end, even as I killed Him.

‘beloved’ in this case is from Hebrew ‘dowd’.

H1730 (Mickelson’s Enhanced Strong’s Greek and Hebrew Dictionaries)

H1730 דּוֹד דּוֹד dowd (dode) (or (shortened) dod {dode}) n-m.

1. (figuratively) to love

2. (by implication) a love-token, lover, friend

3. (specifically) an uncle

[from an unused root meaning properly, to boil]

KJV: (well-)beloved, father’s brother, love, uncle. (copied from theword.net)

Beloved- to boil.  To boil with desire, with love, with passion.  TO have so much love infilling that sitting still is impossible; action is required.  He looks on us and sees us and loves us so much that His love drives Him into motion- into sending His Son to die for us, into acting in our lives and protecting us and keeping us from destroying ourselves.

(Rom 9:25 [NET])

As he also says in Hosea: ​​​​​​“I will call those who were not my people,My people,and I will call her who was unloved,My beloved.’”

 

Beloved in this instance is G25 (Mickelson’s Enhanced Strong’s Greek and Hebrew Dictionaries)

G25 ἀγαπάω agapao (ag-ap-ah’-o) v.

1. to love (in a social or moral sense)

{chiefly of the heart (wholehearted, unconditional, devoted) while G5368 is chiefly of the head (feelings, conditional, sentimental)}

[perhaps from agan “much” or Hebrew agab]

KJV: (be-)love(-ed) (copied from theword.net)

 

To love unconditionally, the famous ‘agape’.  He took me from a love that was just of the head in the world, took me out of the world, into a love from Him that is of His heart, eternal.  May we love Him the same!!!

Just the concept of a God Who loves us agape is breathtaking.  He created us, He know all our flaws and ticks and everything we have ever done against Him.  EVERYTHING.  And yet He still loves us.  He still loves me.  That in and of itself sets Him far beyond all other gods.  Far above anything that man can design or dream of.  He is the perfectly obtainable, knowable, loveable unobtainable, unknowable, unlovable God.  Created by none, Creator of all.  He is love, and I am His beloved.