Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Soul Dare: Day Six



Bible Time 


Genesis 11-12, Psalm 4 and Matthew 4 


This morning, my Bible Time took on a circular aspect that has me chuckling right now. It may seem a little convoluted, but stick with me.

Today we pick up where we left off yesterday keenly aware of the human condition of frailty and failings. It's no surprise that after a few years from the Great Flood and several rainstorms and rainbow later, that mankind wants to once again assert control and replace God's sovereignty. Thus we find ourselves at the Tower of Babel:


Genesis 11:4 - "This will make us famous and keep us from being scattered all over the world." (NLT)

Genesis 12:6 - "And the LORD said, 'Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do.'" (KJV)

I honestly never really understood this story before. The NLT actually says, "after this, nothing they set out to do will be impossible for them." That word "impossible" always threw me because at first glance it looks like God is saying if that tower gets built, then they will have achieved God-status and they won't need Him anymore. However, knowing that God is omnipotent (all-powerful), I knew that He was not truly worried they would match His power.

So, what does it all mean? Today, I turned to a commentary for a bit of help and hear is what Matthew Henry had to say:

"God's purpose was, that mankind should form many nations, and people all lands."

So, the problem wasn't that God was worried that humanity might actually achieve diety-status. He was troubled by their motivation and their lack of obedience. Because what command has God given repeatedly over the past few days of scripture reading?"

"Be fruitful and multiply." 

Rather than spread out over the earth and have lots of children and build up clans and tribes, the people wanted to remain together in one place and form some sort of inbred collective.

And because they disobeyed and showed a strong aptitude to keep doing so, God "confused their language" and made it frustrating, impractical if not impossible to continue their cause.

Very interesting and intriguing for sure. So I closed Genesis and moved on to Psalm 4 and this verse was the one that caught my attention:

Psalm 4:5 - "Offer sacrifices in the right spirit, and trust God."

Not especially "on point" but a good verse for me to mull over and memorize for today. And with that, I thumbed over to Matthew 4:

Matthew 4:1-11 - I find it very interesting that I am reading about Jesus fasting for 40 days and nights (wow!) when I just embarked upon a period of fasting myself. Of course, this caused me to read this passage a bit more closely. 


As I read, I can't help but notice that Satan does everything he can think of to get Jesus to assert His power and control -- which is pretty much the polar opposite of fasting, a discipline where we give over our control to God. It is something for me to consider as I walk through these next 20 days. 


In what areas might Satan encourage me to assert control or a sense of power?


-- 

The reading for Jesus Calling was once again spot on. The portion that grabbed my attention the most was:

"Time is a trainer, teaching you to wait upon Me, to trust Me in the dark."

After reading about Jesus being tempted during His time of fasting, the idea of waiting upon God in the dark place of our fear and confusion was comforting.

--

My Utmost for His Highest made it all come full circle for me this morning in two ways. Here is the first:


"If you hoard a thing for yourself, it will turn into spiritual dry rot, as the manna did when it was hoarded, God will never let you hold as spiritual thing for yourself; it has to be given back to Him that He may make it a blessing to others."

Once again, this immediately brought to mind God's exhortation to "be fruitful and multiply." Because nothing we have been given or allowed to keep belongs to us for the sole purpose of ownership. We are meant to share it and thus see it given out yet to others. That's His heart.

The second thing I read took awhile to sink in:

"Bethel is the symbol of communion with God; Ai is the symbol of the world. Abraham pitched his tent between the two."

Hmm...that sounded familiar. I looked at the top of the reading and saw that the reference was from Genesis 12:8 -- from today's assigned scripture reading!!!!! So, of course, I went back to Genesis and read that passage again (I completely glossed over it the first time).

"Abram traveled south and set up camp in the hill country, with Bethel to the west and Ai to the east. There he built another altar and dedicated it to the LORD, and he worshiped the LORD."

Here is what else Oswald Chambers had to say about the location of where Abraham set up his altar for worship:

"The measure of the worth of our public activity for God is the private profound communion we have with Him. Rush is wrong every time, there is always plenty of time to worship God. Quiet days with God many be a snare. We have to pitch our tents where we shall always have quite times with God, however, noisy our times with the world may be."

 After I finished My Utmost for His Highest, having gone back to where I started at Genesis 12. By now, I was shaking my head in wonderment at God's ability to put everything together. I couldn't have scripted it better if I had tried.

Even Psalm 4:5's encouragement to, "Offer sacrifices in the right spirit, and trust God,"seemed to fit in perfectly with the concept of Attitude and Perspective being more important than Location.

As I move through these days of fasting and this month of Soul Dare every day won't be as quiet and uncluttered as that last few have been. We are jumping into our full crazy Spring schedule next week and I have been a bit apprehensive as to how it all will work. After all, I have gotten better, but I don't know if I can carve out 2 plus hours for my quiet time and blogging each morning.

But my job is not to worry. It's to pitch my tent of worship between perfect communion and total chaotic world immersion. There is a balance point in between.

--

What has God been showing you as you dig deeper, go further and love richer during this Soul Dare? 


Also, please join me over on my Mosaic Momma Facebook page and share there or here what God is doing in your life.

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