Monday, February 20, 2012
Welcome to Day 51 of our Life Journal!
Before you comment or read what I have posted, please read the following passages for yourself and complete your own S.O.A.P. exercise… How does this work?
S.O.A.P = Scripture, Observation, Application, Prayer
Numbers 7, Offerings at the Dedication of the Tabernacle… One leader from each tribe brought the offerings on behalf of that tribe. All twelve tribes were represented.
vs 89, “When Moses entered the tent of meeting to speak with the LORD, he heard the voice speaking to him from between the two cherubim above the atonement cover on the ark of the covenant law. In this way the LORD spoke to him.” No record of what was said… But I’m really curious. Something to do with the offerings being accepted by Him. Perhaps further instructions? Hmmm…
Psalm 23 is THE classic Psalm… Maybe the most quoted and recognized of all the Psalms…
1 The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.
Acts 27, Paul is put aboard a ship sailing for Italy but is lost in a storm along the way. I love that Paul said, “I warned you not to sail.” vs 21… ““Men, you should have taken my advice not to sail from Crete; then you would have spared yourselves this damage and loss.” Gotta love a good, “I told ya so.”
God spoke to Moses at/over/near the Ark… “from between the two cherubim.” Throughout scripture, God spoke to people. In Acts 27, an angel appeared to Paul to let him know that the ship would be lost, but the crew would be saved through the storm. God often used angels to send messages…
David was a shepherd himself. He knew how to care for sheep. How to protect them. What their needs were… He wrote this Psalm out of that knowing… That God was HIS shepherd. “He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside still waters.”
David saw his cup running over. Not half empty. Not half full. Running over.
Note to self.
God could have calmed the storm, right? I mean, Paul was on board… why did the ship have to run aground? They lost the ship and all its cargo… only the men’s lives were spared. Perhaps they should have listened to Paul? Perhaps God was giving them a clue ahead of time, but they didn’t listen?
Perhaps God doesn’t want to calm every storm in our lives. Sometimes we have to go THROUGH the storm and trust Him through it? vs 24 “God has graciously given you the lives of all who sail with you.’ 25 So keep up your courage, men, for I have faith in God that it will happen just as he told me. 26 Nevertheless, we must run aground on some island.”
God is not “one size fits all.” Not all stories turn out the same. Some were imprisoned and died (John the Baptist, James, son of John). Some were let out of prison (Peter/Paul/Silas).
We can’t just assume that because one story turns out one way that all stories will end the same. (Or that my personal situations will turn out anything like a story from the Bible.)
God could have simply calmed the storm, right??
I love the story and the faith of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego… they said to King Nebuchadnezzar, “We do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. 17 If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand. 18 But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.” (See the whole story in Daniel 3.)
Why should we be surprised when things don’t turn out the way we expected. An angel spoke to Paul ahead of time… so he knew how it was going to play out… Unless an angel, or God himself speaks very clearly to me, I am only hoping… speculating… as to how my situation might play out.
That’s where trust kicks in. Do I trust him to lead me beside still waters? Do I trust him for provision? For my safety? (Not just for my eternity?)
I think faith is, “I know you can calm this storm… but even if you don’t, I’m going to trust you through it.”
Thank you for being MY shepherd.