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Posts Tagged ‘seeking God’


Jeremiah 38The Miry Cistern

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Written on January 21, 2009 and posted today as a Favorite . . .

This chapter describes the place we often find ourselves – up to our knees in mud for speaking truth.  The prophet is delivered from his miry cistern to be kept in the guardhouse, but still he is persecuted.  King Zedekiah asks his advice, and then chooses to not listen to the prophet out of fear.  How does Zedekiah find himself in such a predicament?  What happens to him in the end?

Read article # 3 at http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/view.jsp?artid=73&letter=Z  for some quick details.  It is an unhappy and gruesome story.

Zedekiah relies on his ability to finagle diplomatic alliances with two giant nations which are growing in power just as Judah finds itself in decline.  The Judahite king becomes a vassal first to the Babylonians; later he bargains with the Egyptians.  In the end, he is caught in the pincers of the struggle for supremacy between two super powers.  Zedekiah loses all and is blinded by the conquerors.  His life ends in an unknown prison; his legacy becomes the story of a king who lost a nation because he will not listen to his own prophet.

We have reflected on other occasions about the strangeness of God telling his faithful to save their lives by submitted to the Babylonian princes.

We have also reflected on Jeremiah’s dilemma of knowing that the truth he is asked to speak will bring pain to himself and others.

The lives of these two men are intertwined with the theme of a choice which presents truth as imprisonment and freedom as fear.  What are our dungeons today?  What miry cisterns suck us into their muddy depths?  What unnamed prisons await us?  When we are full of fear, do we – like Zedekiah, – hear the voice of the psalmist and not understand that the words of this twenty seventh psalm speak to us today?

There is one thing I ask of the Lord, for this I long, to live in the house of the Lord, all the days of my life, to savor the sweetness of the Lord, to behold his temple. 

We know that God provides safe harbor in all circumstances.  Even when we find ourselves in greatest danger.  Yet how do we act?

For there he keeps me safe in his tent in the day of evil.  He hides me in the shelter of his tent, on a rock he sets me safe.  O Lord, hear my voice when I call; have mercy and answer.  Of you my heart has spoken: “Seek his face”.

And when the word of the Lord comes to us, do we look past this face to hear different words?  Words that suit our wants rather than our needs?  Words that suit us rather than God?

It is your face, O Lord, that I seek; hide not your face.

We always know when we have heard good counsel . . . because it bears good fruit despite any pain.

I am sure I shall see the Lord’s goodness in the land of the living.

And this is the land of the living when we act to make it so.

Hope in him, hold firm and take heart.  Hope in the Lord!

When we find ourselves at the bottom of the miry cistern up to our knees in mud, rather than rely on our own resources, let us long for God, let us seek God, let us be open to his words . . . and when we hear them amid the clamor and din . . . let us believe the message.


A re-post from January 20, 2019.

Image from: http://www.biblesearchers.com/yahshua/davidian/dynasty8.shtml

For more on Jeremiah the Prophet see the page on this blog: Jeremiah – Person and Message

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Job 28Mining Wisdom

Saturday, January 5, 2019

We often become preoccupied with finding or even possessing Wisdom.  We admire wise people.  We look for wise leaders.  We credit Wisdom with saving souls and revealing miracles.  Wisdom was present at creation and she will be with us in God’s infinite heaven.  Wisdom is precious.  Wisdom is practical.  Wisdom is patient.  Wisdom knows when to act.  Today we have a beautiful anthem to Wisdom . . . and where and how to find her.

Miners search for silver, gold, metal, copper and other precious elements in the deep darkness of the earth.  Where do we find Wisdom?  We find her in God.

Miners open shafts in a valley away from human habitation; they are forgotten by travelers . . . they sway suspended, remote from people.  How do we obtain Wisdom?  We turn to God.

They put their hand to flinty rock, and overturn mountains by the roots.  What do we do if we want to live in Wisdom?  We go to God.

They cut out channels in the rocks, and their eyes see every precious thing.  The sources of the rivers they probe; hidden things they bring to light.  The Holy Spirit brings us consolation and understanding.  The Spirit dwells within and quiets the mind and soul.

As for the earth, out of it comes bread; but underneath it is turned up as by fire.  Jesus brings us the Bread of Life.  He opens our hearts and mines and prepares us for our encounter with Wisdom

Gold and glass do not equal her . . . and so she is greater than these; yet we squander more energy searching for precious metals than we spend in seeking Wisdom.  She abides in hidden valleys and still we must seek her.  We cannot be turned away by the difficulties we meet in unearthing her.  And many spend all that we have in order to acquire her . . . because she is worth all that we have and all that we are.

A number of years ago we looked at the last portion of this chapter during Advent as we awaited the celebration of the Christ child’s entry into the world.  At that time we saw how Wisdom was linked with Understanding and this was our reflection . . .

From the December 17, 2007 NoontimeJob 28:20-28 . . .

The closing chapters of Job are full of so much that is deep, true and abiding.  Today’s verses are especially beautiful; they read like a litany.  If we are honest with ourselves, we know the fount of wisdom and understanding: God.  We are God’s harvesters and we need God’s great wisdom and profound understanding to do the work we have agreed to do.  Sometimes this work looms larger than life itself and it is in these times that we most need a joyful hope which bolsters us for our work.  The season of advent is full of the imagery needed for the work of our journey.  Last night’s MAGNIFICAT intercessions were particularly beautiful.

Let us pray to the Lord of the harvest:

You have sown the seeds of justice and love: raise a harvest of peace for all peoples.

            Let your face shed its light upon us

You have sown the seeds of mercy and compassion: raise a harvest of kindness on the earth.

            Let your face shed its light upon us!

You have sown seeds of life: raise a harvest of those redeemed for life in your kingdom.

            Let your face shed its light upon us!

Amen.


A re-post from January 5, 2012.

Images from: http://worshippingchristian.org/blog/?p=8056 and http://mudpreacher.org/2011/11/17/gods-wisdom-is-the-cross-1-cor-117-31/

Cameron, Peter John. “Prayer for the Evening.” MAGNIFICAT. 16.12 (2007): 217-218. Print.  

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Wednesday, March 6, 2013 – Hosea 10:11-15 – Time to Seek the Lord

morning-dew-fresh-christ-manna-1024x768[1]Ephraim . . . Judah . . . sons of Jacob . . . tribes of Israel . . . northern and southern kingdoms.  Paganism . . . a Covenant relationship with the one true God . . . Infidelity . . . Constancy . . . Pleasure . . . Joy.  Exile . . . Return . . . Repentance . . . Restoration . . . Turmoil . . . Order . . . Chaos . . . Light.

We have seen these words . . . heard these themes . . . so many times . . . yet eye has not seen . . . ear has not heard . . . what God has in mind for us. (1 Corinthians 2:9)

Hosea follows the will of God and marries the harlot Gomer.  His hope is that she will reform.  She does not.  He calls her to love . . . she turns away.  He persists . . . she will return . . . one day . . .

The offenses of Israel are grave and great, almost too much to bear.  And so we look to the end of the story to peek at the outcome.  Looking at the last lines of Hosea’s prophecy:  I will heal their defection; I will love them freely; for my wrath is turned away from them.  I will be like the dew of Israel: he shall blossom like the lily; He shall strike root like the Lebanon cedar, and put forth his shoots.  His splendor shall be like the olive tree, and his fragrance like the Lebanon cedar.  Again they shall dwell in the shade and raise grain; they shall blossom like the vine, and his fame shall be like the wine of Lebanon.  Ephraim!  What more has he to do with idols?  I have humbled him, but I will prosper him.  “I am like a verdant cypress tree” – Because of me you bear fruit!  Let him who is wise understand these things; let him who is prudent know them.  Straight are the paths of the Lord, in them the just walk, but sinners stumble in them.  (14:5-10)

Lily Five[1]Dear Jesus,

We stumble so frequently yet we turn and return.

We seek your path,

We call on your wisdom, we ask for prudence, courage, fortitude, patience.

We know your ways and your statutes.  We know that you await us.

We see these things, we hear these words, we rely on your constancy and your promise.

We look for the harvest, we look for the shade in the noonday sun.

We seek conversion and transformation.

We seek the Lord.

 Amen.

1 Corinthians 2:9: Eye has not seen, ear has not heard by Marty Haugen video at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rRyOS0nZr7s

For more thoughts on seeking, go to the God Time page on this blog at: https://thenoontimes.com/god-time/

Written on January 31, 2008  and posted today as a Favorite.

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Thursday, July 26, 2012

Lamentations: 3:25: Good is the Lord to one who waits for him, to the soul that seeks him.

If we might persevere long enough, if we might encourage one another often enough, if we might remain constant beyond the required time . . . then will our enemies shrink into darkness and our troubles slither away. 

God says: I know how hard you work at remaining faithful to me.  I understand how difficult it is to hold out hope in the darkest of times.  I know that others will tug at you to pull you down and away from me.  None of this matters because my healing love for you endures forever.  You are a pearl of great price and I am willing to pay a great ransom to have you with me.  This is a truth you can rely on; it is a reality you can believe.  Seek me before all else.  I will wait for you for an eternity. 

God calls us to his side . . . so let us go.

God looks for us fervently . . . so let us seek. 

God loves us forever . . . so let us love.

Amen.

For more encouraging words that bring us comfort and hope, go to: http://www.comfortingwords.com/verse_of_the_week.htm

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