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Friday, October 1, 2010

Weekly Snippet: Looking for Something?

They do not cry out to me from their hearts but wail upon their beds. They gather together for grain and new wine but turn away from me. --Hosea 7: 14 NIV

I found this verse by chance the other day, and it struck me as being terribly appropriate for this modern generation of "seekers."  It is so often said that it is good to be in a constant state of seeking God, and frequently I think people believe that if we say we have "found Him," we are really saying that we've "got God all figured out," in essence, that we have limited God and what He can be.  Is this really true?

Naturally, there are things of God that are unknown to us, and may always be in this life.  For instance, I think it serves no beneficial purpose to demand of God an explanation for why He makes the decisions and laws that He does (Job 40).  God is God, not us, and He does not owe us an explanation, nor do we have the power to force Him to give us one.

On the other hand, God has explained Himself to us, very thoroughly, in the Bible.  Why?  Because He wants us to know His opinions of things, to know what motivates Him, and to know that His intentions are good toward us.  This is all a  part of His overture to welcome us into a real, personal relationship with Him.

If we spent years hanging out with a family member, friend, spouse, or date, would we still say that we were "seeking" that person, or would we say that we knew that person?  If we said we knew that person, would it mean that we had somehow limited what that person could be by knowing him/her? Surely not.

It seems very clear to me that it is better, in God's opinion, for us to know Him and not just to know about Him, and that He fully believes that it is possible to know Him without somehow limiting Him.  Let us be reminded of Jesus' words, "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened" (Matthew 7: 7, 8 NIV).  This verse is not just about asking for food or things; it is about seeking God's face and finding it.  They hadn't invented automatic doors at the time Jesus spoke those words, so I have to assume a person was going to open that door!

Has anything changed about God? Certainly not! It is written, "Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows" (James 1: 17 NIV).

If God hasn't changed, and yet we feel distant from Him, as if we cannot know Him, then it must be that we have somehow changed. Like the people in Hosea 7: 14, we might be crying out on our beds because we feel cut off, but we are not telling our Best Friend about our problems. No wonder He seems unknowable--we have stopped speaking to Him!

Also, for those of us seeking God's presence and blessing in our lives, as symbolized by the grain and new wine in Hosea 7: 14, we can know those things as much as we can really know God. However, we cannot find them when we try to separate them from God Himself and His presence. We cannot really find them in the presence of others or anywhere in this physical world.

Would we invite someone to a party, take the gift that person brought, and then tell that person to "get lost"? Surely not. In the same way, if we are looking for God, let us find Him; and when we do, let us invite Him in and get to know Him. Though we may never know "all about Him," we haven't limited Him. In reality, all the time we spend running away from knowing God just limits ourselves.

Until next time, stay savvy!

P. S. --Since many of these weekend posts have not exactly been "trivial" in nature, I have decided to continue the "Weekly Trivia Files" under the new series name, "Weekly Snippet." Trivia will be tagged as such for better reference.

2 comments:

Kamal said...

Thank you for the article Rachel, it blessed me.

In my opinion, it not very clear in the verse Hosea 7:14, why people are wailing upon their beds. Is it because they are in trouble or is it because they are end up wailing all alone since they refuse to go to God. I remember times in my life when I was in deep pit but refused to go to God because of sin in my life. I felt terrible for my sinful nature but I loved sin more then God. It was too much for me to give up what I loved. But then I knew that I need God in my trouble and that only He can rescue me. If we read the word of God [Bible], it tells us again and again that God can not look at sin in comfort. If we are in love with a sinful lifestyle and can not afford to give up then we end up in terrible trouble and emptyness knowing that we have betrayed our God and that we are playing on slippery ground. In such a situation I believe we are sorry and full of grief but our true sinful nature comes out that even then we dont want to give up our sinful lifestyle.

We will never be able to figure God out completly as you stated in the blog but we can know Him enough because it is His desire.
I quote your words here "It seems very clear to me that it is better, in God's opinion, for us to know Him and not just to know about Him, and that He fully believes that it is possible to know Him without somehow limiting Him." Our heart desires wonder and Bible calls Jesus as Wonderful. The more we desire to seek Him, the more wonderful it gets and He alone can fill our hearts with wonder and excitment to know Him more day after day.

I loved another important point you have brought out. It is this "If God hasn't changed, and yet we feel distant from Him, as if we cannot know Him, then it must be that we have somehow changed. Like the people in Hosea 7: 14, we might be crying out on our beds because we feel cut off, but we are not telling our Best Friend about our problems. No wonder He seems unknowable--we have stopped speaking to Him!" Let us check ourselves in His word and see where we stand.

Finally, I believe this comment was so important. "if we are looking for God, let us find Him; and when we do, let us invite Him in and get to know Him. Though we may never know "all about Him," we haven't limited Him. In reality, all the time we spend running away from knowing God just limits ourselves." It is important for us to know that we are the one who get bankrupt when we run away from His who desires to give Himself. Let us approach Him with a heart to receive Him and to know Him and when we are ready to receive Him, He fills us our heart with wonder and our lives with an unquenching desire to know Him more. In life as humans we desire to see beautiful things and eat tasty food and enjoy wonderful times in our lifes. Our nature is very evedent that our heart are satisfied with beauty, wonder and also truth. Lets not delay but run to Him who will give us all of these and much more.

Rachel M. said...

In a way you brought together the two ways you can interpret the first part of Hosea 7: 14. People wail on their beds because they are miserable, and they are ultimately miserable because they have rejected their Comforter.

What a wonderful thing it is to throw off all the things we thought we loved, which were causing misery, and discover something better! If only more would seek God--and I don't mean that I want to "up a score" or something; there would just be so many more happy people in this world.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts!

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