It really hit me the other day when I was reminded that the Israelites waited over 400 years for a word from God before The Word was sent to them in flesh.
How long did Abraham and Sarah wait in silence for Isaac?
How long did Joseph wait in the prison in silence?
How long did Moses wait in the desert in silence?
And then our Jesus. Silent for three long days.
Then the biggest things. Stories that are told now for how many years? All over. Probably multiple times a day for thousands of years. Pretty incredible if you think about it that way. Going from nothing to something so big that people are still talking about it thousands of years later.
Will we trust that God still loves us that much? Is still very much alive and still very much cares? That we are not abandoned, but truly beloved children?
What if God still wanted to show off for us today? Collectively and individually. For us. For me. For you. Is God still that big? Still that personal?
In memory and honor of my friend, Dr. Jonathan Almirudis.
Do you have what it takes?
Before Christ was crucified, Peter was in his own strength saying, “I got this.” It is recorded for us how Peter failed. Yet we say, “I’d never be like Peter. Everyone else will, but not me, God.” And then we all fail in our own ways. We don’t trust Him and we take matters into our own hands. Like Adam and Eve?
After they all failed Jesus, Peter and the rest of the guys were hiding and went back to what they knew before their failures. Jesus revealed Himself to them!! He pursued them as they were failing to provide for themselves.
Did He say, “Man guys, if you would have laid down your lives for me, you probably would be having a better time right now.”
He gave them a choice: “Keep doing it your way or listen to Me.”
When they listened to Him, they were overwhelmed with goodness and that goodness opened their eyes. Peter ran to Him.
Did Jesus say, “I just died for you after you denied me. The least you could do is cook me some breakfast, Peter”?
Jesus said, “Kids, you are hungry. Take a load off and come eat some fish tacos I made for you.”
Did Jesus then say, “Peter, since you towed the line and showed all these wimps how to do it, I’m going to leave you in charge when I’m gone”?
Did Jesus say, “Peter, since you repented and believed enough after you screwed up, I’m going to put you in charge when I leave so you can show the rest of these hoodlums how to do it when I’m gone”?
In front everyone, to redeem Peter’s original failure (as a picture of Christ redeeming Adam’s original failure?), Jesus said, “Peter, do you have what it takes this time?”
“No, Lord. I have a little but not enough.”
Again: “Peter, do you have what it takes?”
And a third time, “Peter, do you have what it takes?”
“No, Lord. You know I don’t have what it takes.”
Then Jesus says, “Great! Now you are ready! Tell them how much I love you. Tell them how much I love them.”
Just like with Moses: “I got this, Lord”. God says, “Whoa Moses, let me show you some stuff.” And out Moses goes to learn about dirty, stinky sheep in the desert for a few decades.
Then after he’s lost all hope of his dreams being fulfilled, it’s like God shows up and says, “You ready, Moses?”
“Oh, no way, God. Look at me.”
“Exactly! Look at you. Perfect for what I AM doing. I don’t need your strength, Moses.”
God is saying, “I don’t need your strength, Sarah.”
God is saying, “I don’t need your strength, children.”
Just like with the Israelites. Why were Joshua and Caleb praised? THEY KNEW THEIR GOD!!! They didn’t see things through their own efforts.
Just like with Abraham, no? Another picture of Adam and us?
Kinda like, “Ok Abe, I am giving you a promise.”
“Sounds great, Lord.”
Time goes by. All Abe sees is his own inabilities. Sarah says, not unlike Eve, “Well, maybe God really did leave us to figure this out on our own?” So they proceed to make a mess of it.
And what does God do? “That’s it! I can’t stand ya’ll!” ZAP!
More grace. God says like He said to Peter, “I don’t even need your strength of believing, Abraham. I don’t need your strength of faith.”
God gave Abraham the promise of a son BEFORE Abraham believed. Did Abraham’s subsequent acts of unbelief nullify God’s promise?
GOD KNEW!!! Right after He gave the promise, He sealed it using the perfect picture: the old tradition was that if two men made an agreement, then they signified and sealed that agreement by killing an animal and splitting its body in half. Then both men would walk through the middle of the slaughtered animal so as to say, “If I don’t keep my part of this promise then let the same thing be done to me as to this animal.”
But did God let Abraham walk through the middle of the dead animals? NO! There was only a torch to represent God that was sent through the dead animals!! To show that only God was tied to keeping the promise!
And the torch, what a picture: a Light!
And on top of that, God had Abraham setup the slaughtered animals during the day but waited until the darkness in order for The Light to pass through and seal the deal.