“All those who lap the water with their tongues, as a dog laps, you shall put to one side…” Judges 7:1-18 First thought – “So undignified!” Even today I don’t know of anyone who would put their tongue to water like a dog. Does it not make more sense to scoop the water in your hand to drink? However, had I scooped the water on that day at the spring of Harod, I would not have been among those chosen by God to participate in delivering Israel. By my own eyes , I can not see what God sees. In my own mind I can not understand who or what God chooses to use. Fortunately, it’s not about me or anyone of us. The number of those that lapped like dogs were three hundred. From all who had been called out, 300 was the number God had decided he wanted for this battle. It wasn’t personal and it had nothing to do with how the men drank the water. We tend to make things personal and judge based on what we see and what we understand about our selves and others. However, in fulfilling God’s purpose, it is God’s presence within us – over and above our personal judgments, working through all who are called and simply willing to drink according to God’s will and not our own.
Who is it that conquers the world but the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? 1 John 5:1-12 What does it really mean to conquer the world? Does it mean that we get everything we want or that we are always in control? Does it mean we command attention or demand attention? Does it mean we speak loudly and carry a big stick or quietly stomp every word of other people’s perception? Jesus simply followed the will of God. If we can open our hearts wide enough to allow ourselves to do the same, our sense of control, need for attention and desire to be heard now belongs to God. Once God has it, who’s arms are long enough to take on God?
When that period was over, I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted my eyes to heaven, and my reason returned to me. Daniel 4:28-37 There are people who come into our lives for the purpose of guiding, warning and various other reasons. It is incumbent upon us to pay attention to the people in our lives. The prophet Daniel was one such person for King Nebuchadnezzar. What we learn from King Nebuchadnezzar’s fall and restoration is that God not only knows the heart of his own, he knows the heart of those who have yet to know him. God’s love for his people is certain and he will use anyone great or small to accomplish his will. Ultimately, we don’t have the kind of power and authority to decide who God chooses for that purpose. Discernment is not something that we do on our own. It is done by asking for God’s revelation. We then, like Daniel must be open and ready to receive God’s plan from whomever he places in our path. It is here where our own reason towards the most high is sure and our own restoration is assured.
…and my majesty and splendor were restored to me…Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and extol and honor the King of heaven, for all his works are truth, and his ways are justice; and he is able to bring low those who walk in pride. Daniel 4:28-37
A Song of Ascents.
I lift up my eyes to the hills—
from where will my help come?
My help comes from the Lord,
who made heaven and earth.
Do not let the foot of the arrogant tread on me, or the hand of the wicked drive me away. Psalm 36:5-11 The “leaders” did everything they could to keep Jesus from making his triumphal entry into Jerusalem. Bu his entry wasn’t about being a fearless leader of the people of Israel. It was about being undeterred in God’s will and purpose for a people he loved. Our triumph is in moving forward in the journey – physically and spiritually, with the confidence in knowing that God’s love is greater than our fears and that like Christ, we are moving from death to life.
For if the blood of goats and bulls, with the sprinkling of the ashes of a heifer, sanctifies those who have been defiled so that their flesh is purified, how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to worship the living God! Hebrews 9:11-15