Upper and lower springs

April 20, 2012

This story is repeated in Judges 1.

Joshua 15:16-19 (NIV)
And Caleb said, “I will give my daughter Aksah in marriage to the man who attacks and captures Kiriath Sepher.” Othniel son of Kenaz, Caleb’s brother, took it; so Caleb gave his daughter Aksah to him in marriage.
One day when she came to Othniel, she urged him to ask her father for a field. When she got off her donkey, Caleb asked her, “What can I do for you?”

She replied, “Do me a special favor. Since you have given me land in the Negev, give me also springs of water.” So Caleb gave her the upper and lower springs.

The Negev is a rocky desert. Othniel means the might of God, and Aksah means ankle bracelet. Ankle bracelets were worn for their tinkling noise.

Dear Heavenly Father,
I thank You for adopting me into the household of faith through the death of Your Son Jesus Christ. He is the might of God.
I thank You for the gift of the desert experiences in my life. As I walk through the desert, give me springs of living water, both upper springs and lower springs. I thank You for all of Your gifts. Amen.

Living in Resurrection Hope

April 20, 2012

Glen’s April 16th entry at the King’s English gives a little picture of what it means to live in the hope of the Resurrection, trusting in our Redeemer:

Whatever we tack onto the end of our stories of suffering gives a little window onto our theology of suffering.  […]

Recently, I heard a wonderful line.  It came from a woman suffering from terminal cancer.  How would you finish a sentence that begins “I have 6 months to live”?  She said, “…Still, nothing a resurrection won’t fix.”  Now that’s Christian consolation.

And it’s the very heart of the book of Job.  In amongst all the suffering there is resurrection hope:

“I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God.  Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another.” (Job 19:25-27)

Who does Job look forward to seeing?  Not just his Saviour – someone who would rescue him out of suffering.  Job looks forward to seeing His Redeemer.  That’s different.  A Redeemer won’t just pull me out of the pit.  A Redeemer will join me in it and transform the pit to paradise.  That’s very different.

Jesus is not a Replacer, snatching away the old and giving us something entirely different.  He’s a Redeemer who comes into our suffering and transforms it.

Think of Doubting Thomas.  When Thomas finally confesses Jesus to be “My Lord and My God” (John 20:28), what was he looking at?  He was looking at scars!  Jesus had bared His wounds to Thomas and told him to “behold” his hands and side.  And beholding the wounds of Jesus, Thomas sees the glory of his Lord and God.

Here’s the point: Jesus did not cast off his wounds in the resurrection. His wounds were redeemed in the resurrection.  They were transformed into badges of divine glory.  And what Jesus did with His wounds, He will do with all our wounds.  Through His resurrection He will not sweep aside our frailties and failures – He will transform them.

Often when we suffer we simply want rid of the situation.  But Jesus wants to do something better.  He doesn’t waste our suffering.  He never considers it a dead loss.  Somehow he will redeem the situation.  Somehow He will redeem every situation.  The scars we bear will become scar stories and testimonies to His grace.  If Jesus can redeem the suffering of the cross then He can and He will redeem any suffering – yours included.

Read the full post here.

Psalm 134

April 20, 2012

Behold, bless the LORD, all you servants of the LORD, who by night stand in the house of the LORD! Lift up your hands in the sanctuary, and bless the LORD. (Psalm 134:1-2)
      LORD, please help us lift up our hands in the sanctuary and praise you. Lead us into true worship which is pleasing to you.

The LORD who made heaven and earth bless you from Zion! (Psalm 134:3)
      LORD, everything we have comes from you — it is your gift and the sign of your love for us. Thank you.

A word received: Receive my peace.

Friday: 16, 17 * 134, 135; Exod. 16:23-36: 1 Pet. 3:13-4:6: John 16:1-15
Saturday: 20, 21:1-7(8-14) * 110:1-5(6-7), 116, 117; Exod. 17:1-16: 1 Pet. 4:7-19: John 16:16-33

      Notes from the Front Line

***** Start now reading and reflecting on the lessons for next Sunday so that you can receive all that God has for you (Psalm 98 or 98:1-5; Acts 4:5-12 or Micah 4:1-5; 1 John 1:1-2:2 or Acts 4:5-12; Luke 24:36b-48 ).

Albany Intercessor

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