In my dining room I have a dry erase board. I bought it when my son was entering 5th grade becacuse I knew his math class was going to require some extra effort on my part. I thought it would be more environmentally wise than cutting down the number of trees that were certain to be sacrificed to help him with his homework. My theory not only proved to be true, but now it has been repurposed to one of the places I write my memory verse for the week.
Anyway, I just looked at my verse and then glanced at the notebook where I take notes and journal thoughts about what God shows me during my quiet time. It's Thursday. I select my verse on Monday. I just realized everything I've written/read this week, has centered around this verse. #Oblivious
My verse for the week is Deuteronomy 13:4 which says It is the Lord your God you must follow, and Him you must revere. Keep His commands and obey Him; serve Him and hold fast to Him.
My notes for the week have included these statements;
4/24 Always be ready with an answer for why you think, act, and believe the way you do.
4/25 God is light; walking with Him keeps you in the light. It is only whe you turn away that you are in the dark.
4/26 Circumcision removes the excess that isn't needed for your heart to properly function
And then came today.
The assigned reading for the plan I am following, 1 Samuel 15. #BasesLoaded #GrandSlam
-Saul did 95% of what He was told, but the 5% he ignored cost him so much more than he imagined it would.
-Pleasing others and allowing yourself to be more focused on their plans/ideas than God's is never a good idea. (a) God should always be first (b) you don't know their true reasons/desires
-Our lack of obedience can have long term effects we can't even begin to comprehend; if even one opponent remembers what happened and passes the story from generation to generation, a root of bitterness and envy can be so firmly planted, God needs to be extreme in uprooting it. #Esther
And then came the last sentence penned in Chapter 15. And the Lord regretted that He had made Saul king over Israel.
This hit a nerve. I couldn't understand how God could possibly regret anything. And so I prayed. And I listened. And I looked. And I prayed some more. And I reread. And I waited. And I heard.
The word used for regretted is #5162, transliterated nacham, with the short definition of comfort in Strong's concordance and the addition of to console oneself in the NAS Exhaustive concordance.
There is Scirptural evidence that the Trinity has, feels, and expresses emotions. But one thing that I haven't ever seen before is God needing comfort. I knew we could grieve God and His Spirit inside us, but the thought never enterted my mind that He might need comfort to process what happened. What seems beyond comprehension is that only He can comfort Himself. Jesus turned to God in the garden, but God has no one to turn to but Himself. And unlike us, I don't think He is prone to emotional eating.
What made me feel better about this is that He says He needed comfort over His decision to make Saul king, not over making Saul himself. Big difference. But as I stared at the words on the page, and continued to look, listen, and pray, I thought that maybe He needed comfort because He knows how our choices will ultimately effect us and others. And seeing us do things the hard way has to be painful.
If you aren't aware of the history, Saul's decision to not destroy all of the Amalekites is a catalyst that leads to the book of Esther. Whether or not Saul truly thought he was doing the right thing, I don't know. I can't judge his motives because I don't know his heart the way God does. What I do know is how easily my heart wobbles back and forth between motives that are pure and motives that are selfish. And this piece of history has made me realize just how critical it is to keep His commands and obey Him. Because the reality is, the sacrifice and offering wouldn't be necessary if we just do what we're supposed to in the first place.
I don't know what the thought of God needing comfort does to you, but I don't want to be the cause of it. If I would never do something to intentionally cause hurt to my husband, kids, or someone on this earth that I love, why would I ever want to do that to God? And the worst part is, just like with those here that I love that I know I will disappoint at some time, I know I will do the same thing to God, day after day until I am home with Him. And why? Because I'm human.
I will make mistakes, I will make bad choices, and I will, despite my best efforts, fall short. But thankfully, His grace is enough, it is having an effect, and He will never give up on me because I'm too much work. He will see me through to completion and nothing can ever remove me from the palm of His hand where my name is engraved. And because of that, I will hold fast to Him and love Him with every part of my heart, mind, soul, and strength.
Lord, You have fearfully and wonderfully made me. You know every part of my inmost being. You know every thought I think and every word I will ever speak. And for that I am thankful because that means that despite what my actions may show, you know my heart. Father, remove from me anything that keeps me from clinging tightest to You and strengthen me to do what You say. Help me to love You more than anything else. In Jesus name, Amen.