Thursday, February 1, 2018

Following Directions

Last night I was making a recipe I found on Dashing Dish for Mini Turkey Pizza Meatloaves. I had made it once before and it was well received, so I made it again. I had all the ingredients out, I had the proper amounts, and was geared up and ready to go. The directions stated put all of the ingredients in a bowl, except the turkey, and mix well. Then add the turkey. So I did that. Except.....I was only supposed to start withh 1/4 cup of the pizza sauce, not the entire jar.

After some quick thinking, I pulled out a good bit of the 'mixture' to use as the sauce topping and it turned out just fine, but in my haste to follow the directions to get it done, I missed a measurement and added too much.

In Exodus 13, Moses tells the people to Remember this day when you came out of Egypt, out of the place of slavery, for the LORD brought you out of here by the strength of His hand.  He then goes on to explain that when your son asks you about why you abstain from anything with yeast for seven days that you are to say This is because of what the LORD did for me when I came out of Egypt. Let it serve as a sign for you on your hand and as a reminder on your forehead, so that the LORD's instruction may be in your mouth; for the LORD brought you out of Egypt with a strong hand. (v. 3, 8-9 CSB)

If we continue to draw the analogy of Egypt being our enemy and us being slaves to sin until Jesus rescues us, we see that upon rescue we are to remember what He did for us through a reminder on our hand, our forehead, and in our mouth. And honestly, we have to diligently and intentionally do this, becuase we (a) forget or (b) need help believing it. God might declare us free, but sometimes we don't feel it and therefore don't act it.

But what's so interesting about this section of Scripture, is that in Exodus 14:14 we see Moses say something most of us are probably familiar with. In the CSB it reads The LORD will fight for you, and you must be quiet. The ESV reads The LORD will fight for you, and you have only to be silent. The NIV says The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still. And the KJV reads The LORD shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace.

Now, here's something you might not realize. Regardless of what the translation of the Bible you are reading says (CSB, ESV, NIV, or KJV) the original Hebrew word is the same. What's written in the translation depends upon the method of translation used (literal, thought for thought, or a combination of the two) and the theological disposition of the translators.

However, when you look at the original language and see what the word that is translated in the KJV as peace means, it sounds really odd.  It means to scratch, to engrave, and when applied to men, be silent or exhibit silence.

Now, I am not a theologian, and I have not looked at a commentary, but it seems pretty interesting to me that it says to hold our peace and that the peace we are to hold is associated with a word that means engraved. But it only seems strange for a second until we look back at verses 8-9 in Chapter 13 that told us to let what the LORD has done as a sign on our hand, a reminder on our forehead, and instruction in our mouth. Why? Because that's what God does. He engraves things in us. (Jer. 31:33)

So what does all of this have to do with following a recipe properly? If we do what God says and remember all that He has done for us, if we hold our peace, the enemy can't steal it, kill it, or destroy it. The problem at least for me is that I haphazardly read the recipe and don't follow all of the instructions and then have to correct my mistake. It might turn out okay (because God can use anything) but it would have been better (and less stressful) if I'd done it His way in the first place.

The more I read my Bible, the more I realize that God has given each and every one of us the perfect recipe. My recipe is different than yours because my life is different than yours. He made us all unique. And despite the fact that our ingredient list is the same, the combinations are different, the amounts needed are different, and the end results vary. But all are beautiful to behold. And the incredible thing is that He promises when we seek Him, He will reveal Himself to us. None of us need to depend on someone else to tell us what to do based on what God's Word says, He wants to tell us Himself. We just need to open The Book and find the recipe He has waiting for us.

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