Our vision, Focus and Engagement
Contributed by Charles Hucks
As I have been reading through the OT, it dawned on me that God has given us a very selective, quite narrow slice of history for examination and instruction in the Biblical revelation. From the creation to the flood; from the Tower to God’s call upon Abraham; from Abraham to Joseph in Egypt; from Moses to Jericho; from Jericho through the Judges; from the Judges all the way to the divided kingdom and the dispersion. It is a very selective history, but it is the key through which all history is understood and redemptive history is revealed.
The Old Testament is largely a sorry history of man’s failures. That is instructive.
Sure there are heroes and moments when are standing on holy ground as with Moses before the burning bush, Joseph being lifted to power from prison, dividing of the Red Sea, prophets declaring truth to their people and glimpses into God’s future plans. There are too many to mention here. But, all in all, it is one sorry story after another as far as history goes. It is a mess of power struggles and intrigue and human failure. As a matter of fact, it seems the main themes of the OT are 1.) man’s continuous failures and 2.) God’s unswerving faithful commitments to His plan of renewal.
There are momentous, heroic moments in OT history, but these heroic stories which we love to recall cannot be understand except against the larger dark backdrop of failures. We don’t mind reading about failures in history, but watching it being worked out around us is much more uncomfortable proposition. It is alright to see ancient civilizations crumble, nation after nation rise and fall. Canaanites, Assyrians, Persians, Rome rise and falll at a comfortable distance. Keep in mind that faithful followers of God lived through all those turbulent times and we read some of their words of faith.
It is difficult to watch the world change before our eyes so dramatically. But, now is our time to be the faithful believers during turbulent times. We are writing our stories. Our witness is literally being recorded alongside the stories of those who went before us. Most, if not all, of the most important work done in history was during difficult, trying, challenging, changing, excruciating times. When we see Joseph lifted up to a seat of power in Egypt, it is easy to turn that into a quaint comfortable tame heroic story. But, it is a dramatic story of upheaval in climate, food supply disruptions, people starving, people willing to surrender so many freedoms for food, migrations. Joseph distinguished himself as a faithful follower of God during this time. That is the part we love to read. We see Christ throughout the whole story. And, we are supposed to see God’s hand.
The fuller story is one of desperation, suffering, loss, difficulty, nations on the brink of ruin and of a God (Yahweh) follower who worked within the system to help alleviate the suffering and save a kingdom.
In the midst of this story of Joseph as a high ranking government official serving right under Pharaoh, he delegates and exercises real world authority. He negotiates deals that favor his boss, his host nation, saves the world and he wins approval for the safety of the chosen family of Jacob and his brothers.
Each one of us have our own real life duties and struggles we have been called to administer during this time of trouble and woe. We are, like Joseph, God followers called to be faithful with all our talents and energies during this time of challenge. As sojourners and aliens in this present world, we are called to live above the “cares of life”. Politics falls into that category along with doctor visits, budgets, planning for retirement, relationships and Covid-19. All important concerns, but they are not to become so focal that they squelch the “word and it becomes unfruitful.” If one allows the “cares and worries of this life” to overwhelm them, then the Word of God becomes unproductive. (Mark 4:18)
Difficult times make heroes, test saints, brings forth faith, define duties, clarify callings and creates a myriad acts of courage/perseverance unseen by anyone except heaven.
Let’s renew our focus, expand our vision, and intensify our engagement during the time ahead. Aaron and Hur plays a roll in that. Our focus will remain to support our Pastor in prayer. That focus will never change. Let’s also be available to rise up to whatever opportunities to expand and enrich the prayer experience in our church body.
His coming is nearer than ever. Let’s store up treasure. See you in prayer.
Thank you for stopping here. Come back soon. Feel free to contact me with specific comments/questions about our shared life in Christ or these blog messages. contact:me: firstname.lastname@example.org