“So after He had washed their feet, and had taken His garments, and was set down again, He said unto them, Know ye what I have done to you?” (John 3:12, emphasis mine)
I remember going to a prayer meeting once and really feeling the Lord’s presence. Upon resurfacing from those moments, I remember also sensing this need to couch what I’d experienced in some thought from God’s word. As I have endeavored to couple what I live and think and feel with some aspect of the Word of God, this seemed like the only logical thing to do. But I chose not to. I had just felt the presence of God stronger than ever I had and then I chose what I did. I don’t think He held it against me but in retrospect, I feel that, by not plugging in to His word, I wanted to feel something on my own and not surrender that feeling to God. This is stark but it goes to show that, no matter how deep we get out into the bottomless ocean of God’s love, we always need something to ground us in this reality. This is one of the reasons we have His Word.
“I have more understanding than all my teachers: for Thy testimonies are my meditation.” (Psalm 119:99)
Teaching tokens (these two words spring from the same root)
Okay. Wherever you are, there is something you’re going through at present that has been mirrored in at least some small way by the stories in your Bible. We could get into all the speculation around the canonization of scripture and all the lost books that perhaps contradict what’s found therein. We could argue about the existence of God and the age of the earth and all that. Free will, etc. But unless you’re willing to work out all the inherent variables to a worldview that lives from those standpoints–and completely shuts out the God who loves you and made you, it’s best to simply think about…um, Jesus. I was trying to think of some obscure lesson emblematized by some minor prophet or the like. Maybe make mention of Jabez and his (now not so) obscure prayer. Perhaps Deborah and her bright oversight to the serious conditions in which Israel found themselves at that point in history. And now I’m just name-dropping. The point is here, that Jesus is the Living Word. All the symbolism contained in particulars dwells in Him as a Universal.
“Shew me a token for good; that they which hate me may see it, and be ashamed: because Thou, Lord, hast holpen me, and comforted me.” (Psalm 86:17, emphasis mine)
But what happens in between the time you realize you’ve gotten yourself in a predicament needing His deliverance, and the time He says “I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.” (John 14:18)…? We have these lessons, these analogies and parables and the lines in which those figures who followed God walked. And nobody’s perfect. Jettison that notion. Moses, for all his stature and power, in spite of the fact he was “very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth.” (Numbers 12:3) still hit the rock. Joshua, his successor had his flaws as well. Standing before the angel in “filthy garments” (Zecharia 3:3) needed a change of clothes before they got down to business, I don’t mean to be crass. We all have those things that, Lord willing, will cause us to break down and realize our total dependence (and need for such) upon Him. And this is what I clung to instead of God’s revealed thoughts on the matter.