Monday, June 11, 2012

"Taste and see that the Lord is good!" (Ps 34:8)

I am trying to acclimate myself (and my family) to our summer schedule.  While I am thankful for a slower pace, being at home during the day leaves my mind with more opportunities to wander toward food … especially after lunch.  My weakest time of the day is the post-lunch let-down (as I’m calling it).  At school … at home … really wherever I am, I always find myself craving something sweet after lunch.  At school, I can control it pretty well (by controlling my environment), but at home, it’s a lot harder.  Today as I finished eating my lunch and gathering my thoughts to write, the post-lunch let-down kicked in.  What would satisfy my craving?!  Then – remembering my afternoon plans to write – I felt God answering my question, “Taste and see that the Lord is good!” (Psalm 34:8).  I had a choice:  spend my kids’ naptime feasting on God’s Word or binging on momentary satisfaction.

Well, well, well … and here I thought that I was just writing something silly to break the ice for yesterday’s lesson summary.  All along God was leading us you and me both into today’s post.  I love it when He does that!!  In case you’re confused, remember last week we discussed Esau selling Jacob the family birthright (the Lord’s goodness) for a bowl of stew (momentary satisfaction).

Thousands of years after the aroma of red lentil stew had faded away, the question of the fairness in the story of Jacob and Esau still hangs in the air.  So I bring it up again, Was it fair that Jacob got Esau’s blessing?  I thought about this all last week.  My mind kept shouting back, “No, it wasn‘t fair!  And Jacob should have been cursed instead of blessed!”  Thankfully, God interceded with some thoughts of His own.  First, He said (in my spirit), Do you have any idea what fair really is?  I thought of Isaiah 55:8, “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, says the Lord.”  I found myself in the book of Job another case study of questionable fairness.  Job understandably asked why this was happening to him (in chapter 3).  Later (after Job’s well-meaning, albeit ignorant, friends finished giving their opinions of his suffering), God addressed Job directly:
“Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind and said, Who is this
that darkens counsel by words without knowledge?    Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?  Declare to Me, if you have and know understanding.”  (Job 38:1-2, 4)
God continued His “answer” (mostly in the form of rhetorical questions) through the rest of chapter 38 … and 39 … and 40 … and 41.  As if we didn’t feel sorry enough for Job before, we certainly do now!

Something else God pointed out to me was that I wasn’t just questioning the fairness of an isolated circumstance.  I was questioning His fairness whether or not He was and is just.  I went back to Deuteronomy 32:4 where Moses said, “He [God] is the Rock.  His work is perfect, for all His ways are law and justice.  A God of faithfulness without breach or deviation, just and right is He.”  For the most part what you and I know about fairness and justice has come from the world, but the true standard of fairness isn’t what the world suggests.  It’s what the Word teaches.  Go back and re-read Deut 32:4 again.  Moses used the descriptions “perfect … without breach or deviation.”  Those things certainly do not describe the world, so when our thoughts don’t align with His (Isa 55:8-9), we have a deliberate choice to make.  Are we going to put our trust in the Word or in the world?

… I’m going to stop today’s post here.  Believe it or not, we covered more than this yesterday; I can hardly believe it myself!  I’ll get back to you later in the week.  As for my post-lunch let down … “man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God” (Matt 4:4).

Father God,
I ask today, in the name of Jesus, that you will give Your people a hunger for your Word like nothing we have ever known.  Don’t let us settle for temporary substitutes.  Instead let us “taste and see that [You] are good!”

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