WORD WEEK 03-05-06
GENESIS 7:1 KJV
And the LORD said unto Noah, Come thou and all thy house into the ark; for thee have I seen righteous before me in this generation.
So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.
The year 2006 is underway and ushers our hopes, aspirations, and dreams like the flutter of birds wings in early Spring upon the breath of GOD! Many of GOD'S people have renewed their the commitment and covenant to the LORD in anticipation of a deeper experience with THE HOLY and THE DIVINE. Moreover, our sense of renewal provokes the reignition of our hopes as we surge forth into a year of the unknown; a year in anticipation of new beginnings; a year of answered prayers for deliverance.
Ironically, commensurate with our desire for renewal, peace, and joy, the world, the nation, and our communities have been severely impacted by suffering, despair, brokenness, woundedness, and catastrophe. As many of us allow ourselves to be present to this reality, we can still hear the echoes of winter winds sing of the imminence of difficult times and divine danger in the air. Already in the year 2006, we have witnessed pandemic suffering, moral decay, and the physical, economic, spiritual, emotional, and psychological slaughter of many innocent people in the infancy of the New Year! It is only March and so many persons' lives have been radically altered as a consequence of no volition of their own implementation, but by the hands of those who abuse and inappropriately dislodge power. Have mercy upon us LORD, we pray!
As the events unfold in the Narrative of Genesis 7:1, The LORD rendered guidance to Noah who had witnessed the moral decay and the psychospiritual erosion of GOD'S people. Circumstances of despair and the proliferation of human pathos had become so pandemic in the land that it would not be long before GOD'S people would eat their food in anxiety, drink their water in despair, and recline upon their beds of affliction, for their land would be stripped of everything in it because of the presence of violence, a lack of love, a lack of tolerance, and the malignant narcissism of many persons who resided in the land. The inhabited towns were destined to become an utter wasteland like that of the "Slough of Despond" in John Bunyan's The Pilgrim's Progress. Suffering was on the agenda. Only then would humanity come to reckon with the sovereignty of the LORD. Consequently, Noah's instructions and actions in the construction of an ark functioned as a metaphor of GOD'S invitation to grace and love to all of humanity.
An amplified view of the text enables us to learn that the embrace of "TRUTH" tempered by both "LOVE" and "WISDOM" is available to all who are amenable to hear. What might we do if we had to dislodge our baggage of fear, uncertainty, and pseudo-control? Who would we become? Where would we go? How would we face ourselves, not only in our mourning, but in the morning as well as throughout the day many of GOD'S people muse? Importantly, we do not know quite where to begin, much less fathom or integrate the coexistence of "LOVE" and "TRUTH" of this caliber as we are invited to embrace a deeper awareness that no one has ever loved us, protected us, not cradled us like GOD! Significantly, while unquenchable anticipation and unrestrained hope have now come to cosmically divine fruition, "LOVE" has come to each of us as we intimately encounter the presence of "The Holy" in the air.
Consequently, while the marriage and the manifestation of prophetic fulfillment and the eschatological incarnation has embodied itself in the logos, "reason" evades our consciousness as the boundary of "LOVE" knows no depth, no height, no breath, nor scope for which "anything that was," "anything that is," and "anything that shall be" can elude its presence.
An amplified look at the Flood Narrative provides us with a compelling glimpse of the intertwined nature of the coexistence joy and solemnity as the Wise Old Man, Noah, and, significantly, his family became the catalyst for GOD'S love covenant with humanity and salvific hope for a brand new day! As Christians, we become witnesses to both death and life. As Christians, we become witnesses to destruction and construction. As Christians, we become witnesses to annihilation and preservation. As observers, we become witnesses to the psychology that functioned as the buttress for both the community and the world by and large. Moreover, on some level, we become observers and co-members of the human condition who struggle with the compelling invitation to radical self-transformation, deep introspection required both by compassion and the petition for a deeper altruistic expression of love for such a momentous event as the onslaught of a flood. The Flood Narrative offers the community of faith an anchor in stormy times which suggests that subsequent to the proclamation of the logos, a spirit of change was imminent for humanity as life was about to radically change in the manner in which it was once experienced! While the chosen, Wise Old Man, Noah, was given the news of GOD'S divine favor, he was not initially cognizant of the implication of being chosen; neither was humanity then, nor in subsequent light years. In essence, life happens! Floods do also! However, rainbows follow, if one dares to look!
Nevertheless, as PEOPLE of GOD, we must reckon with the reality of floods in our lives! Floods in and of themselves may cause one's perspective to change or might represent a myriad of challenges and invites for GOD'S PEOPLE: For some, Floods might represent a lineage of strong family ties and/or tradition that prohibits genuine growth and spiritual autonomy; for others, Floods might represent a desire to maintain the status quo, a rote existence, or one's acceptance into the circle of the elite; still for others, Floods might represent the desire to remain connected to a relationship that is unhealthy and unproductive, a friendship that is barren, but perfunctory, a self-concept that perpetuates the illusion of self-importance as it has become confused about the owner of such unclaimed and displaced baggage; even still for others, Floods might represent one's investment in rejection, depression, loneliness, failure, shame, co-dependence, anger, grief, guilt, self-entitlement, and placing others on probation to vindicate and/or ameliorate one's own woundedness. FLOODS! Floods, they are powerful and quite real! When we are not spiritually anchored, floods have the capacity to wash away all that we deem valuable. If the truth were told, Floods have the capacity to sweep us away with them if we are not anchored to the love of GOD!
Despite the occurrence of floods, which we know from the Holy Text as well as the Tsunami and Hurricane Katrina in contemporary times, GOD'S PEOPLE must attune their ears to hear HIS voice as it is GOD whose voice can still winds and calm storms. Noah offers us hope and petitions us to remember what GOD has told YOU! The aforementioned statement is critically significant, because circumstances have the propensity to cause even the most grounded Christian to call into question the fruition of GOD'S word amidst the onslaught of a flood. Flood-impact is undoubtedly daunting and devastating to say the least. The onslaught of floods appear virtually inescapable by any human being, yet have the potential for healing and recovery with care, insight, attention, safety, deep love, abiding empathy, and the presence of The Holy Spirit. The opportunity to be a servant of the LORD has afforded me myriad opportunities to visit the sacred ground of men, women, and children who are hurt; deeply hurt; some even beyond there own recognition. Consequently, false recovery from flood-impact may disguise itself as bravado or overconfidence. Flood-impact may produce a malignant distrust of those who are benevolent. Flood-impact may cause many persons to shut themselves off from genuine love. Flood-impact may cause others to be on the fast track to achieve euphoric frenzy. Flood-impact may cause still others to neglect the painful truth of acknowledging and doing something about their own woundedness. Flood-impact may cause even others to be defended and consequently push away those persons/things that they desire the greatest level of intimacy.
Despite the discouragement, despite the lack of support, despite the exclusion, despite the shut doors, despite the limitations, despite the presence of fear, despite the forces of darkness, and despite the infractions, Noah kept building and so must you as child of he who specializes in the construction of lifeboats, whose name is GOD!
Consequently, Noah's narrative offers each of us a reminder to hold fast; to cling to the unshakable promise of GOD! You might be wondering if you have heard correctly when circumstances or the opinions of others have caused you to stop in your tracks or even call yourself into question. The response to this type of thinking is to reply: "You don't know what the LORD told me!" When requested to elaborate about that which you have stated, summons the promises of the LORD.
THE LORD HAS TOLD YOU:
To remain in his word that you cannot fail
ISAIAH 55: 11
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