My mind mingles memories of Mycenae and home; I left the old home place when I wed at the age of 18, yet at the age of 62 it as close as my current front door. Over a thousand miles separates me from the house that my Dad, Frank built. My thoughts soar to the structure that sheltered me from northeasters and the cold cruel world.
Solomon in his great wisdom built, bragged, and taught me a valuable lesson; a house may serve only as a monument to self. “I increased my achievements. I built houses and planted vineyards for myself. I made gardens and parks for myself and planted every kind of fruit tree in them. I constructed reservoirs of water for myself from which to irrigate a grove of flourishing trees (Ecclesiastes 2:4-6 HCS).”
The industrious king had developed a dream home any real estate agent would love to include as a listing to prospective buyers. It is tragic to see the repetitive phrase “for myself” in Solomon’s monologue and to realize I too can become self absorbed and miss countless blessings of investing in others. I think I’ll just mosey on back to Mycenae and see vivid pictures of the house that Frank built…
Unfaithfulness to a mate is both a personal slap in the face and a sign of selfishness. Marriage partners are never to take their vows lightly and adultery, while commonplace in our society is sin. “Thus sayeth the Lord.” (Exodus 20:14)
Once upon a time there was a man with a wayward wife…
“The Lord said to me, ‘Go again and show your love for a woman who is committing adultery with a lover. You must love her just as I still love the people of Israel, even though they turn to other gods and like to take offerings of raisins to idols. So I paid fifteen pieces of silver and seven bushels of barley to buy her. I told her that for a long time she would have to wait for me without being a prostitute or committing adultery; and during this time I would wait for her (Hosea 3:1-3 TEV).” Our Father willingly waits.
As His wayward children, we have turned to materialism as a way to meet our selfish desires. We have sold out yet Jesus paid the price to ransom us. “the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself to redeem all mankind (1Timothy 2:5b-6a TEV). Soldiers slapped him, spit in his face and mocked his name. He forgave. He is faithful and true.
“There is a rattlesnake in our house!” The woman’s voice was wild and nearly incoherent; the one at the other end of the line had to pass the phone to his wife in hopes she could understand. He heard her say “snake” and he headed to his pickup truck to go on search and rescue. He rushed to the home of his son and daughter-in-law with a plan of action. Step one: Search for the snake and destroy it. Step two: Rescue his frantic daughter-in-law.
The search and rescue story had a happy ending. They killed the snake and removed it from the house; a deadly serpent did not harm his innocent victim. The young woman had good reason to fear snakes; many carry deadly poisonous venom. Her ancestor Eve could have used a good dose of fright when she first caught sight of the snake in the garden. “Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the Lord had made (Genesis 3:1a NKJ).”
A rattler used cunning to devise a way to invade the security of a well-constructed house. The Serpent Satan pulled out all his tools of deception and placed doubts in the mind of Eve in attempts to persuade her to doubt God’s words and eat from the forbidden fruit. Sadly, it had a tragic ending; she yielded to temptation and Adam followed in her deadly steps. If only Eve would have called out for help…. “There is a serpent in God’s garden!”
Last week I was driving alone to town on an errand; it was a sunny autumn day and I made a turn from one rural road to another and noticed the sun off to my left in my peripheral vision. I felt the warmth of the rays on my face and neck and had one of those rare moments where God gave me a sneak peek into his storehouse of wisdom. The sun was there but it was not what I focused on; my eyes were on the road.
Jesus is with me always yet I direct my attention to the pathway of priorities I place above his presence. Do I sacrifice communion with Him and settle for awareness of Him in my peripheral vision? He wants my undivided attention. “And we must be determined to run the race that is ahead of us. We must keep our eyes on Jesus, who leads us and makes our faith complete (Hebrews 12:1b-2a CEV).” The Lord will not allow me to run off the road; I choose to focus on him. He will bathe me in the warmth of his love.
The palm of my hand serves me well; it is quite small and yet I can grasp items, make a fist and securely hold what I placed within my cupped hand. My favorite snacks of “M&M’s” or nuts are handy for bite size munching. The small area limits my intake but my Lord knows best the amounts I need to hold in my hand.
He holds the whole world in His hands! He owns the cattle on a thousand hills. “For every beast of the forest is Mine, And the cattle on a thousand hills (Psalms 50:10 NKJ).” He is the rightful owner to all that surrounds me. “For the world is Mine, and all its fullness (Psalms 50:12b NKJ).” I value what I place in my hands; God places far greater worth on you and me.
“And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of my Father’s hand (John 10: 28-29 NKJ).” The hands that created man and woman are our haven of rest…