It’s been less than two months since I last blogged, I must be getting back into the swing of things eh?
Brief summary of the last two months of my life – poor attendance at my one day a week class, great attendance at church, painting rooms, reading books and probably passing my course (provisional mark is a pass, but that has to be confirmed by a physical submission). How exciting!
It’s (most likely) been a long time since God asked Jacob to do something major – I wonder how much God and Jacob spoke since their wrestling match. The story is coming up to the grand reuniting! Jacob planning to go and visit is much loved, and much longed for son, Joseph, Egypt’s boy wonder. He must have been nervous, because before he actually leave the land of Canaan God has to prompt him. Something similar happens to modern day followers of God.
Jacob was settled, the next passages, which tell us just how many sons and grandsons he has are just emphasising the point! He travelled with 66 sons and grandsons 66 people… not counting their wives, any daughters he had, or granddaughters.
The author emphasises this in order to imply to the reader just how comfortable he was. Jacob must have been supremely rich in order to have that many children, and grandchildren. On top of that Jacob is in the promised land! It was promised to Abraham and Jacob would rightly feel that he should stay in the land his children will inherit.
God, however, has other plans. He reaffirms Jacob, encouraging him to go, and telling him that his sons will not lose their inheritance if they go south. Jacob couldn’t know what Joseph could provide, beyond food and silver for the family. Jacob moves out in faith, packs up the family, their possessions and they make the long journey to Egypt.
It is easy for us to get comfortable as well, and it is important to remember that God can call us out of comfort into hardship.
Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.
Crosses are not comfortable, denying oneself is not comfortable.
I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.
Comfortable or uncomfortable listen to God, don’t fill your worship with words and music, make sure that you leave time for God to speak back to you. With quiet readings of Scripture, with silent walks in nature, listen.
After you have heard – because if you listen you will hear.
10 The Lord came and stood there, calling as at the other times, “Samuel! Samuel!”
Then Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant is listening.”
11 And the Lord said to Samuel: “See, I am about to do something in Israel that will make the ears of everyone who hears about it tingle.
1 sam 3:10&11
When you stop to listen to God, he will speak to you, and be prepared – for the Lord is about to do something in Scotland that will make the ears of everyone who hears of it tingle.