I had a weird dream last night. Well not weird, I mean nothing extraordinary happened, however, there was one thing that wouldn't leave. Lamentations 2. I woke up at around 1:45 in the morning with the need to read Lamentations 2 and for fun I read Isaiah 2 as well. I can't remember for the life of me Isaiah 2, however, I did go to sleep asking God what He was trying to tell me with Lamentations 2.
The whole chapter is about how angry God is with His people. So here I am at 2 in the morning asking God what He is so mad at me about? What was He getting at? What did I do now? I fell asleep clueless. My second dream was pretty much the same, only this time, Isaiah 11 was ringing in my head. This morning when I awoke, it wasn't to my normal alarm clock. Apparently I had left my digital clock alarm on. It was set for 7:25am. I normally wake up at 7:45am (On Mondays) and get out of the house by 8:10am. So while I waited for 7:45am, rather then try to sleep, I read Isaiah 11. It was beautiful.
It was all about the future we would have with God because of what Christ would do. This chapter, in case you haven't read it, or don't remember it, is all about what it will be like to live under the Rod who would come from the house of Jesse. Clearly we identify this as Christ. The details of the chapter though were weird to me at 7:30 in the morning after only being awake 5 minutes, I was reading verses about babies playing with vipers and leopards relaxing with goats. Sure God, whatever you say.
I finished my wake up by reading Mark 5 and got out of bed. The verse from Mark 5 that stuck out to me was when Jesus told the woman that "Your faith has made you well. Go in peace and be healed of your affliction." I walked into my kitchen now with a chapter about Anger, a chapter about babies and vipers and Jesus healing a woman.
Then it hit me. The babies and the vipers are a symbol of peace. Can you imagine, seeing a small child playing with the most venomous snake and not being killed? Can you imagine a goat and leopard living in the same place and the leopard not eating the first? Talk about going beyond human understanding. This thought then drove me to Phil 4 where Paul speaks of the peace of God that surpasses all understanding.
So I'm starting to connect the dots, however, what about that chapter from Lamentations? Then it clicks. In Lamentations (and part of this I am putting together now as I type) the people of Israel are being afflicted. It seems as though God has forgotten them. Jeremiah is crying out and reminding the people of there folly and is painting God to be one who is devouring His own people. But in chapter 3, God reminds us of His mercies and how they are made new every morning.
At this point fireworks are flying in my head. I just got a picture from God of his redeeming story. How at first, God was angry with the daughter of Judah (Lam 2:1), yet, Christ came and gave His blood for us so that we have a way of permanently stopping the bleeding that sin was causing because of our slavery to it and then as a result of our faith in Christ, we are saved and now have peace, a peace that surpasses all understanding. A peace so bizarre that to this world, there is no explanation.
As I finish this, a passage in scripture comes to mind, my Bethel, as I call it.
Titus 3:3 For we ourselves were also once foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving various lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful and hating one another. 4 But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, 5 not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, 6 whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life. 8 This is a faithful saying, and these things I want you to affirm constantly, that those who have believed in God should be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable to men.
Why God gave me that I don't know, and I apologize for the horrible structure and flow of this blog, however, I definitely know this one was from God. It is so sweet to see Him speak to us.
I pray for any and all who are suffering. For the guys who at this moment are confused or struggling with sin or don't feel like they are living up to their call as men, remember who our refuge and strength is. Remember that as men we are not called to live by our own strength and that sometimes doing what is right in His eyes may sometimes make us seem like fools in the eyes of other men (2 Cor 13:7), but let's all live to the ringing of Gal 1:10.
For the girls, the daughters of God, don't ever lose respect for yourself. God hasn't and neither should you. Don't ever settle for less than what God has for you, and while at times it may seem as though the weight of sin is breaking down the walls of your heart and the world is flooding the camp you call life, know that God has redeemed you and that He will restore and bring comfort to you (Isaiah 57:18). And please, do not settle for any man who is less than what God calls a man to be (Check out 1 Tim 2, 3 and Titus).
Much love to you all...
P.S. The reason for the title is because I felt as I typed this that in a sense I was taking you through my thought process on these verses....all thanks to His grace and mercy... :)