I love Bible study! Be it on my own or listening under the teaching of others. And one of my favorite times is the Teen Class at Victory Baptist Church. I co-teach with a couple of fella’s whose characters are as far from one end of the spectrum as the other, but both bring such wisdom to the table and allow the kids to see that God’s method of understanding is personal.
This past Sunday I sat with the youth and listened to a lesson from co-teacher Doug that I told him I was totally going to steal and not give him credit. I wouldn’t do that… at least not entirely. Below is what I gleaned from Doug’s wisdom on Isaiah chapter 1.
1The vision of Isaiah the son of Amoz, which he saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah.
2 Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth: for the Lord hath spoken, I have nourished and brought up children, and they have rebelled against me.
3 The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master’s crib: but Israel doth not know, my people doth not consider.
God uses two unlikely Characters… hmmm…. Just like Doug and me, to teach a lesson about the rebellious heart. The ox and the ass. Two animals who knew more about submission to authority than the nation of Israel. But before we step out of the stall and consider ourselves to be above that, perhaps we should check the bottom of our shoes to see what we’re treading in.
It seems that no matter how far I come in my walk with Christ, I still always have plenty of path before me. I have nowhere near arrived! There has always been a rebellious, just roll with it, side to me that gets me into trouble. I never give God full control. I always hold back just a little of Shari to mess things up.
Israel had unfortunately kept a lot of themselves in their Nation and rebelled again and again on God their Creator.
Doug’s lesson had four wonderful points that are so very worthy of pondering.
- We were Created by God.
- We were Stolen by Satan (separated from God through sin)
- We were Bought back through the blood of Christ! Glory!
- We were Gifted life by God
We were created in God’s image (Genesis 2:16-17). The ox and the ass know their masters here on earth, although they too can be rebellious and stubborn. But so much can be learned from God’s creation.
We have several critters around our home, but the three who I deal with beneath my feet daily are Izadora, Versace and Callie. A Chihuahua, a Jack-Huahua (1/2 Chihuahua and Jack Russell) and a calico cat. The dogs are adoring creatures who just want to love us continually. They cannot get close enough. Callie the cat is a vicious creature who loves nothing more than to come from nowhere to grab your bare feet with her claws and scare the daylights out of you! She is self-absorbed and could care less if you like her, so long as you feed her. True story! But which creature sounds more like God’s human creation?
That’s because Satan stole our hearts. Oh my goodness! That thought makes me so sad. When Satan tempted Eve in the garden, he tempted her with something that would steal her heart from her Creator God. She fell, Adam fell and because of that, we are all a fallen, stolen creation from the Savior. (Romans 6:23) The wages of sin is death. Once we get to the age of knowledge, when we can determine right from wrong, Satan has us in his clutches, just like he did Eve underneath that tree.
But praise God! We were bought back. 1 Peter 3:18 ~ For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit.
It’s a price my mind cannot fathom. I try. But I just can’t wrap my mind around the physical pain that He endured for me, and His separation from His father. How could He love me that much (John 3:16) even in my rebellion? A point Doug brought out that sorrows my soul is that Christ even did it for those who will never accept Him as Lord. He loves us all the same.
God’s greatest gift to us was the freedom of life.
Doug’s favorite verse is Matthew 11:28. It’s one of mine too and it’s a reminder that we do not have to live with the burden of sin and strife.
Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
The ox and the ass know where to go when it’s time to rest. They go to master’s crib. We too should find ourselves cradled in the arms of God when life gets too much. O God… to be so wise…
Thanks Doug for the thoughts, and thank You Jesus for your word.