Tag Archives: Jew

I Was Once God’s Weird Science Experiment

The story goes of a young woman who has another broken relationship in her life finalized and she’d concluded in her heart that she’d had enough. There was no way she’d have anything to do with God again. But, not long after this she finds herself standing in the Jewish Holocaust exhibit and before her the pile of Holocaust victims bones. That settled it, no loving God would allow that to happen! If she’d ever doubted it before she knew it now. But then she heard a still small voice whisper in her soul, “Don’t leave Me… This is what happens when I’m rejected, darkness reigns and lives are destroyed, please… don’t leave Me.”

The story hit me like a ton of bricks as I was driving down the road yesterday listening to a podcast. I’ve asked that question myself. “Why?” Especially over broken relationships or harsh conversations when a dull knife stabbed into my soul and twisted would surely have been less painful. But looking back on those experiences they were nothing in comparison to the Jewish Holocaust. Not even worthy of being in the same sentence.

It is said that Ezekiel 37:1-14 the story of the dry bones, is a prophecy of the Holocaust and the rebuilding of the Nation of Israel. Whether it is or not, I’m not a Theologian, so I’ll leave it to their debate, but regardless the similarities are there.

Verses 1-5 ~  The hand of the Lord was upon me, and carried me out in the spirit of the Lord, and set me down in the midst of the valley which was full of bones, And caused me to pass by them round about: and, behold, there were very many in the open valley; and, lo, they were very dry. And he said unto me, Son of man, can these bones live? And I answered, O Lord God, thou knowest. Again he said unto me, Prophesy upon these bones, and say unto them, O ye dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. Thus saith the Lord God unto these bones; Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you, and ye shall live:

Those bones that God brought back to life, rewrapped them in muscle and breathed life into their bodies may look like something out of a science fiction movie but it’s very much how God works in our lives. Only God can take broken lives that are shattered beyond recognition and restore them. It wasn’t happenstance that God revealed Himself to the woman in the story at the Holocaust exhibit; it wasn’t happenstance that he revealed Himself to me at Victory Baptist Church in 1996. God manipulated the circumstance in my life that caused my dead, dry bones (that did not know Jesus) to walk into a valley of restored bones in a church that was alive.

Perhaps that’s too “churchy” of a conversation for us to have this morning. Maybe God manipulated your bones into this cyber place this morning because He wanted to conduct a little science experiment on you. Have you all but given up on God, life, love, or family? God’s telling you right now, “Don’t leave me. Without Me there is no light to be found, only darkness.

That morning that God manipulated me (and that’s a whole other story!) into Victory Baptist Church, I didn’t realize that there was no life in me, until the Spirit of God began to stir in my soul. I didn’t know what that was either, I just knew I felt “something.” And as I heard the Word of God preached it was like there was an inner strength welling up inside of me. I found three things in that valley that caused me to never want to leave it again.

Strength (the struggles were not over, but I had the power to fight)

Connection (my bones knit with the bones of other believers and I had stable support)

Breath (I found air to breathe that had not been there for years. The pressure of the world on my chest more often than not felt like a literal weight shutting down my ability to breathe and move. I just existed)

That’s what God does. He takes a weird concoction like me and makes sense out of it.

Listen… are you in that valley this morning? Hear the Savior calling… Don’t leave me.

I can promise because I’ve experienced it, He’ll never leave you!

Grafted & Grateful!

grafted and grateful copy

Romans 11:19-21 ~ Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be grafted in. Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear: For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee.

I have very few Jewish friends, and although there are no synagogues close by (only 0.1% of our entire state of West Virginia is Jewish) it does not lessen my burden for the Nation of Israel and my responsibility to pray for them. I do not understand much about the Jewish culture, but that’s okay; I don’t have to understand all there is to know about the modern day Jews to understand there was an olden day plan that’s still in effect. It makes my heart quiver when I see the government leaders of the United States turn their backs on Israel; I may not know a lot, but I know how God feels about His elect and those who fail to help them. I know from a mother’s perspective how I would feel if my children rejected me, it would more painful than I could possibly imagine and I know that God’s hurt is much deeper than that. So, when I think about God grafting the gentiles into the nation of Israel, I don’t take it lightly. He also knew how we’d treat Him, by the way.

It was God’s choosing to cut Israel off for a season because of their rejection of His Son, and it was His choice to allow a rag tag bunch of gentiles to come into His table and sup with Him as one of His own. Israel was, still is and forever will be God’s chosen people. What has changed is that they are no longer “exclusively” His people. Gentile believers are “grafted in” to His Chosen People Israel through the gift of the Holy Spirit upon our acceptance of His Son. It’s an honor, and one that is yet to be fully comprehended on how great it is. But when we gather in glory we’ll get it. Today I’m just grafted and grateful and I know that I don’t want to break my Lord’s heart.

Being a grafted part of the tree makes me want to have my roots by the water’s edge. Psalm 1:1-3 says “Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also will not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.”

A Threefold Promise from being grounded in the Word of God.

Fruit – Strength – Prosperity. They do not come to the slothful or those inattentive of the things of God.

We’re not to walk in the counsel of the ungodly. Be careful where you get advice. Matthew Henry said that “God knows His people by name, but we must know them by their character.” We’re called to witness to the lost not to walk with them until we look more like them than Christ.

We’re not to sit in the seat of the scornful – those who make light of faith and talk against Heaven. There are some jokes that I’m pretty sure God doesn’t laugh at; such as those that make light of sinful acts or of the holiness of God.

We are to meditate in the Word of God. Not just read it and move on, but mull it around for a spell! Take a verse and consider how it applies to your life, search and see if your life matches up with the Word of God, or are there some areas that can use some work. I know what the answer is in my life.

It’s a privilege to have the Word of God, it is through the Holy Spirit that we have understanding of it. We have the Holy Spirit because God loved us enough to adopt us into His family and graft us into His family tree. Don’t take it for granted…