Wednesday, February 01, 2017

"Carry Your Family"

Exodus 28.9, 11c-12 NKJV

Then you shall take two onyx stones and engrave on them the names of the sons of Israel... You shall set them in settings of gold. And you shall put the two stones on the shoulders of the ephod as memorial stones for the sons of Israel.

So Aaron shall bear their names before the LORD on his two shoulders as a memorial.

I am blessed with seven wonderful children. All of them logged in time on my back playing “horsey.” Their favorite request was always, “Can I ride on your shoulders?” This was of particular interest at parades and hikes. I loved those times. All of my children are grown and too big to play “horsey” now. In fact, my older sons could carry me on their shoulders! (I guess that's what my grandkids are for.)

The High Priest Aaron wore an ephod of precious jewels in his ritualistic devotional practice at the Tabernacle in the wilderness of Sinai over fourteen hundred years before the birth of Christ. The names of the tribes of Israel were engraved on two onyx stones which were embedded in settings of gold and attached to the shoulder straps of Aaron’s ephod. Aaron bore “their names before the LORD on his two shoulders” whenever he came into the presence of God.

The ancient Hebrew imagery inspires me. I am the spiritual leader of my family. I try to carry my children (and my dear wife, when she was alive) on my shoulders before the throne of God during my morning prayers. That’s what a man of God is supposed to do. Aaron did it. So did Job. Job “had seven sons and three daughters” and “early in the morning he would sacrifice a burnt offering for each of them,… This was Job’s regular custom” (Job 1.2, 5 NIV).

They’ll never be too big and I’ll never be too old to carry my kids on my shoulders “before the Lord.”

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"Do not take advantage of a widow or an orphan."

----Exodus, ch 22, vs 22.

"Religion that God our father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being pollluted by the world."

-----James 1, ch 27.

"If you lend money to one of my people among you who is needy, do not be like a money lender; charge him no interest."

---Exodus ch 22, vs 25

"If you lend money to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, expecting to be repaid in full. But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back."

----Luke ch 6, vs 34-35.

"If you take your neighbors cloak as a pledge, return it to him by sunset, because his cloak is the only covering he has for his body."

---Exodus ch 22, vs 26.

"If someone takes your cloak, do not stop him from taking your tunic."

----Luke ch 6, vs 29.

I believe I have heard the words of Jesus so often that they can actually lose their power and meaning over time. But with some perspective and some history as a backdrop, I realize how radical the words of Jesus really are. How much impact on the world could we have if we decided to radically follow Jesus, regardless of the costs.

If I decided to follow Jesus, and I mean radically follow him, what could those costs be?

1) Loss of standing/reputation
Jesus himself experienced almost complete abandonment after telling his disciples that his flesh was real food and his body real drink.

"From this time, many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him."

2) Loss of freedom:
I read the other day that a Christian brother in Pakistan dropped by a local mosque to use the restroom. Upon seeing the cross around his neck, several members of the mosque took hold of him and falsely accused him of stomping on pages of the Quran.
his punishment: A lifetime sentence and incarceration in a Pakistani prison.

3) Loss of life:
"While they were stoning him, Stephen prayed: "Lord Jesus,
receive my spirit. Then he fell on his knees and cried out, "Lord, do not hold this sin against them. When he had sdaid this, he fell asleep."

----Acts, ch 7, vs 59-60.

I want my faith to be the real thing, not the hip thing or the popular thing or the convenient thing. Am I truly prepared to radically follow Jesus?"