This week’s set of Bible readings is known in much of the Jewish world as Vayera, meaning He Appeared. The passages are Genesis 18:1-22:24, 2 Kings 4:1-37, Luke 1:26-38, 24:36-53, and 2 Peter 2:4-11.
I must be honest. There are a lot of times when it feels as if God has not shown up during my time alone with Him. The text is dry and I seem to just go through the motions. The older I get, the more I realize that on those days I am simply checking off the boxes on my daily “to do” list. Most of the time when I don’t feel as if I am getting anything out my quiet time, devotional, or personal study of the Word the problem is with me. It is not with God. Still, God is gracious. Take this morning for instance.
One day, Abraham and Sarah were just going about their regular routine. They were at home in their tent somewhere near the modern day city of Hebron, trying to find some relief from the hot sun of the day. Looking outside, Abraham saw three men approaching his home. Seeing a welcome distraction from the daily grind this was an opportunity to extend much needed hospitality to the men. Abraham rushed to greet them. He welcomed them into his home. It took a while. But before long, Abraham recognized one of the men as being the Lord God, Himself. He was none other than the Angel of the Lord, the pre-incarnate Messiah Jesus. Abraham was more observant than I generally am.
This morning, I broke one of my cardinal rules. Never touch the world until the Word has touched you. While making coffee, I opened my email. It took my focus away from what should have been my first order of business, my own alone time with God. While God was waiting to meet me in His Word and in prayer, I had allowed myself to be distracted by other things, other issues. I was already dealing in my own way with the heat of the coming day.
Thankfully, in the midst of my own emerging day, God suddenly showed up before I did any damage. This shouldn’t have been a surprise. But, it was, and a good one at that! He appeared to me this morning in the pages of the Bible. Has He appeared to you, today?
Talk About It
How has He appeared to you recently, in the heat of the day, and taken you by surprise?
When God spoke to you in that moment, what was your initial reaction? Did you see it as good news or bad?
How have you experienced what was first perceived as bad news turning out to be something that what was actually good in the long run?