Does hearing the Word make you weep?


Our pastor on this last Sunday gave us "homework," as he always does- scripture readings to read through during the week, to meditate on concerning the subject matter from the teaching on Sunday.


The other day as I was reading some of that "homework" I got off on a tangent. I read the verse in Hebrews 8:13 that he had given and then went on to read all of chapter 8, 9 and 10. I was just in awe as I read, as though I'd never read it before. I thought, "Here Lord is the beautiful story of how you would rescue mankind. It's always been here, in the animal sacrifices and the ceremonies of the priests...it's always been here, a shadow and then the real thing when Christ came."


I was just struck, and in my childlike way, I was thinking, "This is God's 'religion'." What I meant was, this plan of rescue by dying and intercession for men by a holy priest is the "tradition" God has. My church has a tradition of singing 4-5 songs, then announcements, then greeting each other, then the teaching of the Word, followed by prayer and more singing, and then visiting with each other outside. Other church families I've been apart of have other traditions. But as I read through Hebrews I saw God's tradition...the saving of mankind whom He has every right to reject through sacrificial death of a Lamb and intercession of a Priest.


Then as I was just smiling to myself about that I read this, "For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful expectation of judgement, and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries." (Hebrews 10:26). AH! SHOCK TO THE HEART!!! I was stopped in my tracks!


I immediately remembered the "willful" sin of my past, how after receiving the knowledge of the truth I rebelled and chose the lust of my flesh. I was broken like a child who just realized that she'd terribly offended the daddy she so loved! I began to weep! (Tears even as I write this.) I started crying out to God. All I could say was, "Lord, you deserve my life. Even if all I had was a fearful expectation of judgement and fiery indignation in the end, You have been so kind, so merciful, so brave in loving me to the cross, that even if You reject me for what I have done, You deserve the remainder of my days to be lived out for YOU! I won't give up Lord! I will keep seeking to bring you honor in my life till the end! But please, have mercy on me again today and everyday!"


As I wept, I thought of two things:



  • Much Afraid from Hinds Feet in High Places. As she journeyed to the high places with the Shepherd she faced all kinds of seeming detours and disappointments. At times it seemed all the promises of the Shepherd to take her to the high places and give her a new name and new feet were a lie. At one point in the journey the Shepherd said to Much Afraid, "Much Afraid, supposing I really did deceive you? What then?" Much Afraid's response in thought and word was as follows:

What then? Would it be that she could never trust, never love him again? Would she have to be alive in the world where there was no Shepherd, only a mirage and a broken lovely dream? To know that she had been deceived by one she was certain could not deceive? To lose him? Suddenly she burst into a passion of weeping, then after a little while she looked straight up into his face and said, "My Lord- if you can deceive me, you may. It can make no difference. I must love you as long as I continue to exist. I cannot live without loving you."



  • And secondly, the people of Israel that were with Nehemiah and Ezra after being released from captivity to go rebuild Jerusalem. The work was completed and they were gathered together to hear the priest (Ezra) read the Law of God. In Nehemiah 8 beginning in verse 9 the people respond to what they hear:

And Nehemiah, who was the governor, Ezra the priest and scribe, and the Levites who taught the people said to all the people, "This day is holy to the LORD your God: do not mourn nor weep." For all the people wept when they heard the words of the Law. Then he said to them, "Go your way, eat the fat, drink the sweet, and send portions to those for whom nothing is prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. Do not sorrow, for the joy of the LORD is your strength."


I cry when my feelings are hurt- too easily actually. I tend to cry when I'm overwhelmed and tired, but often I read through the scriptures unphased.


I think this can be the case with many of us...a lack of tenderness towards the God who created us and to His will for us.


But when I read the word and remember how I have, like the people of Israel, sinned willfully, even after knowing Jesus, and as a result I faced His judgement (I'm not talking condemnation, but judgement just as 1 Peter 4:17 says, "For the time has come for judgement to begin at the house of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God?..."), and yet see, like they, how good God has been to me- to restore my home and show me, "...a measure of revival in (my) bondage." (Ezra 9:7-9), it makes me tremble and weep and truly fear the God of my salvation!


I know what a sinner I am! I know that before God I am deserving of "fiery indignation" yet He has been gracious and kind to me! "For ( I was a) slave. Yet (my) God did not forsake (me) in (my) bondage; but He extended mercy to (me) in the sight of (my husband), to revive (me), to repair the house of (my) God, to rebuild its ruins, and to give (me) a wall in (God's kingdom)." (Ezra 9:9 adapted my life)


Though it hurts to realize how much I deserve God's rejection, its in running TO, not away from that deserved rejection to plead for mercy and forgiveness, that finds me at the throne of grace!


Oh Shepherd of my soul, though you slay me yet I will worship you! Even if You could deceive me and it not be true that, "He who began a good work in me will be faithful to complete it..." I will still love You! I will still follow You all my days! Even if all I could expect in the end was judgement...YOU DESERVE MY LIFE!!! Please comfort my heart and lead me in Your ways, for I DO fear YOU! Hear this modern day "Much Afraid" cry out to You! Hear me when I weep! Rescue me from unbelief and a dulled heart! Send me out today in the joy of the LORD. Let me give to those who have nothing prepared for them- the man and children in this home and others too Lord!

8 comments:

  1. This is powerful "preaching" Sheila--as usual. Your heart is so tender to the Lord. And yes, there have been times when I have wept as read God's magnificent Word.

    I love OT story of the people returning to Jerusalem and how they wept when the Law was read aloud. Can you imagine the scene?

    Also, I remember reading Hinds Feet on High Places years ago, and really enjoying it. I'll have to see if we still have it.

    Have a blessed day!

    Hugs, e-Mom

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  2. Thank you for giving prayerful words to my heart's hurt today.

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  3. Hello,
    A while back, I remember reading a post of yours where you had mentioned God calling you to stretch your inner self and step out by crafting cards and selling them.
    You were very passionate about God's calling for you in this crafting area and I remember a very vivid sense of *this is what I've been avoiding and know I must do now*.
    I can't find much on them any more. I was wondering, are you still making them and I've missed some detour to them by my being absent in the blog world for a season? If so, could you lead me to them? ;)
    Or perhaps God has trusted you with more and you have ventured into new crafts or other areas in which to fulfill our role as a Proverbs 31 wife by 'making...and selling'.
    Thanks for your encouragement in this area.
    May the Lord receive our offerings of obedience and honor as unto Him.
    Heather

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  4. Amen. Rescue me from unbelief and a dulled heart--that's a true prayer of mine. Have a blessed weekend!

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  5. Heather, thanks for the encouraging comment! :)

    I haven't done much with the card making since I first launched out with it. I took that step of obedience and just left the results in God's hands. Since then I've been mostly occupied by starting to homeschool my sons.

    At this season of my life making and selling doesn't get much of my time, but I hope to get back to doing it more as time allows.

    If you want to look at my cards though I still have them at my etsy shop www.atimothymom.etsy.com or at my etsy blog www.encouragHer.blogspot.com

    Blessings to you Heather
    Sheila

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  6. Interestly I should read this today. I just posted on my blog about how I can not cry.
    Maybe the Lord is trying to speak to my heart tonight.
    Blessings, Cindy

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  7. Sweet, sweet precious sister,

    What a beautiful heart, so tendered to the Lord you have! What an incredible blessing from God that He would give you such a beautiful heart that is so malleable!

    Yes, I often weep when I read Scripture. How can we not? We are reading the words of grace, of mercy, of agape love...all that is foreign to this world.

    The passage that often brings me to deep and bitter tears is Genesis 6:6

    To know how much our sin pains and grieves the heart of our awesome God is something I can not bare the thought of! My prayer is that I remember this always whenever I'm tempted to sin so that I may fill my Lord's heart with joy and gladness, not grief and heartache.

    I love you dear sister,
    Sunny

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  8. What a powerful post. I admire the way you can write straight from the heart.

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