- 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!