Lesson 10 -- first quarter 2010
February 7, 2010
© Copyright 2010
When may I not be meek?
What loopholes to meekness have I "discovered"?
How careful am I with Jesus' commands?
Do I have answers for the questions of the day?
How do I respond to the wonderful things that God does?
Can I match the praise of the babes and sucklings?
For some three years the disciples and other followers of Jesus had awaited this day. Now it had arrived! Jesus would at last take His rightful place as King of a reinvigorated Israel. The Lord finally had quit trying to hide His Kingship. The time of His revelation had arrived with high drama. Jesus was using a donkey to fulfill a most wonderful prophecy.
Exciting? Exhilarating and electrifying were more like it! What a thrill to recite Zechariah 9:9 with the multitude that day:
"Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass."
The prophet Isaiah may have been another favorite that day: "And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots...with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth.... And he shall...assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth" (Isaiah 11:1, 4, 12).
No wonder they shouted, "Hosanna!"
But in the midst of the merry making, they missed a significant point. The beast Jesus rode wasn't even His in the immediate sense of the word. A King riding a borrowed donkey?! That should have been an alarming warning to the throngs that this just wasn't going to pan out as they anticipated. Alas, they were too consumed with the joy and expectations of the moment to realize that God does not necessarily fit into our plans and schedules.
What does this say to us? I believe we are just as human as they (I know, that isn't very profound!) and are susceptible to the same mistakes and miscalculations. A few "conservatives" land in the US Supreme Court, Congress, and Oval Office; joy surges in Christendom because at last prayer will return to public schools and Roe v. Wade will be overturned. A more assertive minister joins the congregation's leadership team; let those who run the church behind the scenes beware. A couple more "old-fashioned" members join the school board, so.... Ah, finally, we got "them" for youth sponsors (or food committee or activities directors or library board)....
May this lesson teach us to not build our hopes and expectations on how we think God is going to accomplish His purposes.
May it remind us to know better God's heart as shown in the Scriptures.
"The Lord hath need."
What does the Lord need today that we could supply? If He would just tell me, I would be glad to provide it. But He hasn't told me what He needs, so I guess I will just forget the matter.
Proverbs 19:17 says that he who has pity on the poor lends to the Lord.
And our "sneak preview" of Judgment Day confirms the fact that being aware of and ministering to the needy is actually providing to the Lord (Matthew 25:34-45).
Ephesians 4:28 proclaims one of the purposes in honest labor: "That he may have to give to him that needeth."
And 1 John 3:17 drives home the point very forcefully indeed: "But whoso hath this world's good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?"
So...what does the Lord need today that we could supply?
This concludes my comments based on the alternate lesson developed by Christian Light Publications. To read my comments on the passage for the International Bible Study, click here: Hope for Healing.
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