Here I am

This morning, I was wrestling whether to open my laptop or open my Bible. There seems to be many things I need to fix at work and I’m thinking I made significant progress in my Bible Reading challenge so laying low may not be a bad idea. But then again, I thought this is usually the start of breaking a good habit when I get complacent. So I just opened my Bible and start reading (God will help me at work later). What suddenly hit me is the encounter of Jacob with God in the current passage I was reading where he said: “Here I am.” Yes, I would like that every time that God wants to get my attention that I would be able to say “here I am Lord.”

Soli Deo Gloria!

-Rhia

When Giving Has Become So Much More

​Please accept my blessing that is brought to you, because God has dealt graciously with me, and because I have enough.” Thus he urged him, and he took it.

Genesis 33:11 ESV

The first time I read this passage when I was still new in faith, I thought to myself someday I want to say the same thing to people whom I will share my blessings with. There is nothing more joyful than ackowledging the goodness of the Lord in our lives. Instead of pride because you are able to give and people will owe you, you are humbled because you know that there is nothing that you have that does not come from the Lord. There’s this newfound confidence of living in abundance not because of worldly possessions but because of the grace we experience from God that we overflow to share what we have received. Truly, the statement “… I have enough” is very profound, it does not simply mean that we give when we have excess but in its deepest sense it means that we now have all that we need because we have God, Him alone is enough so when we give, we give like Him. What a change in perspective! 

Context: This verse was when Esau met Jacob for the first time since Jacob fled to avoid Esau’s wrath for stealing his blessing from Isaac. After 20 years of working for Laban and building his own household in Paddan-aram, God asked Jacob to go back to his father’s land. Full of fear returning home, Jacob obeyed and the Lord’s presence stayed with him as he came face-to-face with his brother whom he hadn’t seen in a long time and who had forgiven him.

Worship

And Leah conceived and bore a son, and she called his name Reuben, for she said, “Because the Lord has looked upon my affliction; for now my husband will love me.” She conceived again and bore a son, and said, “Because the Lord has heard that I am hated, he has given me this son also.” And she called his name Simeon. Again she conceived and bore a son, and said, “Now this time my husband will be attached to me, because I have borne him three sons.” Therefore his name was called Levi. And she conceived again and bore a son, and said, “This time I will praise the Lord.” Therefore she called his name Judah. Then she ceased bearing.

-Genesis 29:32‭-‬35 ESV

As I read the passage, I noticed that the naming of Reuben, Simeon and Levi focused on the desire of Leah to finally be loved by Jacob. I would say that Jacob’s affection was an idol to Leah. However, with her 4th son, she focused on praising God alone as she named her son Judah. Looking how the lives of Jacob’s children turned out, Judah received the blessing from Jacob and became the head of the household. For me, this affirms that when we offer the things we do for the Lord as form of our worship to Him, He is faithful to acknowledge them and make them prosper. And worship in spite of rejection from this world is a welcome and pleasing aroma to our Lord our God. Worshiping God keeps us away from idolatry because our focus is on God. So my prayer is for Jesus to give us a heart that consistently worship God in everything we do regardless of our situations.

Soli Deo Gloria!

-Rhia

God’s Character

Now the earth was corrupt in God’s sight, and the earth was filled with violence. And God saw the earth, and behold, it was corrupt, for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth. And God said to Noah, “I have determined to make an end of all flesh, for the earth is filled with violence through them. Behold, I will destroy them with the earth. Make yourself an ark of gopher wood. Make rooms in the ark, and cover it inside and out with pitch. This is how you are to make it: the length of the ark 300 cubits, its breadth 50 cubits, and its height 30 cubits. Make a roof for the ark, and finish it to a cubit above, and set the door of the ark in its side. Make it with lower, second, and third decks. For behold, I will bring a flood of waters upon the earth to destroy all flesh in which is the breath of life under heaven. Everything that is on the earth shall die. But I will establish my covenant with you, and you shall come into the ark, you, your sons, your wife, and your sons’ wives with you. And of every living thing of all flesh, you shall bring two of every sort into the ark to keep them alive with you. They shall be male and female. Of the birds according to their kinds, and of the animals according to their kinds, of every creeping thing of the ground, according to its kind, two of every sort shall come in to you to keep them alive. Also take with you every sort of food that is eaten, and store it up. It shall serve as food for you and for them.” Noah did this; he did all that God commanded him.

Genesis 6:11‭-‬22 ESV

Then the Lord said to Noah, “Go into the ark, you and all your household, for I have seen that you are righteous before me in this generation. Take with you seven pairs of all clean animals, the male and his mate, and a pair of the animals that are not clean, the male and his mate, and seven pairs of the birds of the heavens also, male and female, to keep their offspring alive on the face of all the earth. For in seven days I will send rain on the earth forty days and forty nights, and every living thing that I have made I will blot out from the face of the ground.” And Noah did all that the Lord had commanded him.

Genesis 7:1‭-‬5 ESV

As I was reading passage, I realized that this event showed how God is so relational and gracious. I think to myself, God can simply wipe out all His creations and start anew with better (non-rebellious) people. For sure He didn’t need Noah to bring animals to the ark to keep them alive, He could have just recreated them or pour out His power to them so they won’t die drowning in the flood. But He did! Then I think about His motivations in doing so and it boils down to His perfect character. God loves His creations especially man, there was too much corruption then but God still looked for reason to save them (as Noah found favor in the sight of God). Not only God is loving and patient but He is really relational. He wants to involve mankind in His plans when He asked Noah to keep sets of animals so they can live and reproduce. Again, God can recreate animals all by Himself but He asked Noah to take part. And Noah obeyed the Lord.
As I reflect on this story, it inspired me to become more patient with what is happening around me as my God is patient. Also, it motivates me to always say ‘yes’ every time God would want me be part of His plans as His plans are good and perfect. Finally, God can just let us all go to hell and make another mankind who won’t grieve Him but He chose to send His Son Jesus for us to have a chance to reconcile and have relationship with Him. This says a lot about the character of our Almighty God! 😉

Soli Deo Gloria!

– Rhia