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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Three Questions!

Questions are an integral part of life. From the moment we are able to slap together a few words and make up a sentence we start asking questions up until the moment we breathe our last. We ask questions of others, we are asked questions ourselves, and often times we even ask our own selves questions, staring into the mirror and working up the courage to give an honest answer. Some questions we answer, others we do not, and others we cannot because we just don’t know the answer, and the cordial manner in which we answer the questions we are asked is largely dependent on who’s asking and what their reason for asking them are.

There are however questions that God asks us, and these questions we are obliged and obligated to answer. Today I want to discuss three questions that God asks every man, and it is important that we answer because our answers will decide not only this life, but eternity itself.

The first question God asks is ‘Where are you?’

Genesis 3:7-9, “Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings. And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. Then the Lord God called to Adam and said to him, ‘Where are you?”

After Adam sinned, he hid. Full of shame, full of fear, naked and trying to sow together some fig leaves, Adam and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day and they hid.

‘Where are you?’ the voice of God rang out. ‘Where are you?’ the selfsame question billions of people hear, while they likewise hide from the face of God because sin generates shame, and it generates fear, and it generates regret. Yes, billions upon billions of people are playing hide and seek with God among the trees, because they are either unwilling to face Him, or too ashamed to show their face.

We live in a fallen world, a world full of murder, a world full of false religions, a world full of injustice, indifference, selfishness and greed. God did not make the world this way, He made a clean world which we defiled and destroyed, a world that looks nothing like the one God had in mind when He made the firmament and divided the waters.

Since the beginning sin has been our ruin, sin has been our shame, sin has been our downfall, and though we might think ourselves enlightened and evolved, we are still the same sinful creature who rebelled and disobeyed God’s command trying to hide our shame with a fig leaf or two. Sin is the shame of the nations, and shame causes men to hide from the face of God.

‘Where are you?’ The voice of God thunders today as clearly as it did the day He walked in the garden looking for His creation. ‘Where are you?’ How long has it been since you were alone with Him? How long as it been since you felt His presence in our heart? How long has it been since you felt His joy? How long as it been since you’ve felt His peace?

‘Where are you?’ He hasn’t gone anywhere, He’s not the one hiding among the trees, God’s desire remains the same today as it did then, to commune and fellowship with His creation. It is we who are hiding from the face of God because of the shame that sin has produced in us.

If this message is for you, I urge you, and beseech you, the next time you hear God asking where you are, say ‘I am here Lord! Receive me, and clean me, and mold me, and wash me in the blood of your Son. I will no longer hide from Your holy face, I will stand before you in humility and repentance knowing that You forgive, and You restore, and You renew.’

The second question God asks is ‘Who are you?’

Genesis 27:15-19, “Then Rebekah took the choice clothes of her elders on Esau, which were with her in the house, and put them on Jacob her younger son. And she put the skins of the kids of the goats on his hands and on the smooth part of his neck. Then she gave the savory food and the bread, which she had prepared, into the hand of her son Jacob. So he went to his father and said, ‘My father’; and he said, ‘Here I am. Who are you my son?’ And Jacob said to his father, ‘I am Esau your firstborn; I have done just as you told me; please arise, sit and eat of my game, that your soul may bless me.”

Isaac and Rebekah were people of God, of this there can be no doubt; however they lacked in parenting skills, and in encouraging unity within the family. Throughout their children’s lives they maintained, and perpetuated this division between their sons Jacob and Esau, Rebekah constantly favoring Jacob and Isaac constantly favoring Esau. As Isaac neared the end of his earthly journey the time came to bless his firstborn. Rebekah overcome by the desire to see her favored son succeed, and trying to somehow influence his destiny, helps Jacob deceive his own father, as he comes to receive the blessing rightly due Esau.

Isaac was all but blind, relying more on his sense of touch and his sense of smell, and as Jacob came in covered in the skins of kids of the goats, with savory food and bread Isaac asked, ‘who are you my son?’ Without missing a beat, Jacob answers, ‘I am Esau your firstborn.’

The years passed and the curse of this singular deception plagued Isaac throughout his life. Having run far from home, living a life far from God, mired in unscrupulous business dealings, he comes to live the deception, he becomes the deceiver he once merely pretended to be. Even those he trusted deceived him as he once deceived, receiving Leah as wife from the hands of Laban rather than Rachel, because there are no actions absent of consequence, and some things we do in a moment of passion, or in a moment of overwhelming selfishness stay with us as a millstone around our necks for the rest of our lives.

After twenty years Jacob begins to journey the long road home, and at Penuel he wrestles with the angel of the Lord, who asks him the same questions his father had asked all those years ago.

‘Who are you? What is your name?’ This time Jacob has no choice but to speak the truth, because God is God and not blind Isaac, and no matter how one might try the can’t put one over on Him. ‘I am Jacob’ he answered, the deceiver, the supplanter the, the liar. The mirror that God placed before him was unsparing, and it was on that day that Jacob saw himself as what he truly was and not what he thought himself to be.

‘Who are you?’

Are you just a handful of dirt that walks this earth for a few decades full of disappointments and setbacks and aches and pains and heartache? Are you just the number on your birth certificate or your death certificate? Who are you really? If we are honest and forthright with ourselves we soon come to realize that we are nothing special. We are a mist that shimmers in the sunlight and dissipates a blade of grass beaten by the wind, a raindrop that falls to the earth and is soon forgotten among the billions of raindrops that accompany us.

Absent of God, we are that handful of dirt; we are just that number that is being kept in a ledger or a database somewhere. Absent of God, we are nothing, coming from nowhere and going nowhere, existing merely to exist until the day we no longer do.

Only God gives worth to man. In His eyes we are precious, and priceless and loved. Who are you? If you are in Christ, then you are nobility made so by His death on Golgotha. The Son of God died for a nothing like me that I may be something in Him.

The third question God asks is ‘What do you want me to do for you?’

Mark 10:46-52, “Then they came to Jericho and as He went out of Jericho with His disciples and a great multitude, blind Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, sat by the road begging. And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out and say, ‘Jesus Son of David have mercy on me!’ Then many warned him to be quiet; but he cried out all the more, ‘Son of David, have mercy on me!’ So Jesus stood still and commanded him to be called. Then they called the blind man saying to him, ‘Be of good cheer. Rise, He is calling you.’ And throwing aside his garment, he rose and came to Jesus. And Jesus answered and said to him, ‘what do you want Me to do for you?’ The blind man said to Him, Rabboni, that I may receive my sight.’ Then Jesus said to him, ‘Go your way; your faith has made you well.’ And immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus on the road.”

A blind beggar named Bartimaeus, reaches out from the gutters of this life, and as recompense he receives his healing. After crying out, after being told he was a nuisance, and crying out all the more, Jesus stands still, commands him to be called and as Bartimaeus stands before him, he is asked this most complex question, “What do you want me to do for you?”

Throughout the history of the Bible, God only ever signed three blank checks. Solomon was the first, and he wrote ‘wisdom’ upon his, Elisha was the second and he wrote ‘a double portion of the Holy Spirit on his’, and Bartimaeus was the third man to have received a signed blank check from God and upon his he wrote ‘to receive my sight.’

So, what do you want from Him? What do you want Jesus to do for you?

Do you want him to give you good health? Do you want him to give you a nice retirement absent of lack or need? Do you want to see your children settled down, and fulfilled? What do you want Him to do for you? You hold a blank check in your hand, signed with the precious blood of the One who died for your sins and mine. Do not squander this opportunity; do not ask for something temporal and fleeting. Choose wisely and write ‘heaven’ on your blank check, then do your utmost to convince those who’ve already written ‘hell’ on theirs, to rethink their position, and likewise choose heaven.

These are the three questions that God asks of every man, three questions that we all answer, whether by our action or inaction, by our silence or our vociferous rebellion. Have you answered these three questions? If you have not, I submit to you that there is no better time than right now!

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

2 comments:

Joshua said...

Amen, amen, and amen. I've always wondered what I would ask the LORD for. I thought I came up with a clever answer, but the answer I believe we ought to answer with is:

"I want...YOU! MY KING, MY SAVIOR, MY LORD, MY EVERYTHING!"

Enjoying your blog Michael,
In Yeshua with love,
Joshua

Anonymous said...

Gossiping and lying go hand in hand.