Thursday, October 27, 2016

. . .the FeAr and the DrEaD

Oh the stories our tiny family could profess, from time spent in the woods. Each of us love being in the woodlands and forest and we spend many days together there. This particular fall day, we were walking in the Virginian woods, with a certain mission. We were looking for hopeful sign that deer were in this part of the forest, and preparing a place for my husband (Keith) and son (Keebryn) to hunt that night. As we tromped around, I noticed my son do something that struck me. I turned to see Keebryn in a bow hunter's posture, yet without a bow. His right arm was bent beside his ear, and his left outstretched as far as could be. His eyes were set on his target ahead, which I'm almost certain was a large buck. One has to understand that when a boy imagines anything in hunting, it isn't small. It was likely, not a doe. It was not even a spike. What Keebryn had in his mind's eye, was a buck with the rack that reached the sky. And then came the piercing release. The image in his mind, was being rehearsed for what he truly aspired for. To kill a deer. I watched him do this and my heart smiles to think of it. At the very moment, six words struck my mind like thunder.

". . . and the fear 
and the dread."

Words that, in recent days God had brought to my discovery in Scripture. The phrase was first heard in the ears of Noah, from God himself. I'm guessing Noah's revelation experience was twice as awesome to hear, as was mine.

I'll set Noah's scene quickly:
    God puts Noah in ark.
    Earth floods.
    Ark floats.
    Utter destruction occurs.
    Earth absorbs.
    Ark rests.
    Noah and all in the ark live.
    All exit the ark.

Short enough I hope! The gist is that Noah has just departed the ark after the flood and built a burnt-offering, (Genesis 8:20) when God does something interesting. When one reads God's response, it can leave a soul almost heartbroken. Creator Himself, makes a silent lament over the destruction and He says in his heart:

" . . . I will not again curse the ground any more for man's sake; . . . neither will I again strike any more every living thing as I have done" (Genesis 8: 21 KJV, modified). 

The destruction of all living on earth, struck the heart of its Creator. God just had a moment of compassion for all things He created, and had struck with a deadly blow "for man's sake." But what occurs next, is a bit puzzling. He turns to Noah and his sons to BLeSS and GiVe them something. A GiFt you might say. Although God loves all His creation (animals, plants, humans), He had just sacrificed all through destruction, for those made in His image - humans. A simple prelude to His greatest sacrifice still to come. Then and now, humans are at the deepest heart of God and He gives good things to those He loves. God is about to open His hand, and give a gift that will bless all generations.

Humans were already given dominion over all things on earth in Genesis 1:28. We were also given our vEgeTaRiAn rights. Personally, I'm thrilled the story didn't end there! But this is to change following the flood. Here, (Genesis 9) God begins His commission to Noah in the same verbiage as that given earlier, however His words take a different turn.

He says ". . . Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth
And the fear of you and the dread of you will be upon every beast 
of the earth, and on every fowl of the air, on all that moves on the earth, 
and on all the fishes of the sea; into your hand they are delivered
Every moving thing that lives will be meat for youeven as the green 
herb I have given you all things." 
(Genesis 9: 1-3 KJV modified)

So it sounded clearly in my mind as Keebryn pre-played the taking of a deer. . .
"the FeAr of you and the DrEaD of you". To FeAr is to have a heightened sense of caution. To dReAd is to know that one is in the shadow of something with more power. Here's the powerful point : at this moment in Scripture, God sPoKe fear and dread into the nature of animals. Animals would have the instinct to be cautious of the hunter, for now they had become the hUnTeD. Along with God's words to place fear and dread into creatures, he placed desire in the predator, to conquer that which had become prey! He placed the HeArT for HuNtiNg in the hunter. Joy to strike with the bow, what God refused to strike (on mass scale) with His hand. The closing of this verse was the imputation of a "great permission": which made HuNtiNg a PoSSiBiLiTy.

God, gives full reign to all humanity with these words :
" . . . InTo YoUr HaNd they are DeLiVeReD. . ."
" . . . Every moving thing that lives WiLl be MeAt for you;"

What gift did God give to Noah, his sons, and all humans to come? The permission to HuNt! Handing all living into the HaNd of the hunter was accompanied by a drive, thrill, and joy in taking that which was given as a gift. Now that's a good Creator who knows how to give a GooD GiFt! The Great Commission would come later through Christ, but this could be called The Great Permission! Yes, funny, but ask any man in camo and He would surely agree.

In a sense, I can imagine God turning to Noah and placing a bow and arrow in his hand.  The ultimate hand of God had come to rest, and He does the unthinkable. He sets the hunter's hand, with his bow. God withheld the power from His own, and gave the power to hands of stewards. What He promised to never destroy on mass scale again, He gives to man to subdue. After a moment of remorse, why would He hand the striking to humans? Could it be, because the Ultimate Hand, was GiFtiNg the hunter with the ThRiLL of the HuNt? God initiated the thrill of subduing creatures that God alone created and God alone could give. That's a powerful GiFt!

Need proof that God's great permission was ultimately a GiFt. I think I may have some evidence. In the woods that day, Keebryn was iMagiNinG out of desire within his heart. . . to have dominion over a buck (a big buck, I'm certain). DeSiRe BiG or gO HoMe, right?! God honored his desire. The first night and day proved unfruitful. But then came Saturday evening. Keebryn and his father walked into the woods with hearts set to take that which God had made to fear and to dread. To subdue a living creature from their same Creator. Their hearts were set, as God intended ages earlier. Keebryn's hope became a certainty when he claimed his first deer with a crossbow, moments before dark. His, is a story for him to tell. And if you ask, you will be blessed with a gift he is ready and willing to share. But his story, crossed lines with God's story that night. I have to share one portion.

Keebryn's takedown of a six-pointer buck, turned into full elation. He releases his weapon, stands to his feet and rejoices to the utmost of his being. His entire being professed, with his every movement and outcry, an inner joy that could not be contained. ThriLL poured from this little hunter. . . the thrill that he had powerfully subdued and conquered that which he had been given permission to conquer! It's as if he was made to do this. A big high five from dad, and a whole bunch of rejoicing for as long as his body and soul could pour. But something was sandwiched between his out pours of conquer and elation.


This little hunter, was moved from utter display of thrill, to tears. Almost unexplainable. But when we reason what had just happened, it makes sweet sense. Keebryn desired and he FuLLy received. He had claimed the ultimate fulfillment of the GiFt of the great permission. Keebryn's tears proclaimed a heart with overwhelming desire (placed by his Creator), had become fully consummated by his Creator! Given a heart to desire and seek, then rewarded the thrill. . . to SuBdUe and take as meat, God's own creatures! Not sure anyone could deny . . . tHaT's a GiFt.

The ultimate hand of power honored this hunter's desire and He honors those He places in your heart.

You [God] open your hand and satisfy 
the desire of  every living thing. 
{ Psalms 145: 16  KJV modified}

Let's just say, God opened His hand that night and satisfied the desire of a little hunter with hope. The Hand that withdrew from destruction, was the One who graced  a gift. The Hand that gifted the thrill to hunt, is the One who fulfills the desire. Our Creator gives good GifTs. He graces us with pure desires. ThEn, He opens His hand.

HaShTaG ReHaShEs

Have-Ta Ask: 
* What gifts from the Creator, are hiding behind what looks like destruction in your life? In the aftermath of mass destruction of earth, God gave a gift! If He can have a heartbreaking moment after destroying His creation, then give to those in whom He destroyed it for. . .  He can take AnyThiNg and make it a GiFt.     Anything.
    - hEarTbReaK into HeALiNg.
              - DeStrUcTioN into PeRfEcTiOn.
    -  LoSS into BLeSSiNg.
              - DeSiRe into FrUiTiOn
Keep the strength to pursue God and His blessings and hold on tight. . . He may be almost ready to grant your GiFt, straight out of His hand.

* What desire do you have, that God intends to honor?  Don's let it go because it doesn't look hopeful. He knows your heart and if your desires are pure, He has placed it in your heart. Make sure your desires are of Him and for Him. Then ask, seek, and receive.

Praisin' God Today:
* God, thank you for creating all things and for the "great permission" to be a steward of living creatures. We praise you for being the One with power, to honor our desires. Thank you for giving good gifts to us and generations to come.

Askin' God Today:
* God, clarify and purify our desires. Give us strength to seek them, so that You can honor them, because desires are to be sought and found. Sometimes seeking requires patience.
Help us be good stewards of that which has been entrusted to us.

Soakin' Up Scripture: 

{ Colossians 1:16For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:

{ Psalms 145:16 modified }
You open your hand and satisfy the desires of every living thing.

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