The message is the same each of the three services.
I go to at least two, sometimes all three, every weekend.
It never ceases to amaze me how the same sermon,
with the same verses, the same preacher, the same point,
can say something different to me with just the change
of a few words, or the omission or addition of a comment.
I know that there have been times, sitting in the services,
that I have noticed the subtle differences and mentally
made a comment to God, "That's not the way he said that
last service. Someone must have needed to hear it this way?"
During the first service a couple weeks ago, the visiting pastor shared
how the Israelites lived as if they had knowledge of germs
thousands of years ago, even though humans have only known
about germs for the last few hundred years, at the most.
Because God told them to, the Israelites boiled their pots.
Because God told them to, the Israelites washed their hands.
Because God told them to, the Israelites washed their clothes.
Because God told them to, the Israelites buried their waste outside the camp.
All of these things were against the common practices of the time
and much of the time the rules were difficult to follow as well...
In fact, in the 14th century, when personal hygiene was not a priority
and the Black Death or Bubonic Plague swept through Europe, killing mercilessly
it was the command to the Israelites that
"As long as they have the disease they remain unclean. They must live alone;
they must live outside the camp." Leviticus 13:46that prompted many to quarantine their sick, mostly ending the plague.
The preacher continued to make his point about the Bible being
the Word of God, "The Bible doesn't claim to be a medical textbook,
but when it speaks of medical things, it is 100% right."
He went on to say more, several things I had never heard before.
It was all very interesting to hear, indeed. But then again,
I already believe that the Bible is the word of God.
Some new information, yes. Good information!
When I came back for the third service of the weekend,
he repeated the same content, and it was still very interesting.
But he added a couple of sentences he hadn't said the night before.
"The Israelites didn't uderstand WHY they were doing these things.
They just did them because God told them to, because God knew."
and in my heart I heard, "You don't have to understand. Just do it."
What an amazing amount of trust that requires.
I'm honestly not sure I have it in me,
but I'll continue to try.
One day at a time,
not thinking about the big picture
not thinking about the how long.
not thinking about the whys.
Just doing this because God said so and
accepting that, like the Israelites, I might never know why.
Thankfully, when I get it wrong, He will understand that I am human
and give me another chance to get it right tomorrow.
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the Lord.“As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.