(Sometimes, because the server has issues and life intervenes, Thursday posts don’t get posted until Friday. Thanks for your patience.)
I teach a group of kids on Wednesday evenings and not too long ago, we looked at the story of how Isaac handled the situation when the Philistines plugged up his wells. In that day, that amounted to an act of war, one Isaac could have won. The Philistine commander admitted as much. Isaac chose not to wage war. He chose not to react in the expected way, the socially acceptable way. Instead he chose to respond in a way that reflected the God he served. He turned the other cheek and he dug new wells.
Several things happened as a result.
- God reaffirmed his covenant with Isaac (Genesis 26:24)
- The Philistines recognized God was with him (26:28)
- The Philistines asked to make a covenant with Isaac (26:28)
Because Isaac chose not to react, but to respond in a way that demonstrated his faith in God’s sovereignty, the non-believers around him took note and wanted to align themselves with him.
That’s a good enough lesson in itself, but in the process of discussing with the kids how we can deal with our anger, the options of prayer and Bible reading came up. The kids rolled their eyes at the “church” answer.
The unspoken verdict – Sure, those things work for some old guy in the Bible, but not for me dealing with the jerks in school.
The unspoken admission – We only come to Bible study class for the snacks and games.
I guess I see where they’re coming from. If God’s word doesn’t contain life-transforming truth, then let’s be honest, there are other things we could be doing with that class time.
But if God’s word DOES contain life-changing truth (and I’m convinced it does) and
if we let that truth change us,
if we learn God’s ways,
if we consciously choose to reflect Him in our dealings with those around us,
several things will happen as a result.
- God will reaffirm the promises He made to us.
- The people around us will recognize that God is with us.
- We will build relationships with those people which could ultimately lead to their own transforming encounter with God.
And that’s even better than snacks.