Genesis 13:14-18 (CEB)
14 After Lot separated from him, the Lord said to Abram, “From the place where you are standing, look up and gaze to the north, south, east, and west, 15 because all the land that you see I give you and your descendants forever. 16 I will make your descendants like the dust of the earth. If someone could count the bits of dust on the earth, then they could also count your descendants. 17 Stand up and walk around through the length and breadth of the land because I am giving it to you.” 18 So Abram packed his tent and went and settled by the oaks of Mamre in Hebron. There he built an altar to the Lord.
Comment: building an altar to the Lord is a sign of deep worship and following. It was the first thing Noah did after stepping down from the Ark.
The Gospel of John 9:18-34 (CEB)
18 The Jewish leaders didn’t believe the man had been blind and received his sight until they called for his parents. 19 The Jewish leaders asked them, “Is this your son? Are you saying he was born blind? How can he now see?”
20 His parents answered, “We know he is our son. We know he was born blind. 21 But we don’t know how he now sees, and we don’t know who healed his eyes. Ask him. He’s old enough to speak for himself.” 22 His parents said this because they feared the Jewish authorities. This is because the Jewish authorities had already decided that whoever confessed Jesus to be the Christ would be expelled from the synagogue. 23 That’s why his parents said, “He’s old enough. Ask him.”
24 Therefore, they called a second time for the man who had been born blind and said to him, “Give glory to God. We know this man is a sinner.” 25 The man answered, “I don’t know whether he’s a sinner. Here’s what I do know: I was blind and now I see.” 26 They questioned him: “What did he do to you? How did he heal your eyes?” 27 He replied, “I already told you, and you didn’t listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you want to become his disciples too?” 28 They insulted him: “You are his disciple, but we are Moses’ disciples. 29 We know that God spoke to Moses, but we don’t know where this man is from.”
30 The man answered, “This is incredible! You don’t know where he is from, yet he healed my eyes! 31 We know that God doesn’t listen to sinners. God listens to anyone who is devout and does God’s will. 32 No one has ever heard of a healing of the eyes of someone born blind. 33 If this man wasn’t from God, he couldn’t do this.” 34 They responded, “You were born completely in sin! How is it that you dare to teach us?” Then they expelled him.
Comment: Do you want to be his disciple too?? I hope your answer, unlike that of the officials, is Yes!
32 He fills me with strength and protects me wherever I go. 33 He gives me the surefootedness of a mountain goat upon the crags. He leads me safely along the top of the cliffs. 34 He prepares me for battle and gives me strength to draw an iron bow!
35 You have given me your salvation as my shield. Your right hand, O Lord, supports me; your gentleness has made me great. 36 You have made wide steps beneath my feet so that I need never slip. 37 I chased my enemies; I caught up with them and did not turn back until all were conquered. 38 I pinned them to the ground; all were helpless before me. I placed my feet upon their necks. 39 For you have armed me with strong armor for the battle. My enemies quail before me and fall defeated at my feet. 40 You made them turn and run; I destroyed all who hated me. 41 They shouted for help, but no one dared to rescue them; they cried to the Lord, but he refused to answer them. 42 So I crushed them fine as dust and cast them to the wind. I threw them away like sweepings from the floor. 43-45 You gave me victory in every battle. The nations came and served me. Even those I didn’t know before come now and bow before me. Foreigners who have never seen me submit instantly. They come trembling from their strongholds.
46 God is alive! Praise him who is the great rock of protection. 47 He is the God who pays back those who harm me and subdues the nations before me. 48 He rescues me from my enemies; he holds me safely out of their reach and saves me from these powerful opponents. 49 For this, O Lord, I will praise you among the nations. 50 Many times you have miraculously rescued me, the king you appointed. You have been loving and kind to me and will be to my descendants.
Comment: I struggle with the perceived necessity to ask God to “crush” someone else, however the Psalmist did not live in with 21st century sensibilities. Her/his perception was real 3000 years ago, and I take great hope in his/her reliance upon God!
Prayer: draw us to your Light, dear Lord, where you live in radiant glory. Amen. (BCW)