THE LORD’S TAKE-AWAY

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Only the Lord himself is that good part that will not be taken away from us. 

I say jokingly that if the Lord were to establish a restaurant it would be a “take-away.”  He is always taking something away from us.  Jesus says to Martha: “You are worried and troubled about many things.  But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:41-42).

Only the Lord himself is that good part that will not be taken away from us.  Job notes that the same Lord who gives is the same Lord who takes away.  If you seek the Lord for any other thing but the Lord, and if he gives it to you, the same Lord will ultimately come back to take it away from you.

 

Jacob’s dilemma

God says Jacob I love.  But Jacob says Rachel I love.  I say Jacob is in trouble because God cannot stand unrequited love.  Therefore, God frustrates Jacob’s relationship with Rachel.  He allows him to be deceived into marrying Leah instead of Rachel.  Jacob says “my will be done,” and proceeds to marry Rachel as well, in spite of the fact that she is Leah’s sister. 

God responds by shutting Rachel’s womb, while Leah is fertile.  When Rachel finally has children, she dies during her second childbirth.  The message is crystal.  Jacob is beloved of God, and God would not allow Jacob’s relationship with Rachel to compete with Jacob’s relationship with him.

Jacob does not learn his lesson but now sets his love upon Joseph, Rachel’s first son.  Therefore, God’s providence also takes Joseph away.  God allows Joseph to be sold into slavery far away from Jacob. 

 

God and marriage

God says: “It is not good that man should be alone.”  However, death will ultimately separate a man from his loved ones.  But it is not only death that parts us.  Sometimes our job does.  Sometimes we travel.  Man is alone by himself some time or the other.  How can that which God says is not good be bound to happen? 

What God means is that it is not good for man to be alone from God.  He does not mean, as is erroneously assumed, it is not good for a man to be unmarried.  

God gave himself to Abraham, but Abraham preferred a son.  When God finally gave him a son after his one-hundredth birthday, the same Lord later came back to take away the son.  But I ask you, what does God want to do with Isaac?  Don’t be shocked by the answer.  He wants to waste him.  He simply wants him dead so he can have Abraham all to himself. 

 

Burnt offering

Let me tell you a parable.  I always wanted to own a Lexus Jeep.  So for years I saved to be able to buy one and finally did.  I adored the car.  It was everything I expected.  I would spend hours polishing and admiring it.  Then one day, my wife came to ask me if I loved her.  I said of course I do.

She said: “I want you to do me a favour.  I want you to give me your Lexus.”  I was flabbergasted.  “But we own it together,” I protested.  “No,” she said, “I want you to give it to me, so that the Jeep would belong to me.”  I resisted and she sulked:  “You don’t really love me.”  “I love you,” I said.  “Okay, I’ll buy you another car.”  “No,” she replied.  “I don’t want another car.  I want your Lexus.” 

After one year of nagging, sulking and complaining, I finally relented and gave her the Jeep.  She said: “Are you sure?”  “Yes, I am sure.”  “You mean it is really mine.”  “Yes. Yes. Yes.”

The next day she called me outside to see the Jeep.  I thought she was washing it; it was all wet.  You would not believe what happened.  She struck a match and set fire to it.  How was I to know that she had poured petrol all over it?  “What in God’s name are you doing?” I protested.  Her response was a classic: “You gave me the Jeep.  If it is mine, I can do whatever I want with it.  And what I want to do with it is to set it on fire.”

I was not only angry; I was livid.  But was it right for me to be angry?

God wants us to give back to him everything he gives to us.  He wants us to worship him with everything we have.  

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