Four Wonderful Thingsgreenspun.com : LUSENET : A.M.E. Today Discussion : One Thread
In Proberbs 30:18-19 Agur writes, "There are three things that are too amazing for me, four that I do not understand: The way of an eagle in the sky, the way of a snake on a rock, the way of a ship on the high seas, and the way of a man with a maiden."
A Charismatic brother visiting our church expounded on these one night, and as he did the presence of God became powerfully felt.
1. An eagle in the sky. Here our brother taught us the principle of soaring. How can a Christian feel close to God almost all the time, even in the daily grind of life? First, live in the heights as the eagle does. One reason an eagle can gain altitude so quickly is he begins from a high place to start with. Tell God you want to live in His presence constantly. Make the investment of time with Him, and after a while you'll find that it takes very little effort to go from the workplace mindset to the prayer closet mindset. Often it's automatic. Why? You've conditioned yourself to direct your thoughts to God the second you have a free moment. You're living on the heights, and it's only a few flaps of the wings to God's presence as you walk to the car, wash the dishes, or perform any task that doesn't require your mind to be focused on something difficult. Too often we use the spare moments our mind has, and there are more than you realize, to dwell on a problem, nurse a grudge, daydream, fantisize, etc.
Once you've connected, you abide in Him. Eagles find that air current of the Holy Spirit, extend their wings, and follow it wherever it goes with very little effort. Many Christians are like hummingbirds though. They work and work, flapping their wings countless times per minute just to stay airborne because they haven't learned to dwell in His presence.
2. A snake on a rock. A snake is cold-blooded, and requires time in the sun, preferrably on a rock, soaking up life-giving heat from an exterior source. Each morning he takes the little remaining heat he's retained from the day before, and seeks the warm place. He knows better than to try to live another day on yesterday's life supply. Likewise we too should begin each day with Him, soaking in His presence to energize ourselves for the challenges of the day.
By the way, when the heat source goes cold, a snake hibernates. Too many Christians are in hibernation.
3. A ship on the seas. In Bible times ships were driven by unseen forces - wind and current. An experienced mariner would use these forces in combination with a rudder, and harmonize them to get to his destination. The more he utilized the unseen forces, the less sweat had to be expended at the oars. Sailing is peaceful, rowing is drudgery. Lotsa Christians out there rowing.
A Christian needs to understand the unseen forces of the universe such as the Godhead, angels, and the spirit power of things like words and the Name of Jesus. Working under the guidance of the Holy Spirit we need to get into harmony with these things so we're working with God, not against Him. This is a tremendous source of peace. We recognize God's authority, develop a holy reverence for Him, and live it out in acts of obedience and faith. Reason is cast aside as we live under authority, allowing our great unseen God to get us to a destination He's picked out. Suddenly life becomes very simple.
4. A man with a maiden. The Chrisian life is compared to a marriage, but in this case we're talking about a man with a maiden. This is courtship. There's presents, and outings, and praise...and a bride price to be paid. Jesus patiently courts His bride, looking forward to the wedding day. He thinks each of us is worth the effort.
-- Anonymous, July 25, 2002
Thank you for an interesting analysis of this scripture. I find a great deal of meaning in the following comments:
"Working under the guidance of the Holy Spirit we need to get into harmony with these things so we are working with God, not against him."
We Christians need to be reminded that the Holy Spirit is God's Spirit to be used to carry out His work. It is not our spirit to do as we please but we are to be used by that Spirit for God's purpose. We are the clay and God is the Potter. When we realize this important lesson we will ask for His permission before attempting to do anything and all things.
-- Anonymous, July 26, 2002
Personally speaking, I find nothing particularly profound about a "snake on a rock". The majestic flight of an eagle, the voyage of a ship throught turbulent wind and water and the roller-coaster relationship between men and women are indeed compelling observations. To include this reptillian descendant of Lucifer with the other three is, well, a bit awkward. Afterall, the expression a "snake in the grass" is not complimentary. By the way, one of the pictures in my office is about leaders. It reads - "Leaders are like eagles, they don't flock, You find them one at a time". QED
-- Anonymous, July 26, 2002
RP the A.M.E church addresses the issues of the Godhead and salvation brilliantly in our 25 articles of religion. You may access them by going to the home page of ame-today and look under the abc's of the ame church. Our denomination is part of the methodist family that is our history and roots. Methodism has always been grounded in the idea that we can begin our spiritual relationship with God by saying yes to his son Jesus Christ, we can begin our life with Christ when we are down, sick, in poverty, in jail, in the midst of addiction. It is the power of Jesus Christ that transforms us and carries us upward to God. We are not like the eagle who begins on high and soars. We are to be totally dependent on God. I live in Montana and we are blessed to see eagles here in the mountains, they are beautiful but they are solitairy creatures they fly alone. With Christ we are never alone and because of that we can look forward to a blessed assurance of eternal life. It is important that clergy or others that use scripture do research "exegis" of the passage they are preaching from. One needs to look at the entire chapter, the history of the book the passage is from. Who is the audience the scripture is given, who is speaking? why? what was going on at the time etc. All of these things inform our presentation to our congregations. As christians it is always important that we remember to encourage one another, and share the good news! That no matter where you are in your life journey it is never too late to turn to God. Everyone be encouraged for Christ came for you, he knows you and loves you and he will carry you high if you believe in him.
-- Anonymous, July 26, 2002