FIRST POSTED ON 15 JULY 2018.
Shalom Aleichem and welcome to my Shabbat blog!
In our last session, we spoke about how God has an urgent Word for His people today, and explained it in terms of the concepts Rhema and Kairos. I then gave examples of how God’s Rhema and Kairos apply in our personal lives.
However, what we want to discuss here is not about how God speaks to us personally but collectively as His people. In fact, the Bible is primarily His message to Israel, the Church and the world. His purpose is so that we, as one Body of Christ, understand the times we live in and know what we together as one people of God should do.
There is an example of this in the Old Testament. In 1 Chron 12:32, when King David was rallying for support from the people to bring Israel under his rule following the death of King Saul, the men of the tribe of Issachar acted decisively to join him because they understood the times - meaning, God’s will for the nation then - and knew what Israel should do. Similarly, we believe that God is speaking to His people today and we, like the men of Issachar, need to hear, understand and act decisively as one people of God in light of His Rhema and will.
I cannot overemphasise this point, especially in this day and age when we tend to focus only on ourselves and God’s calling for us as individuals. Yes, God may have different callings for different people, but there is also a general calling for all of us as believers together as part of the one Body of Christ. Just like the men of Issachar - I am quite sure not everyone was called to support David as warriors; some would have contributed financially or helped in other ways. The point is that they united as a tribe behind the nation of God in alignment to His will.
It therefore also means looking beyond our church, which is the local congregation of the Body of Christ, and even our denomination and indeed the worldwide Church itself, to recognise that God’s Word is for all of His people today. Now, who are His people? We shall consider this question again later. At this point, I just want to emphasise the need to have this global perspective that is more than us individually, local church denomination etc to see who are God’s people as God sees it. Let us be like the men of Issachar, who not only saw things from their individual point of view, not even as a tribe, but as the entire nation of Israel.
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