Out at Panera bread last night a great friend, P Sturge, brought up this verse:
"Then she called the name of the LORD who spoke to her, You-Are-the-God-Who-Sees; for she said, 'Have I also here seen Him who sees me?' " Genesis 16:13 NKJV
Hagar is a picture of a person who received grace from God even though she suffered and the origin of that suffering seemed to come right from the decisions of people that represented God. Abraham and Sarah were Godly people. God has nothing bad to say about them. Abraham was the father of our faith.
Hagar did what she was told and yet she still ended up in a bad place. God watched over Hagar and her son. This woman observed God observing her and God gave her favor. What a picture of grace!
She could have lived in a 'cast out the bondwoman' mentality (see Gen 21:10) but God opened her eyes and gave her promises.
"But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD." Joshua 24:15b NKJV
I want to live my life with grace as my teacher. Living in awe of God and having nothing bad to say about people who wrongly interpret their roles. I can learn from their mistakes but to accuse or excuse is the low living of the flesh.
If Christ is lifted up He promised to do the drawing. I want to lift up Christ and what He has done.
King Saul was the picture of a carnal thinking believer... disconnected from God and from any concept of grace. Because of that he has big conflicts with the two men who represent God in his life... David and Samuel. Samuel dies but King Saul is 'haunted' by all the unfinished business.
"So Saul disguised himself and put on other garments and went, he and two men with him. And they came to the woman by night.
And he said, 'Divine for me by a spirit and bring up for me whomever I shall name to you.'
The woman said to him, 'Surely you know what Saul has done, how he has cut off the mediums and the necromancers from the land. Why then are you laying a trap for my life to bring about my death?'
But Saul swore to her by the LORD, 'As the LORD lives, no punishment shall come upon you for this thing.'
Then the woman said, 'Whom shall I bring up for you?'
He said, 'Bring up Samuel for me.'
When the woman saw Samuel, she cried out with a loud voice. And the woman said to Saul, 'Why have you deceived me? You are Saul.'
The king said to her, 'Do not be afraid. What do you see?'
And the woman said to Saul, 'I see a god coming up out of the earth.'
He said to her, 'What is his appearance?'
And she said, 'An old man is coming up, and he is wrapped in a robe.' And Saul knew that it was Samuel, and he bowed with his face to the ground and paid homage.
Then Samuel said to Saul, 'Why have you disturbed me by bringing me up?'
Saul answered, 'I am in great distress, for the Philistines are warring against me, and God has turned away from me and answers me no more, either by prophets or by dreams. Therefore I have summoned you to tell me what I shall do.'
And Samuel said, 'Why then do you ask me, since the LORD has turned from you and become your enemy? The LORD has done to you as he spoke by me, for the LORD has torn the kingdom out of your hand and given it to your neighbor, David. Because you did not obey the voice of the LORD and did not carry out his fierce wrath against Amalek, therefore the LORD has done this thing to you this day. Moreover, the LORD will give Israel also with you into the hand of the Philistines, and tomorrow you and your sons shall be with me. The LORD will give the army of Israel also into the hand of the Philistines.'
Then Saul fell at once full length on the ground, filled with fear because of the words of Samuel. And there was no strength in him, for he had eaten nothing all day and all night." 1 Samuel 28:8-20 ESV
King Saul was not seeking a living God he was seeking a dead prophet. He wanted closure and it could not ever be satisfying because there could be no connection. King Saul lived as a tortured soul and would die that way.
That kind of closure is unattainable. Left unreconciled we will bring the old relationships into the new ones and relive the break again and again. God wants to end that cycle.
"All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation." 2 Corinthians 5:18-19 ESV
Our break from God the Father can only be healed by Christ and His ministry. He has satisfied God's need for justice and He did it before we were born... before the World was born. That is settled on God's end. At the moment of salvation it becomes settled on our end and healed forever.
Christ's reconciliation is good for our one way relationships with people also. We can be reconciled with everyone and anyone, from our end, because Christ reconciled the World unto Himself on the cross.
The parent who died before we can make things right. It haunts people. God has a remedy. God can reconcile us to anyone from our end... even bitter enemies.
Let us seek the living and not the dead. The Living God is our provision for all relationships.