27 December 2014

#Ill Ride With You

According to new reports, the hashtag and the story of #IllRideWithYou was all made up by Rachael Jacobs. A clever and good thought, but not a real story that inspired her to invent the hashtag. As if Muslim women were the victims of the siege in Sydney last Monday. They were not the victims; innocent people in a cafe, and subsequent lockdown-causing-1st-world-problems... they were the real victims of the LoneWolf Muslim terrorist, Man Haron Monis.
Then a Kiwi woman has come up with "I'll walk" with you on New Brighton, New Zealand. Story here to help elderly and worried women not to feel isolated as they walk the beach. Again, another 1st-world problem. I pondered if Comanche or Wild Oats in the Sydney-to-Hobart yacht race would have a flag that also parroted "I'll ride with you." I haven't seen it yet, though.

 So that got me thinking, as often happens, about the Lord of Heaven, who calls us to walk with Him. "Now when Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to Abram and said to him, “I am God Almighty; Walk before Me, and be blameless.” (Genesis 17) OK, not a walk together, but a walk in front of Me, He said. So who walked with God? Enoch also from Genesis "And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him." (Yikes, that sounds permanent). Then there was Noah "Noah walked with God." (Gen. 6.9) Walking with God sounds like a 'walk in the park' or an evening stroll and I have lived only 63 years, but I find this aspect of my relationship with the Almighty one of the most comforting and appealing. He loves me and wants to be in relationship with me. This is one of the best ways to describe that desire. IllWalkWithYou.

And even in the last book of the Bible, Revelation, we read, "But you have a few people in Sardis who have not soiled their garments; and they will walk with Me in white, for they are worthy." (The words of Messiah Jesus). #IllWalkWithYou ... that sounds like a commitment we should have, but what else does the Almighty say He will do with us?

 #IllTeachYou. God promises to teach us His ways. That's excellent and needful in these days. We don't know how to get along in Pakistan schools or in Martin Place cafes, or in Boxing Day sales. The psalmist records God's words to us, "If thy children will keep my covenant and my testimony that I shall teach them, their children shall also sit upon thy throne for evermore." (Psalm 132.12) Sweet! Even in the story recorded in the Ridley Scott movie "Exodus", we read in the original screenplay "And thou shalt speak unto him, and put words in his mouth: and I will be with thy mouth, and with his mouth, and will teach you what ye shall do." (Exodus 4.15) I get that when I see Yeshua, the master teacher of the Jewish people, of whom we read, "Jesus answered and said, while he taught in the temple, How say the scribes that Christ is the Son of David?" (Mark 12.35) "These things said he in the synagogue, as he taught in Capernaum." (John 6.59) "These words spake Jesus in the treasury, as he taught in the temple: and no man laid hands on him; for his hour was not yet come." (John 8.20) Yeshua clearly could have written #IllTeachYou  

#IllDieForYou. "For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. but God commended his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." (Romans 5.7-8) Taking the place of another in justice, that's almost unheard of. Taking the death penalty we deserved for our sinning against God...who would do that? Only Yeshua died for us, the just for the unjust. "Messiah also has once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but made alive by the Spirit." (1 Peter 3.18)

 #IllRiseFromTheDeadForYou Wait, who rises from the dead? Have you ever heard of such a thing? But that's the story the 500 told and for which they died themselves. Listen to this testimony: "He is not here, but is risen: remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee." (Luke 24.6) "The Lord is risen indeed, and hath appeared to Simon." (Spoken by Cleopas on First Fruits Sunday in 30 AD) (Luke 24.34) "Remember that Jesus Christ of the seed of David was raised from the dead" (Paul to Timothy in 2 Timothy 2.8) "Now when Jesus was risen early the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had cast seven devils...Afterward he appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen." (Mark 16.9, 14)

 #IllPrayForYou. Yeshua promises to intercede for us as he did for Peter in the Garden of Gethsemane. He continues to function as the High Priest as recorded in Romans 8.27-28 "And he that searches the hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because he makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God...Who is he that condemns? It is Messiah who died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us." And the writer of Hebrews says of Yeshua, "Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever lives to make intercession for them." (Heb 7.25)

 #IllReturnForYou. The best day ever will be the day when Yeshua returns. He will fulfill all the rest of the biblical prophecies for Messiah. He will bring justice. He will usher in the future and final Kingdom. He will restore all things and put all things under the feet of the Almighty. "And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also." (John 14.3) Rest assured. He walks with us; He rides with us; He prays for us and on the evidence of His dying and rising from the dead, He will come again and bring in the final consummation of all things. That sounds like a New Year's Resolution to await. It's a promise He will keep. Praise Yeshua!

3 comments:

Owen Wormald said...

Hi dear Bob,

I admit to being "conflicted" by the so-called "#Illridewithyou" initiative. In one way, the typical response of Australians in the past has been to start yelling at each and every foreigner "go back where you f***** came from" - and so this idea appealed to "our better nature" and avoid racist behavior.

In another sense that I became aware of, it was deeply offensive to some very sensible and decent minded people who said, "what about the victims?" Who rides with them?

And then to discover that the idea was fabricated (as it seems) made my blood boil at having been used.

In the end, one of the best things to come out of all this for me was when a dear Jewish-background Christian friend explained to me the depth of "SHALOM", which goes so far beyond our feeble translation of "peace". It is the thing that we all need - and seeing the LORD Jesus as "the Prince of SHALOM" has become one of the deepest and most enduring lessons I will ever learn.

Anonymous said...

This is a deep and powerful post. Jesus committed Himself to walking with us through every part of life. To commit ourselves to walking with Him means submitting to an alignment process. Walking with Him is walking a path of holiness. Just as Joshua had to remove his sandals, we also have to remove the symbols of our past walking in the wilderness to a new position where every place on which our feet shall tread, God has given it to us. When we walk with Jesus, we walk in His victory and possess our Canaan. Deanne Graf

Bob Mendelsohn said...

Thanks Owen and Deanne. Good words!