Juxtapositions often speak to me — two things happening one right after another that strike the same chord, or that are so different it draws my attention. This week, it was the juxtapositions of the “I will’s.”

On Sunday afternoon my husband and I lead the church service at the nursing home my mom lives in. Phil preached on the first verses of Psalm 34. On Wednesday evening we lead a small group teaching on developing intimacy with God. During part of that teaching we looked at the book of Hosea.

“I will  bless the Lord at all time, His praise shall continually be in my mouth.” Spoken by David, Psalm 34:1, NRSV

 “I will go after my lovers; they give me…” Hosea’s wife Gomer, Hosea 2:5b, NRSV

I was struck so strongly by two things:

  1. Both David and Gomer are making a choice of the will — “I will” they say. Choosing comes before doing. Granted, sometimes there is very little time for decision-making, but there is still a choice made before an action is taken. The purpose of training is to help us make right decisions, especially when we seem to have only time to react.
  2. The stark contrast in their choices. David chose to worship God. Gomer chose to be unfaithful to her husband. If I’m going to make a choice (and I’m going to, every minute of every day), I want it to be David’s choice.

As I put my pen to paper (fingers to keyboard) to reflect on this, some other things jump out at me. (Such is the nature of meditation. The things that come to mind immediately and cause you to meditate on a subject are typically just the tip of the iceberg. God has so much more to show you if you’ll take those first few things and roll them over in your mind a bit.)

  1. Both David and Gomer verbally expressed their wills. Speaking something (saying it out loud) brings it to life. It gives it more “substance.” If I only think “I will go to the store today,” it’s just the beginning of the reality of that thought. When I tell my husband “I will go to the store today” the thought has life. He now has the expectation that I will go to the store today. He might change his plans as a result of my spoken intention. Certainly the plan has more reality in my life. If I don’t go to the store today, I’m not doing something I said I would do. Speak your “I will’s” out loud and they will have life. (Remember, God spoke the world into existence, He didn’t think it into existence. Genesis 1)
  2. David willed to bless God — that’s a “giving” action. Gomer willed to follow other lovers who would give Her what she wanted — that’s a “taking” action. Serving God is a giving lifestyle, not a taking lifestyle. Choosing to serve God is choosing to live a giving lifestyle and to not live a me-first, taking lifestyle. And of course the paradox of the Christian life is that giving of ourselves gains us so much more.  Only in God’s economy does dying = abundant life.

I quoted the following verse just a few blogs ago but must do so again. This blog would be incomplete without it:

“Choose this day whom you will serve…But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”  
Joshua 24:15 (NRSV)

Comments are closed.

© copyright 2009-2013, Data Designs Publishing and Sandra J. Hovatter