He hears the voiceless

ishmaelHagar…what do you normally associate that name with? Have you even heard of Hagar before?

Hagar was a slave of Abraham and Sarah. When Sarah became old and didn’t have a child, she asked Abraham to give her a child through Hagar. But when Hagar became pregnant, she started to make fun of her mistress. As a result Sarah mistreated Hagar until she decided to flee. Hagar found the Angel of the LORD on her way, who told her that He has seen her misery and that He will bless the child she was carrying and that she should name him Ishmael (meaning God hears). Then He told her to go back to her mistress. (Genesis.16)

Hagar, “gave this name to the Lord who spoke to her: “You are the God who sees me,” for she said, “I have now seen the One who sees me.” – Genesis.16:13

A few years later, Ishmael grew and Sarah bore a son, Isaac. Since Sarah was still not happy with Hagar and her boy (as Ishmael was mocking), Abraham was forced to send the boy and his mother away. Although he provided them food and water for the journey by the time they reached the desert of Beersheba, they run out of supply. Hagar refused to see her son’s death, so she left him under a tree and started to weep at a distance. Again ‘the God who sees’ met her in the place where no one else could answer to her cry for help.  He promised her that the child will be a great nation and opened her eyes to a well of water, so she and her son lived and did not die. (Genesis.21)

Hagar was a slave, a slave is a property and has no legal rights. Even if she was to speak or cry, she was voiceless, alone and poor. But the God who sees the unseen and hears the deepest cries of the heart, He heard her and met her in her hour of need. He blessed the son of the slave as He blessed the son of the queen (Sarah). The Bible says:

“Before a word is on my tongue
 you, Lord, know it completely.” – Psalm.139:4

“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” – James.1:17

The Golgotha battle

Perhaps you heard of great battles that had been won, but do you know the greatest battle ever won?

2000 years ago, it occurred upon Golgotha’s hill where heaven and hell, justice and mercy, sin and forgiveness met. In that battle, the Saviour took our pain and punishment of death and nailed them to the cross making a public display of His triumphant sacrifice and love that embraced even the worst of sinners.

There on the cross, our certificate of sentence to death was cancelled, erased because it was paid by the precious blood of the innocent Lamb, because of His immeasurable love.

How do I know who won the battle, for it seemed that for a moment He had lost when He said, “it is finished!” and breathed what seemed His last? Because upon the third day, He concurred the grave, He broke the chains of hell and death and now reigns victorious – forever.

“having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. When He had disarmed the rulers and authorities, He made a public display of them, having triumphed over them through Him. Colossians 2:14-15

Crucified Man

This amazing song by Graham Kendrick summarizes very well the events of Good Friday and our place in it. ❤

My favourite part of the song is: 

“I believe as they beat on His beautiful face
He turned a torturer’s chair to an altar of grace
Where the worst we can do met the best that God does
Where unspeakable hate met the gaze
Of unstoppable love
At the crux of it all there He hangs
I’ve placed my hope in a crucified Man”

Grace

Grace and mercyShe was bathed in the stench of ungodliness, she can hardly stand herself. She wondered where things went wrong, but she couldn’t trace their roots. Yet it was there all along creeping and growing with every inch of height she gained.

He saw her first cry, so beautiful and tender in her mother’s arms. Yes, He was the type of King who engaged with His people; from the poor old woman down the road to the rich business man on the high street. From the day she was born, He saw the troubles this girl would face, so He made a plan, for His land was governed by truth and justice. His only Son to take her punishment that she may be freed from those heavy chains she carried around.

Soon she was invited for a visit to the King’s court and was told to come through the front door and that there will be One who will lead her on. She didn’t feel good enough or worthy to enter that way, clearly that’s only for those who are up there, princes and princesses not for a muddy, poor criminal like her. She wasn’t even sure why she should be there, it was not where she belongs. Thus she decided to enter through a lesser gate and asked the guard there if she could go in. He replied, “Sorry Miss but this is not the way to see the King, go through the front door, He is expecting you there.” The girl stepped her foot on the door step and started marching across the shiny, whistle clean aisle. She approached the King on the throne, with the One who loved her by her side. The King couldn’t help but look at her with compassion and mercy. If His Son thought she was worth dying for, she was precious indeed (though at the moment she may not look like it). He rebuked her for insulting Him, as she attempted to evade the invitation by trying to enter through the side door. She thought she was not worth the honour and the truth is- she wasn’t, but there is something called Grace! What mercy? What love?!

“14 Therefore, since we have a great High Priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. 15 For we do not have a High Priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet He did not sin. 16 Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” – Hebrew.4:14-16

 

Total dependence on God

The thought of depending on God seems to be mostly for the things that are out of our hands, things that we know we have no control over. However, it has recently been more clearer to me through various events happening in my life that I need God’s grace not just for the seemingly impossible, but also for the things I think I am capable of. 

Most of the time we wake up and say, “today i will do this and i will do that”, yet how often do we realise that our life is not in our hands? 

13 Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” 14 Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. 15 Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” – James.4:13-15

We need God’s grace from the minor to the major things in our lives. We need grace:

 – Not just to pass our exams , but we also need grace to get ourselves to work hard to pass those exams. 

 – Not just to have food available for us, but we also need grace to have the ability, appetite and wellness to eat it. 

 – Not just to do good things, but also to do them with the right attitude and mind. 

 – Not just to love others, but to love them for who they are and not what they have done or haven’t done for us.

The list goes on for everything in our lives. I have learnt that no matter how big or how small, without God’s grace and strength, i can do nothing at all – even the air i breathe.

May God help us to completely surrender our lives to Him and look to Him as the source of everthing in our lives. Amen!   

“For from him and through him and for him are all things.
    To him be the glory forever! Amen.” – Romans.11:36