The Love of God
Today’s reading: I Chronicles 26-27; John 11:18-46
4 And Obed-edom had sons: Shemaiah the firstborn, Jehozabad the second, Joah the third, Sachar the fourth, Nethanel the fifth, 5 Ammiel the sixth, Issachar the seventh, Peullethai the eighth, for God blessed him. I Chronicles 26:4
33 When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in his spirit and greatly troubled. 34 And he said, “Where have you laid him?” They said to him, “Lord, come and see.” 35 Jesus wept. 36 So the Jews said, “See how he loved him!” John 11:33-36
The path of God may take us through pain, suffering, and death, but never away from His love and compassion.
What image do you have of the Man Jesus? Is He too cool and calm to ever show grief or sadness? Is He always upbeat, joyful, and in total control? Think again. That is not the picture we get in John 11. When Jesus arrived at Bethany, the home of Martha and Mary, He was deeply moved and troubled by what He saw there: distraught family, friends seeking to console them, everyone grieving. His love and compassion for the sisters and the friends of Lazarus expressed itself in tears that flowed. Isn’t it curious that Jesus knew He would raise Lazarus from the dead in a few minutes, but for the moment He entered the agony of the bereaved family and felt suffering with them.
Today’s reading in I Chronicles is another with long lists of names, yet, as we have seen before, there are treasures to be found in these lists. One example is the comment about Obed-edom and his eight sons. “God blessed him.” The note in my study Bible helped me remember that Obed-edom was the man who for a time took care of the Ark of the Covenant for three months after a mishandling of it had resulted in death (I Chronicles 13:13-14; II Samuel 6:10-11). Now we pick up with this same Obed-edom and learn that God’s blessing included eight sons who were listed among the divisions of the gatekeepers.
God’s plan for the lives of Obed-edom and Lazarus took them in different paths centuries apart from each other but always under the providential care of the Lord who reigns over all things. Praise Him who does not overlook the loving and careful service of a man who housed the Ark of the Covenant at his home, even after Uzzah was struck dead for touching it. Your service for Him will not be forgotten. Be comforted that the Lord who cared for a grieving family knows and cares for you who are His. He is the resurrection and the life. Fear not. His plan is good and ends with His victory. Meanwhile, walk on by faith and trust in the love of God.