Friday, August 2, 2013

Doing unto others what they were hoping you wouldn't do

"the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet complete"
Genesis 15:16

When I was in high school, I used to listen to a Christian music station whenever I listened to the radio.  In other words, whenever I wasn't listening to tapes.  Which was most of the time.

Nowadays, I rarely listen to the radio.  I listen to my ipod, which is like my own personal radio station, stocked with all my favorites.  Mostly Christian, but also a little bit country and a little bit rock and roll.  {But no, there are no songs by the Osmonds; why do you ask?}  And a little bit Broadway and a little bit classical and a little bit easy listening.  And even a Christmas song every now and then, which garners an eye roll from the Apple of my Eye, who likes his Christmas music confined to the Christmas season. 

Anyhow, this station would do prayer requests on Sunday evenings for an hour or so.  People would call in and give their requests, and in between songs, the deejay would read the requests so that listeners could be praying for one another.  Kind of a nice idea, now that I think about it. 

But I remember once, a listener's request was that their football team would win the upcoming game.  And the deejay shared that, but also confessed that he was a little reluctant to pray that prayer, because he was pretty sure there were people on the other side, praying the opposite.   It was kind of an interesting dilemma, in my mind, that caused me to think a little harder about what I prayed for, and about the prayer requests that God was juggling while He juggled mine. 

I think about it sometimes, too, when I have decisions to make.  Often it seems as if I'm faced with a decision wherein, if I make someone happy, I'm going to have to make someone else unhappy.  Could be something simple like making dinner.  Maybe one kid's favorite is the other kid's "eh.  I can take it or leave it."  Or my hubby wants to take a nap in the afternoon, but I need him to help me get down the Christmas decorations out of the rafters because I promised the kids we'd decorate today. 

Those are just examples, of course.  Easily dealt with by explaining to him that he can nap afterwards, or explaining to them that we can decorate tomorrow.  But there are other decisions that make me feel trapped, defensive or overly apologetic.

And I wonder if God ever feels like that.  I mean, I know He doesn't, because He knows what the right decision is, all the time.  But He also knows that the rain that saves the crops ruins someone else's picnic.  He knows that the patient needing a transplant is only going to live if someone else dies. 

The early chapters of Genesis tell us a lot about what's to come in the Bible.  They are the story of Abraham, and how he would be blessed for his obedience and faith.  And part of that blessing was the land that his descendents would inherit.

But it wouldn't be soon.  In verse 13, as Abraham stood upon that land, God said to him, "Know certainly that your descendents will be strangers in a land that is not theirs, and will serve them, and they will afflict them four hundred years.... But in the fourth generation they shall return here, for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet complete."

Simply put, it wasn't time.  And God knew that.  The time for punishment for the Amorites would come, but not yet.  So Abraham's descendents had to suffer for the sake of the right timing.

But does that make it easier for Him?  I know He hurts when we hurt, but I also know it doesn't stop Him from doing what's right.

That doesn't really help me, when it's time for me to make a difficult decision.  I still have to decide.  But I know He cares about my motives, and my desire to do the right thing.  So I guess what's left is to pray that He will give others that peace when my decisions don't go their way.  And that He will give me that peace, when things don't go the way I'd like. 

Most of all, I hope He'll remind me to trust Him.  That He will make things in my life work out for my good, and His purposes.  Trust = peace. 

~ "Just as you want others to do to you,
   you also do to them likewise" ~
Luke 6:31


  1. Ah, yes, the iniquity of the Amorites. It is as nothing when compared to you making your significant other help get down the Christmas decorations out of the rafters IN AUGUST because you promised the kids you'd decorate today. I think I read that part of the post right, but I might be mistaken.

    Your post made me think of an old hymn: "Trusting as the moments fly, trusting as the days go by, trusting Him whate'er befal, trusting Jesus, that is all."


  2. lol... no we're not decorating in August. That was just an example of a someone wins/someone loses proposition. We spent the day hanging around my parents' house, swimming and, yes, napping. :)

    Thank for the hymn contribution. I'm not familiar with that one, but it's an important truth.

  3. Here's a link to the lyrics of "Trusting Jesus" in the Cyberhymnal. And if you click on the word "MIDI" near the top of the page you will hear the tune!

    Turns out it was written by Ira Sankey for Dwight L. Moody.