As the title denotes, this blog is just the beginning of a two part segment from my soon to be published book (hopefully) entitled “Conversations With God Using Scripture.” Next Friday in this blog space, I will publish Part 2 of “God Singles Out The Sinner And Offers Grace“. It will be written as an adaptation of Isaiah 6, reflecting my personal experiences as a younger woman, while on a church retreat seeking a closer walk with the Lord. Like Isaiah’s divine godly encounter, I, too, after God’s penetrating and convicting examination of my life, also declared later; ‘Here am I, My Lord, send me!’
A True Story – Part 1...
In the Old Testament, Isaiah begins his autobiography in Chapter 6 by recording the death of his king.
|“In the year King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne; high and lifted up, and the train of his robe filled the temple.” Isaiah 6:1|
If you are a student of the biblical “Begots”, without reading any further into the Scriptures, you know of one possible reason for King Uzziah’s demise. The Begots reflect a procreation list of family generations sired by the forefathers in the Bible. Usually, when a name (or its derivative) is first mentioned in Scripture, its definition is also given. King Uzziah’s name denotes that he egregiously breached one of God’s sacred laws. (*) In another place, the Bible gives this definition of the name:
|“Then the anger of the Lord was aroused against Uzza, and He struck him because he put his hand to the ark; and he died there before God.” 1 Chronicles 13:10|
Another biblical concept gleaned from the Isaiah 6:1 verse is that something had to die before a rebirth could take place. Other events in the Holy Bible that embraces this dual concept is: famine and plenteousness; darkness and light; death and resurrection; good and evil, etc.
I experienced this phenomenon, of something having to die, in 1983 while participating at a church sponsored Women’s Retreat at Massanetta Springs, Virginia. At the time, I was seeking a closer relationship with the Lord, but realized I was only doing so at my own convenience. To be honest, I was preoccupied with self. I was obsessed with starting my own business (a laundromat). I was still climbing the corporate ladder at my official job as a building manager for a large automotive corporation, trying to crack that glass ceiling. And I was also enrolled in college taking several business courses. No wonder I felt like a guinea pig on a treadmill. So when the retreat opportunity presented itself, I reluctantly decided to attend.
My encounter with God came about 6:00 a.m. Saturday morning at our sunrise service which was held high upon a dew-drenched hill. I remember standing around the wooden cross at the top of the hill encircled with about 30 other female saints. It was still very dark and a chilly breeze was blowing. You could smell bacon and fresh baked bread aromas floating up from the kitchen dorm below as camp custodians prepared our breakfast.
Seemingly, the worship leader who was standing at the base of the cross, was reading my mind as she shouted for all of us to get our minds off breakfast and on prayer. Next, I remember silently thinking why are we praying one at a time. God can hear a multitude of prayers all at once. Just then, the worship leader shouted out those very same words to the women. I opened my eyes to see if there was a spy in the camp and the Lord spoke to me and said, “It is I, my child!”
When I returned home, after that astonishing weekend, one evening I sat down and attempted to recapture on paper what had happened to me at the cross. I knew with assurance that all the trash and tinfoil of this world that had weighted me down was now lifted. In other words, my “King Uzziah” had died. In my study time, I was led to Isaiah 6, and the composition entitled “God Singles Out The Sinner And Offers Grace” was born.
(*) NOTE: King Uzziah’s sin was that he disobeyed God and was struck with leprosy. (2 Kings 15:5 and 2 Chron. 26:19-21)
Scripture Lesson: So I, (put your name here), pastured [God’s] flock marked for slaughter, particularly the oppressed of the flock. Then I took two staffs and called one Favor and the other Union, and I pastured the flock. In one month (a short time) I got rid of the three shepherds (the evil enemies of God). Zechariah 11:7-8 [Paraphrased)]
(Tune in next Friday for Part 2 of “God Singles Out The Sinner And Offers Grace”)
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