… Only faith working through love ….
I recently read a story about the mother of an Israeli soldier in the I.D.F. Like all good Jewish mothers, she had for her boy ambitions that defied the rules of the possible (Matthew 20:20-23). When approaching the Chief Officer of her son’s battalion to make her motherly impossible request, the officer replied: ‘Jewish mothers are one step above army chief officers, so we’ll see what we can do’.
When she saw that God was ‘lingering’ in fulfilling His own Word, Sarah decided to help Him out (sarcasm intended) using the stratagem with Hagar. Rebecca who took over the role of matriarch after Sara’s death proved herself to be cut of the same cloth. She had received a personal prophecy that Jacob should receive Isaac’s blessing and not Esau, and she was going to make sure God did not ‘mess up’ (again, sarcasm intended!) about it.
First we can wonder about God; ‘What takes Him so long anyways?’ (Don’t our wives always get on case for procrastinating on ‘important’ projects, especially theirs?) It is easy also to wonder about these two women’s ways. Did they not trust God? Other questions beg to be asked though: ‘Did these women by their actions show unreserved dedication and faith in the prophetic destiny of their lineage, even at the cost of a seeming lack of integrity? Could they maybe have been more interested in the Word of God being fulfilled than in themselves and their own reputation?’ It takes a mother, a Jewish one at that, to fight with the devil himself on these kinds of terms.
We tend to judge people through the screening of personal virtue, but it seems that Hashem judges us more by virtue of the force of our dedication and love for him. About the kingdom of God, Yeshua did mention that we break into it through forceful determination. This is not to say that the ‘end justifies the means’. It is only to reiterate the words of dear Apostle Paul in which he explains that the most important element of our spiritual walk is a faith working through love (Galatians 5:6).
Our love for the Master (oh, could it ever match Hashem’s love for us (John 3:16)) needs to go beyond the concerns of our personal posture. Our love for Him needs to expand; it needs to live in utter abandonment, above and beyond the restricted borders of the acceptable, breaking through the narrow confines of the possible. Does it in your life?
Yeshua made Himself of no reputation for us. Can we, should we do the same for Him and what he asks us to do?