Falling and Rising Again

Opposition, misunderstanding, contradiction, and rejection are overridden by resurrection; a recovery of spiritual truth.

Ps 19:14 – Let the sayings of my mouth, And the meditation of my heart, Be for a pleasing thing before Thee, O Jehovah, my rock, and my redeemer! (YLT)

The sayings of my mouth.

Expressions that expose what I perceive to be truth and wisdom.

The meditation of my heart.

To earnestly, deeply think and to murmur with tenderness, evoking a strong emotional response.

As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and appear before God? My tears have been my food day and night, while they say to me continually, “Where is your God?” These things I remember, as I pour out my soul: how I would go with the throng and lead them in procession to the house of God with glad shouts and songs of praise, a multitude keeping festival.

Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God.

My soul is cast down within me; therefore I remember you from the land of Jordan and of Hermon, from Mount Mizar. Deep calls to deep at the roar of your waterfalls; all your breakers and your waves have gone over me. By day the Lord commands his steadfast love, and at night his song is with me, a prayer to the God of my life. I say to God, my rock: “Why have you forgotten me? Why do I go mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?” As with a deadly wound in my bones, my adversaries taunt me, while they say to me continually, “Where is your God?” (Psalm 42 – ESV)

My soul.
My soul is cast down. My soul is in turmoil within me. Why?
The oppression of my enemy [hating adversary].
As with a deadly wound
As with a deadly wound in my bones, my adversaries taunt me, while they say to me continually, “Where is your God?”
“Where is my God? Why have you forgotten me, Lord God?”
Is this the natural and consistent saying of my mouth?
Is this the meditation of my heart?
“Where is my God?
Why do I go mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?”
Do these words and thoughts delight me?
Are these words and thoughts a delight to God?

Have I unwittingly adopted the words of my adversary as the meditation of my heart?

Prov 12:18 – There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing. (ESV)

There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts. Am I the one whose words are like sword thrusts in my own soul? Am I, myself, my worst enemy; with my accusatory thoughts, my critical words, my self-centered expectations, my passions and cravings that demand instant gratification, my ignorant, rigid, self-righteous, authoritarian religious ideas about who God is and what he’s supposed to do for me, and what I’m supposed to do for him?

Is my enemy, my hating adversary, the vessel of wrath that I think is me? The vessel with a tongue that destroys?

Rom 9:22-25 – What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory— even us whom he has called, not from the Jews only but also from the Gentiles? (ESV)

There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.

The tongue of the wise brings healing.

Am I familiar, intimate with the one who is wise, whose tongue brings healing? Or am I intimately familiar with only the one whose rash words are like sword thrusts?

Might the one who is wise use even my rash words to heal me by exposing the lies behind the sayings of my mouth and the faulty reasoning behind the meditation of my heart?

Luke 2:34-35 – and Simeon blessed them, and said unto Mary his mother, ‘Lo, this [one] is set for the falling and rising again of many in Israel, and for a sign spoken against — (and also thine own soul shall a sword pass through) — that the reasonings of many hearts may be revealed.’ (YLT)

Luke 2:34-35 – Simeon went on to bless them, and said to Mary his mother, This child [Christ Jesus] marks both the failure and the recovery of many in Israel, A figure misunderstood and contradicted — the pain of a sword-thrust through you — But the rejection will force honesty, as God reveals who they really are. (MSG)

This child [Jesus Christ] is set: to lie outstretched literally or figuratively. To place in a passive or horizontal posture; utterly prostrate.1

This child [Christ Jesus] …a sign, an indication, especially ceremonially or supernaturally. Miracle, token, wonder.2

This child [Christ Jesus] is set; a sign spoken against; a figure misunderstood and contradicted; the pain of a sword-thrust through you.

What is the pain of a sword-thrust through us?

Rev 1:7 – Behold, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him, and all tribes of the earth will wail [to beat the breast in grief] on account of him. Even so. Amen. (ESV)

Every eye will see him
Even those who pierced him
All tribes of the earth will wail, will beat the breast in grief on account of him.

The pain of a sword thrust through us.
The reasonings of our hearts revealed. Honesty as God reveals who we really are.
The tongue of the wise brings healing.
The reasonings of hearts revealed. But the rejection will force honesty.
The falling.
And the rising again.
The failure.
And the recovery.
This child. Christ Jesus. Set. To lie outstretched. A sign. Miracle. Wonder.

 The falling. A crash. Downfall.3
The falling. Opposed to the sign, the miracle, the wonder.
Speaking against the sign. Misunderstanding the wonder.
Contradicting the miracle.
Rejection.
But the rejection will force honesty.
Every eye will see him. All tribes of the earth will wail [grieve] on account of him.
As God reveals who they really are.
The rising again. A standing up again, i.e. literally a resurrection from death, or figuratively a recovery of spiritual truth.4

Are you familiar with the pattern of falling and rising again? Of failing and recovering?

Have you learned to accept, even to embrace the downfall, to be grateful for the pain that accompanies each exposure of your opposition to Christ Jesus: each thought and word that you speak against him and his ways; each desire, motive and act that contradicts the grace of the Lord Christ Jesus, and opposes the love of God, and rejects the fellowship of Holy Spirit? Have you learned to rejoice in the destruction of the vessel of wrath that you think, is you?

Have you learned to anticipate that each fall is always followed by rising again? Rising to a greater understanding of spiritual truth. Rising to a higher and deeper experience with Grace, Love and Fellowship. Have you learned to rejoice in your transformation process as you begin to become acquainted with the vessel of mercy that is you?

Have you discovered that having your heart exposed and revealed forces honesty and authenticity that you would not otherwise welcome? For our natural tendency is to run to escape exposure or to hide behind facades that we build rather than acknowledge and confront our failures and the pain they bring.

The tongue of the wise brings healing. The reasonings of hearts revealed. But the rejection will force honesty.

What are the reasonings of your heart? Why do you do the things you do, seek for the things you seek, treasure the things that you treasure? Have you discovered and experienced what the wise man Solomon did?

Eccl 1:14 – I have seen everything that is done under the sun, and behold, all is vanity [emptiness, unsatisfactory] and a striving [feeding upon; grasping] after wind [breath]. (ESV)

Did the Lord Jesus Christ agree with Solomon’s assessment of everything that is done under the sun?

Luke 10:38-42 – Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his teaching. But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.” But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.”  (ESV)

Everything that is done under the sun
All is vanity, emptiness, unsatisfactory
All is a striving, grasping after wind
Distracted, anxious, troubled
One thing
One thing is necessary
Needful, useful, to furnish what is needed.5
The good portion
Sit at the Lord’s feet
Listen to his teaching
The good portion
Which will not be taken away
This child. Christ Jesus. Set. To lie outstretched. A sign. Miracle. Wonder.

Interact with the words of Scripture through deep, careful study.

Then move beyond logic and reason; move from head to heart.

Meditate. Experience the word of Scripture bodily by moaning, growling, uttering, speaking aloud each word, syllable by syllable. Experience the words of Scripture expressing the longing and desire and hope in the depth of your own soul. Become acquainted with your longing. Anticipate that your soul’s longing will be satisfied, its hunger will be filled with good things, and it will be healed and made complete again. Let the inspired word of God arouse feelings of awe.

2 Cor 13:14 – the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, [is] with you all! Amen. (YLT)

Contemplate. Sit quietly without thinking, without murmuring. Simply be. Become conscious of your companions.

Stay in this place of rest and fellowship for as long as you can.
When finished, select just one word or phrase and carry it with you all day, thinking about it, murmuring it, holding it, treasuring it. Let it soak deep into your soul. Tomorrow, meditate on the entire text again. Select the same word or phrase or a different one to carry with you all day, thinking about it, murmuring it, holding it, treasuring it. Do this practice every day. Let God’s Word begin to fill your soul with good things.

I ponder every morsel of wisdom from you, I attentively watch how you’ve done it. I relish everything you’ve told me of life, I won’t forget a word of it. (Ps 119:15-16 MSG)

 

But it is the spirit in man, the breath of the Almighty, that makes him understand. (Job 32:8)

I encourage you to look for ways and practices to help you become aware of Holy Spirit and to relinquish all that you have and all that you are to Holy Spirit’s convicting, enlightening, restorative ministrations.

A practice that has been life-changing for me comes from Psalm 46:10.

Ps 46:10 – “Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” (ESV)

Be still.
It’s a paradox.
Be still. A state of being. Am. Is. Stay, remain as in was, were.
It’s a process of letting go in order to rediscover Life that was forfeited.
It’s a process of ceasing, stopping, to be destroyed, and dying in order to be redeemed.
It’s a process of abandoning and neglecting in order to be healed and made whole.

It’s a process of opposing, contending, and striving in order to give up, renounce, leave, and abandon self-interest that is death, forfeiture of Life.

It’s a process of becoming weak, feeble, to be wept over in order to return to the original Life that was forfeited, but is bought back by the only One who has Life in himself.

Be still, consequently
Know

Know, not in the sense of accumulating facts and figures, receiving answers about what to do to get a good life, but know as in relationship. Know as in Being. Awareness, consciousness, discernment, recognition, acquaintance, familiar friend, feel, perceive, have respect, have understanding, instruction, presence, fellowship.

Be still.

Letting the vessel of wrath prepared for destruction go in order to know the riches of God’s glory for vessels of mercy.

2 Peter 3:18 – But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen. (ESV)

*****

Resources/For deeper study:

1Set: NT:2749 <START GREEK>kei=mai<END GREEK> keimai (ki’-mahee); middle voice of a primary verb; to lie outstretched (literally or figuratively): KJV – be (appointed, laid up, made, set), lay, lie. Compare NT:5087.

NT:5087 <START GREEK>ti/qhmi<END GREEK> tithemi (tith’-ay-mee); a prolonged form of a primary theo (theh’-o) (which is used only as alternate in certain tenses); to place (in the widest application, literally and figuratively; properly, in a passive or horizontal posture, and thus different from NT:2476, which properly denotes an upright and active position, while NT:2749 is properly reflexive and utterly prostrate): (Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003, 2006, 2010 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)

2Sign: NT:4592 <START GREEK>shmeion<END GREEK> semeion (say-mi’-on); neuter of a presumed derivative of the base of NT:4591; an indication, especially ceremonially or supernaturally: KJV – miracle, sign, token, wonder. (Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003, 2006, 2010 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)

3Fall: NT:4431 <START GREEK>ptw=si$<END GREEK> ptosis (pto’-sis); from the alternate of NT:4098; a crash, i.e. downfall (literally or figuratively): (Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003, 2006, 2010 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)

4Rising again: NT:386 <START GREEK>a)na/stasi$<END GREEK> anastasis (an-as’-tas-is); from NT:450; a standing up again, i.e. (literally) a resurrection from death (individual, genitive case or by implication [its author]), or (figuratively) a (moral) recovery (of spiritual truth): (Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003, 2006, 2010 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)

5Necessary/needful: NT:5532 <START GREEK>xrei/a<END GREEK> chreia (khri’-ah); from the base of NT:5530 or NT:5534; employment, i.e. an affair; also (by implication) occasion, demand, requirement or destitution: KJV – business, lack, necessary (-ity), need (-ful), use, want.

NT:5530<START GREEK>xra/omai<END GREEK> chraomai (khrah’-om-ahee); middle voice of a primary verb (perhaps rather from NT:5495, to handle); to furnish what is needed; (give an oracle, “graze” [touch slightly], light upon, etc.), i.e. (by implication) to employ or (by extension) to act towards one in a given manner: KJV – entreat, use.

NT:5495 <START GREEK>xei/r<END GREEK> cheir (khire); perhaps from the base of NT:5494 in the sense of its congener the base of NT:5490 (through the idea of hollowness for grasping); the hand (literally or figuratively [power]; especially [by Hebraism] a means or instrument): KJV – hand.

NT:5490 <START GREEK>xa/sma<END GREEK> chasma (khas’-mah); from a form of an obsolete prim chao (to “gape” or “yawn”); a “chasm” or vacancy (impassable interval): (Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003, 2006, 2010 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.) KJV – gulf.

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