Monthly Archives: April 2017

High Places

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High Places

In reading the storyline of the kings of Israel and Judah, there seems to be a love-hate relationship with the Lord. For a particular period, there’d be “he did what was right in the sight of the Lord”, then there’d be a total shift to “he did evil in the sight of the Lord”. Details that would characterize the former and latter would be “did not remove the high places”, “sacrificed in the high places”, “built for themselves high places”, “removed the high places and broke the sacred pillars”…the narratives of obedience and disobedience seem to ebb and flow as the evidence of following God’s command to follow Him only appear and disappear through the course of time.

What are high places?

High places seem to be places that are literally elevated. In ancient times, as is visually obvious, high places bear a certain reverence. Shrines, pagodas, altar, pillars–these are high places where worship is drawn. While Abram, Jacob, and Joshua put up high places in honor of the only one true God, others create high places to call on to their gods.

In the time of King Josiah, an old Book of Law was found that radically changed the course of worship. No other high places was to be put up because these shift the peoples’ devotion to the real God. He “broke down and pulverized” these altars and such blatant act stressed that God detests anything that we put before Him, even the seemingly glorious ones.

God, what are my high places? What are my pseudo-worship altars? What are the pillars of my pride and joy in building a pagoda of my work? Break them down, Lord, lest they take away the true worship of the heart that no high place can contain.

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Double Portion

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Double Portion

When I was working as a professional writer, I remember churning my brains out for words to fill the pages of our weekly newspaper. Hours would be spent threading words and weaving them into a web of a story. And while I struggled in my cerebration, I see my colleagues typing away as though the keypads weren’t fast enough to document their volubility. For someone who constantly feels like time is so fast and one’s actions are too slow, perhaps it’s not much to ask for a double portion of what is needed to accomplish a task.

When Elisha was asked by the prophet Elijah, who did wondrous miracles during the period of the kings in Israel, on what he hopes to be given before the latter would be taken away, Elisha said, “Please let a double portion of your spirit be upon me.”  Elisha was so bold to ask for a double portion, perhaps knowing that he does need the extra dose to get through the drama that the tumultuous times needed.

2 Kings 2:9 recounted the request of Elisha and I would like to ask God to do the same to me as I know full well that I am weak and He is strong, that I am easily swayed while His foundations are sure, that I succumb easily to temptations yet He will give me the grace to flee and overcome them, that my physical limits are incomparable to His enduring greatness, and in the end so that I may fulfill the task He has called me to do.

“Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord.” Zechariah 4:6