Those familiar with this word I invented, "visiquad" know that it's anything seen in fours or found in a box. Today is my birthday. My reading shares the history of the early Apostles coming to terms with just how much "Jewish" a Gentile believer had to become in order to embrace Christianity! Like much around us, even today, there was great debate, and how far was too far. The practice of circumcision that represents the covenant with the God of Abraham and given in the Law of Moses was the main thing to the orthodox. They felt that was the gold standard for anyone coming into the new faith.
The other side argued, with facts and witnesses, that what was manifesting to and through Gentiles was sufficient, if not, extreme examples of God doing signs and wonders to many of them without any traditional Jewish practices. The bottom line of the debate was the level of freedom allowed to just believe, and the amount of God's grace, mercy, and forgiveness available to any who received.
The emissaries returned to HQ to get a final ruling and consensus on the issue. After, giving their reports and stories of amazing healing and deliverance it couldn't be further argued that the prerequisite was circumcision. That doesn't seem to matter to God! It was a new day. A new way. Birthed out of the Jewish sacred writings and traditions, but not to be 'backed up' in that. To move forward. To open doors to the entire world.
Just before a final list of prerequisites are given, that doesn't include circumcision, one of the leaders quotes an ancient prophet predicting the time of the Gentiles. " After this I will return and ( I will) rebuild David’s fallen tent. Its ruins I will rebuild, and I will restore it, that the rest of mankind may seek the Lord, even all the Gentiles who bear my name, says the Lord, who does these things..." (Acts 15:16&17 quoting Amos 9:11&12)
When God says, "I will...." it's a done deal! I love that someone steps up and takes charge instead of the responsibility falling on us, or on me personally. We all have the "I will..." in daily life, " I will make supper... do the laundry... pay the bills... it's a commitment. To ourselves, if not to others. Some times we hear exasperation from accusations of procrastination that shouts or pouts, "Okay. Okay. I will do it! All right, already!" It's what we deserve. It's not God's way.
God Himself is saying he will do four things:
We can return again and again to a place. We can also rebuild again and again, like Lego. So in one context we can see that God has been doing things again and again. Over and over he has been returning, rebuilding, and restoring. Especially hearts, minds, souls and spirits. Mine included.
But the specific element named here is "tabernacle of David" which according to scholars in it's most general term is that the presence of God where He is worshiped. It is based on walking through an open door through belief in the Messiah, Yeshua (Jesus) and not on being born, bred, or raised Jewish with all the right pedigree and credentials. Who of us chose when, where, or what 'tribe' we would be born into?
What stirred me wasn't just that there were four of these "I will..." but the relief I have that God is doing all of it. I love it when someone in power and with influence comes in and takes over a project. You know it's going to get done. Get done right. And if you have a role, it will be assigned and resourced. Even on a trip, when my husband says, "I will drive the next leg." means I can totally relax, even have a nap, because I trust his driving.
But we can't end this blog just on that note, without going into the purpose and reasons God is willing to do this and commits to it. One version says, "I will set it up" instead of 'restore'. I like that better. If it's a 'tent' it needs to be set up as part of ultimate function. Not just how it looks. But how it works. It's like watching a renovation on HGTV where they stage the home for the reveal, not just finish the painting and wipe the floors.
God said,, I will do all this... so ..."that the rest of mankind may seek the Lord, even all the Gentiles who bear my name, says the Lord, who does these things..." We are the 'rest of mankind'. After the Jews, we come first. Invited in. Grafted into the Olive Tree. And who have chosen to bear His name. Buy into his brand. Identify with him.
Isn't it refreshing and burden removing when someone comes in and says, "Here, let me do that! I"ll take over from here." And we just step back and watch! Ready to do our part if asked, but not interfering, complaining, judging, making suggestions (LOL) or questioning everything. I love this visiquad and I"ll take all the 're-s' over and over, again and again! This birthday and others to come.
My favorite time of day is first thing in the morning as I grab my Bible, my journal, a pen and sometimes a cup of coffee. If I'm traveling I look for a quiet corner of a hotel lobby or rearrange my room to face the window. At home I have a favorite spot with good light and my laptop near by to check out word meanings.