Hear The Rod

Shepherd with his rod
Shepherd with his rod

“The LORD’s voice crieth unto the city, and the man of wisdom shall see thy name: hear ye the rod, and who hath appointed it.”   Micah 6:9, KJV

“The voice of the Lord calls to the city, and the wise person honors him.  So pay attention to the rod of punishment; pay attention to the One who threatens to punish.”  Micah 6:9, NCV


There is necessary train of thought we all must board.  It involves traveling to a destination that we deep-down, absolutely abhor.  It is that idea that we are open and vulnerable, especially to his analysis of us–that we are more open than we think to His eyes.

We’ve entered into a spiritual transaction that doesn’t mollify our personal desires.  We are confronted by such a personal evil that just seems to percolate out of our hearts.  There exists something akin to “Pharaseeism,” where we project righteousness when we are really graves or tombs of the dead.

Micah announces that we must “hear the rod.”  Pay attention, become aware, understand deeply– there is a rod (a whip) that pounds everyone who comes to him.  Granted, the only thing necessary is to be aware that this difficult process exist.  We step up, and enter the grinder, with great fear, not really convinced of its efficiency and its capability.

There is no question of his deep and profound love for us.  He is fanatically absorbed in you.  There is a hungry passion for your attention and focus.  You are behind his shield.  You’re treasured far, far beyond what you think.  He sacrificed His own Son, to save your soul.

“Wake up from your drunken stupor, as is right, and do not go on sinning. For some have no knowledge of God. I say this to your shame.”  1 Cor. 15:23, ESV.

There is a mandatory factor that informs us that we cannot continue moving through life intoxicated.  Smashed on the wine of pride, stupefied on the brandy of selfishness.  We are called to sober up, and start living a truly terrific Christian life.  In Micah’s words– to listen!  Perhaps that is our greatest weakness in the Church today.  We have become deaf to the voice of God.

I guess that means we must make some adjustments.  To take up our Phillips screwdriver, and start ‘tweaking.’  We need to start the solid work of “tuning in” and becoming aware.  There is a rod, and the Father will use it on those who he loves.  A few whops from that rod will usually bring us to an awareness.



Ears That Hear

Used during WWII to locate bombers over London
Used during WWII to locate bombers over London

It intrigues me as I think of how much we need each other. For most of my life, it seems the opposite was true. I thought I needed my independence, to be entirely self-reliant and to be bolder and more assertive.

But much of my struggle, through health and mental crisis’, through the death of a child, really has broken a strong back of this resolve. The question I hear now from the Lord; isn’t how strong are you– but rather, how weak are you?

“The Sovereign Lord has given me his words of wisdom,
    so that I know how to comfort the weary.
Morning by morning he wakens me
    and opens my understanding to his will.
The Sovereign Lord has spoken to me,
    and I have listened.
    I have not rebelled or turned away.”

Isaiah 50:4-5, NLT

“The Lord God has given Me the tongue of disciples” is the NASB translation of verse 4. It is a serious mistake if we see ‘discipleship’ as a solitary endeavor. Instead, it is like the connective tissue that surrounds our muscles. The body needs to unite efforts, activities, ideas, and purposes through our combined discipleship.

Isaiah 50 advances this idea. The simple picture is of a person sleeping who is suddenly awake. Lying in bed, they start to listen. It’s not the birds singing. It is God speaking. And not only is there a gentle voice, but accompanying it is wisdom and grace to unleash what has been said. And that is an art that we must learn.

“The weary” are everywhere, but typically you share with just two or three. But the right words, at the right time, with a perfect wisdom can really rock. Lives can be turned with just a word.


ybic, Bryan

Making Stripes

I was watching the crew painting stripes in a parking lot. They were methodical and aware, I suppose. I suppose I wondered how they do what they do. I’ve been curious to understand exactly how they can get such straight  lines. Perhaps you have seen them. They are as straight as you can get.

As I watched them work, there was an instructive moment. They brought out a “chalk line” and measured out 15 to 20 feet. They snapped the line which was perfectly straight. All of a sudden there was a wonderfully perfect line of chalk. The painters would use this line as they painted the yellow stripe.

As I watched, I felt the presence of the Holy Spirit. He is in a habit of using such things. I considered everything I saw. The chalk, and the line gave me a sense of this present age. In a sense, it was the temporariness of this present moment. The chalk line was merely temporary. It did provide a straight line which the permanent line of paint could use. The chalk line made the paint line precise and accurate.

Reflecting on this, I renewed my vision from the temporal to the eternal. This present life is all chalk. We lay it out, but eternity will paint the line. We do what we must, to make sure our chalk lines are straight.  But we also understand that all we do. is temporary. Chalk can easily be  washed away. Our heart, to be precise, can easily become nothing.

The yellow paint of the lines, is quite permanent. As they are painstakingly laid out, they cover our chalk with permanence. This is quite amazing (to me, anyway). What is chalk is only the precursor to what is permanent. We must see through this if we will understand what is real, and true.

The chalk lines represent this life. All that we do is significant as it effects our ability to make the lines. But eternity, follows the lines we lay down. If we are somehow negligent, we will never lay down anything straight. We must put down the line that will become eternal and everlasting.

All that we do is chalk, but I truly believe that it has to be significant. What we lay down, in chalk form, becomes a certain eternal value. We direct where the paint will go. And perhaps that is all that is necessary.


ybic, Bryan

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