Bread – Details

October 9, 2013


In our reading today from 2 Kings, there is a major lesson in God’s forgiveness of those who repent and turn to Him. However, there is a part of the reading today from 2 Kings which started me laughing. It is:

“So Hilkiah the priest, and Ahikam, and Achbor, and Shaphan, and Asaiah went to Huldah the prophetess, the wife of Shallum the son of Tikvah, son of Harhas, keeper of the wardrobe…” 2 Kings 22:14

I laughed because of the level of detail as to who-all went to go see Huldah and the level of detail about who Huldah was. As if I cared? As if I knew who these people were or are?

And then I stopped for a minute and said to myself, I wonder who these people are, so I did an electronic search of my electronic Bible for their names. What I discovered caused me to sit back in my chair, because every one of these people are mentioned more than once (except for Harhas) and some are mentioned many times in many books of the Bible.

Which then lends itself to the question, if I have read the Bible, why did I not know them and why did I not care who they were?

I think it is because I (and we) tend to ignore the details while we read. Just get us to the quotable quote, the main meal. We gobble down our food, why not Scripture?

Why are all these people named? Because detail matters. It matters because the Bible is God’s revelation, and so therefore it obviously matters to Him. And it matters for a more practical reason – because the Bible is not only God’s revelation of Himself to us, it is the history report of God’s action in the world. The historian reports detail because it existed and therefore it should be reported. We like to see detail because detail underlines the truth of what we are reading.

Maybe we are not strong Christians because we have never locked onto the detail, the fact that the Bible reports actual history, actual facts, actual miracles, actual actions and statements of both people and God.

For example, in Paul’s letter to Corinth today we read about this factual history – “…that the Lord Jesus on the night when He was betrayed took bread, and when He had given thanks He broke it and said, ‘This is My body which is for you. Do this in remembrance of Me….” 1 Cor. 11:23. The details report a real event, involving a real Jesus at a real time of day taking real actions involving real bread and saying what He is reported as saying. But maybe the most important detail we often skip is this one – “This … is for you.” This Jesus is broken for who, for me and we.

Another example comes from the gospel – “As Jesus passed on from there, He saw a man called Matthew sitting as the tax booth, and He said to him, ‘Follow me.’ And he rose and followed Him.” Matt. 9:9. The details report a real trip, a real observation, a real calling, a real person called, a real place where that person was when he was called, and real obedience to the call. As a tax collector, Matthew was not very high on the social ladder. Because of the detail, it is obvious that Jesus called Matthew from where he was in life, not where he hoped to be but where he was, just like He called us yesterday, is calling people today, and will call people tomorrow to follow Him.

Ross Perot, a man who ran for President of the United States, once said “The devil is in the details.” So is the blessing. The blessing is in the details too, particularly when those details come from God to us in His word.

If we realized that the blessing was in the details, how much closer would we pay attention to what God has to say? How much closer would we listen to our neighbors so that we can respond in truth and love to their real needs? How much tighter would we walk with God today?

The details matter to God. So, today, let’s try to pay attention to them too.

And see what blessings God has hidden for us today in those details.

__________________

© 2013 GBF

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