Bread – Took

January 17, 2014


Readings for Friday, January 17, 2014, designated by the 1979 Book of Common Prayer: Gen. 6:1-8; Heb. 3:12-19; John 2:13-22; Psalms 16,17,22

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I saw what was good and I took it. How often do we do that only to find out that what we thought we saw was not what we got, or what we thought was good for us is really not good at all?

What got me thinking about this today are two things. The first thing is cupcakes. Today on the radio, the speaker was talking about a new vending machine which contains cupcakes, each cupcake being in a box (I am assuming that there is a picture of it somewhere) and costs $4.00. Now we could look at the picture, look at the box, pull out our $4, and purchase (take) the cupcake. Now what if is squished in the box? From whom we will get our refund? What if it does not match the picture? Where will we obtain justice? We saw what was good, we took it, and we did not get what we thought we saw. Or, even better, we bite into this cupcake full of expectation and find out that, instead of sugar, they used salt and it now tastes like a bad bagel. Not so good. In fact, it is bad. It was bad for us before we bought it, it was bad for us after we bought it, but we bought it anyway because it looked good and we took it because “I have a right to a cupcake when I want one.” Right?

The second thing that got me to thinking about this today is our reading from God in His revelation through the book of Genesis: “…the sons of God saw that the daughters of man were attractive. And they took as their wives any they chose.” Gen. 6:2

They saw, it looked good, and they took “as they chose.” And later in the same reading today, the Lord saw this (and other things) as “wickedness … great in the earth..” Gen. 6:5

Now in and of itself, this passage would not have focused my attention on the sequence: look, look’s great, grab (take). However, in my ESV translation of the Bible there is a study note which says “The sequence here … parallels the sequence of the fall in 3:6.” And sure enough, it does. Genesis 3:6 says “So when the woman saw that the tree was good…she took of its fruit and ate…”

The pattern is clear – we see something which looks good to us, we take it, and we find out that we have screwed up big time.

There are many lessons in this, all the way from things being not as they appear to we can be tricked very easily into disobeying God to we should just leave well enough alone.

But I want to focus on the “took” part. We see because we have eyes and they are open. What we see may have, and often does have, the appearance of good. The end is a logical outcome of both the seeing and … what else? The taking.

We may not have control over what we see (although we probably have more control than we think) but we certainly have control over what we do based upon what we see. We don’t have to take. Eve did not have to take the fruit. The men in our reading today did not have to take women.

What is the taking? It is our exercise of our free will.

Which really brings us to the point. Who controls the outcome? Will we stand tall and take according to our free will? Or will we stand under the cross of Christ, bowing in obedience to the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, grateful that we are a slave to Christ and, therefore, free to live?

That is the choice each of us face every minute of every day. Will we see what we think is good, exercise our free will and take what we want, and suffer the consequences? Or will we surrender to Christ, let Him dictate what we should take, let the Holy Spirit give us discernment to see what is really good under the shell of appearances, and suffer the consequences?

We will suffer (put up with) the consequences in either case. We will either suffer defeat as we exercise our free will to our dominion as our god in our little universe, or we will suffer victory in life and in death because we both see, take, and eat from the author of truth, the creator, the Savior, Jesus Christ.

What will we suffer today, loss or gain, defeat or victory, death or life? The choice is ours, but the truth is God’s.

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© 2014 GBF

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