Friday, February 20, 2015

Take a walk (with God)

"Noah building the ark" - Free Bible Illustrations

TODAY'S SPECIAL: Genesis 6:1-21

TO CHEW ON: "This is the genealogy of Noah. Noah was a just man, perfect in his generations. Noah walked with God." Genesis 6:9

What a thing to say about someone: that they walked with God.
  
Walk is an incredibly rich word. I love my dictionary's precise definition of walk as a verb: "Move at a regular and fairly slow pace by lifting and setting down each foot in turn, never having both feet off the ground at once." (Sounds pretty grounded, doesn't it?)

Walk has many shades of use, both as a verb and noun. We say police walk the beat (travel over an area on foot). When someone walks away from something we mean they abandon it.  A person charged with a crime but not convicted walks. Someone who doesn't deserve it walks right into a well-paid job. In baseball, four pitches deemed by an umpire to be out of the strike zone allows the batter free passage (a walk) to first base.

In the middle of all these definitions is the archaic walk that best fits our verse: "used to describe how someone lives or behaves: walk humbly with your God."

But my imagination doesn't want to separate the physical act of walking from this definition of walk as behavior or lifestyle. They complement each other so well. Let's let our minds wander over the walks we find in the Bible and discover what they have to say about walking with God as a lifestyle.

  • Noah wasn't the only person to walk with God. Enoch did before him (Genesis 5:22). In fact, Enoch's mysterious disappearance was attributed to God taking him to Himself (Genesis 5:24).
  • The God-pleasing walk for Israel's Old Testament leaders and people was characterized by obedience (1 Kings 8:58; 2 Kings 23:3; Psalm 81:13).
  • Amos's brilliant rhetorical question "Can two walk together unless they are agreed?" (Amos 3:3), perfectly connects staying in step with someone when we're out for a walk and our need to be synchronized to live-walk together with each other and God.
  • Isaiah also joins the physical motion of walking with the spiritual benefits of waiting on God: "…they shall walk and not faint" - Isaiah 40:31.

Some of the Bible stories where walking takes place are also interesting.

  • Before sin entered the world it seems Adam and Eve joined God in walks around Eden. For the day they sinned "… they heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day." That day they hid instead of joining Him and He called out " 'Where are you?' " What a heartbreaking picture of broken friendship (Genesis 3:8,9).
  • Perhaps we can credit Abraham with giving us the prayer walk. For after the angels told him their intention to destroy Sodom, "… Abraham went with them to send them on their way." As they went he begged God to spare the city for righteous people living in it - Genesis 18:16-33.
  • Finally, one of my favorite walk stories is of the disciples on the way to Emmaus, walking, all unbeknownst to them, with the resurrected Jesus (Luke 24:13-16). What a rich walk that was, where Jesus "… beginning at Moses and all the Prophets expounded to them in all the scriptures the things concerning Himself" - Luke 24:27.

Today, let's invite Jesus into our progress through the day. Let's be obedient. Let's walk in step with Him and wait on Him, if need be, instead of running ahead. Let's share our concerns with him (pray as we walk), let Him teach us, and  then let's enjoy our leisure with Him. Today, let's walk with God!

PRAYER: Dear God, please walk with me today—or perhaps better said, show me how to walk with You. Amen. 

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Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


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