Thursday, September 18, 2008

Spiritual Perception

"On the seventh day of the fifth month, which was the nineteenth year of King Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, Nebuzaradan, the commander of the guards, a servant of the king of Babylon, entered Jerusalem. He burned the Lord’s temple, the king’s palace, and all the houses of Jerusalem; he burned down all the great houses.” (2 Kings 25:8-9 CSB)

The victory of the Babylonians and destruction of Jerusalem was described in much detail in 2 Kings. There is a glaring omission in the account, however. The name of Jeremiah the prophet is nowhere mentioned. Jeremiah was a major player in those days, and yet no mention whatsoever. Why not? What would prevent this?

In Matthew 12:14 we read, “But the Pharisees went out and plotted against Him, how they might destroy Him.” Jesus healed a man on the Sabbath. This angered the Pharisees, and they concluded that they needed to get rid of the man named Jesus.

In Hebrews 11:17-19 we see an account of the faith of Abraham, in which we are told he was willing to offer up his son, Isaac, the son of promise because he believed that God was able to raise him from the dead.

What is the common element involved in all three of these instances? Is it not spiritual perception? Jeremiah was a man of great spiritual dimension, and there should have been an account or at least a name mention in 2 Kings. He is mentioned elsewhere, but not here. It would seem to be a spiritual perception issue, perhaps a sense that the spiritual element was not all that relevant in these stories of intrigue.

The Pharisees were spiritually imperceptive in that they did not recognize Jesus and even blasphemed the Holy Spirit in saying that Jesus cast out demons by the hand of Beelzebul. Jesus later said of the, “Brood of vipers! How can you speak good things when you are evil? For the mouth speaks from the overflow of the heart.” (verse 34)

Spiritual perception is given by the Holy Spirit. He not only gives it but develops it in us, maybe a little like a farmer working the land. Thinking metaphorically, the “ground” must be prepared and fertile. Faith is the earth in which the seed of spiritual perception is planted. Humility waters it. Hope is the sun that shines on it. The word of God is the roots that mine faith and bring sustenance and growth to spiritual perception.

Blessed are those who are spiritually perceptive, because they know God.

Lord, We thank You that You are the Author of any spiritual perception that is in us. All that we are and have comes from You. Help us to perceive Your guidance and leadership and Your will this day. Amen.

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