“In those days the Word of the Lord was rare. I Samuel 3:1
It is ironic that with the great availability today of Bible’s in America and the West, with such an abundance of churches and mega-churches, Christian TV and radio, that in the Public Square the Word of the Lord has indeed become rare, and yet it is. In the boy Samuel’s day the revelation of the Word of the Lord was delivered by prophet and visions, and Samuel tells us that even in a theocracy the Word of the Lord became rare. Today God has provided His written Word in universally-available reach, particularly in the West; so why has His Word become “rare?
One reason it is rare today is because God’s Word has been ruled illegitimate and unwanted by those who write and adjudicate the laws of public society; the vast majority of the citizenry apparently approve by their vote and acceptance of this new situation. God’s Word has been pronounced unnecessary and illegal for public use and for the governing of society and even Christians now buy into a contrived “separation of anything that is considered “church or more, an “exercise of personal faith spoken into public life.
Such separation has grown incrementally each year since its inception. Society must now be defended at all costs as thoroughly secular (devoid of faith expression) particularly in a society which is now labeled pluralistic, no matter how small the groups are which create the pluralism. Interestingly, one of the smallest groups percentage-wise is allowed greater leeway to cross the line into the Public Square, but it is not of the vast majority, Christianity, which is especially singled out for exclusion.
However, as in Samuel’s day the primary reason for the rarity of God’s Word in the Public Square is because it is simply not believed and put into practice by those who are called to do so. There are not many wise, as Jesus describes wise; those who hear His words and live them out as who they are (Matthew 7:24). Eli, God’s prophet and Samuel’s teacher, failed to follow God’s commandments concerning his sons, and God apparently stopped speaking to him. Instead He went to the boy Samuel. There were serious and grave consequences for Eli who once heard God’s Word and now ceased to put it into practice (I Samuel 4:12-18).
So it is with those who call themselves Christian today, who have God’s Word available in their homes, yet the reading, study, believing and practicing of it is rare. We are reaping what we sow in the society in which we live and in which we are called to bear testimony to truth as it is in Jesus, who Himself is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. We are losing or have lost the battle in our community. Hence the Word of the Lord is rare as we cease to live it and make it known. This is not the result Jesus had in mind upon hearing His words describing who you are to be: “You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden…In the same way, let your light shine BEFORE MEN, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven. (Matthew 7:14).
You will be called to suffer for His name even as you “Shout the joy and truth of the gospel from the mountaintops, which I imagine is fairly public. The authentic Christian is not only called to live out the truth in the privacy of his home, but in the midst of the Public Square. You must not pull a bushel over your head and mouth to hide who you are and what you believe, but you are to counteract the rarity of God’s Word by your life and by boldly speaking the truth in love into the world in which you live. Be noticeable in a world in which God’s Word has become rare.
“Go tell it on the mountain, over the hills and everywhere, go tell it on the mountain that Jesus Christ is born.
(Spiritual, anonymous, no date)
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