Therefore the LORD has recompensed me according to my righteousness, According to the cleanness of my hands in His sight.
With the merciful You will show Yourself merciful;
With a blameless man You will show Yourself blameless;
With the pure You will show Yourself pure;
And with the devious You will show Yourself shrewd.
For You will save the humble people, But will bring down haughty looks.
For You will light my lamp; The LORD my God will enlighten my darkness.
[Psalm 18:24-28 NKJV]
As a pause in our study of John’s gospel, we feel The Lord’s guidance to explore some thoughts in another direction. Below, you will find a word from Oswald Chambers’ “Devotions For A Deeper Life” for today.
My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me (John 10:27).
It is not what a Christian utters in public prayer, preaches from the pulpit, or writes on paper that determines God’s attitude and relation to him; it is what he says in his heart, which God alone can hear. This determines the believer’s relationship with God.
Many people talk glibly about stupendous truths that they believe. But the Lord has never talked to them in the stillness of the dark and lonely moments of solitude, when only His voice gives light to see and understand. Remember this: The Lord never gives private illumination to favoured Christians. God’s way of communication descends from divine illumination through His Word, for the development of spiritual character in His saints. Yet the Lord speaks, definitely and persuasively, to those who care to listen. At first we may not hear the Lord’s voice because our spiritual ears are untrained to detect it above the tumult and noise of the dark circumstances of our lives. But once we learn His voice, the finest of earth’s voices are never again mistaken for the voice of the Lord.
PRAYER THOUGHT: Lord God, I have heard Your voice many times. It is always a source of strength to me.
Oswald Chambers: DEVOTIONS FOR A DEEPER LIFE.
Grousing destroys generosity like a moth does a garment, slowly but completely.
So Jesus came again to Cana of Galilee where He had made the water wine. And there was a certain nobleman whose son was sick at Capernaum. When he heard that Jesus had come out of Judea into Galilee, he went to Him and implored Him to come down and heal his son, for he was at the point of death. Then Jesus said to him, “Unless you people see signs and wonders, you will by no means believe.”
The nobleman said to Him, “Sir, come down before my child dies!”
Jesus said to him, “Go your way; your son lives.” So the man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him, and he went his way. And as he was now going down, his servants met him and told him, saying, “Your son lives!”
Then he inquired of them the hour when he got better. And they said to him, “Yesterday at the seventh hour the fever left him.” So the father knew that it was at the same hour in which Jesus said to him, “Your son lives.” And he himself believed, and his whole household.
This again is the second sign Jesus did when He had come out of Judea into Galilee.
[John 4:46-54 NKJV]
This is Jesus’ second miracle at Cana* in Galilee**. Jesus has passed through Samaria (watch mountain) travelling from Judea (He shall be praised), on His way to Galilee. We can see from the definitions below that Cana and Galilee have significant names to point us in the right way of understanding.
You will see a great variety of infections in most Hebrew words, and we can see how certain meanings are derived. Cana implies upright and righteous, and Galilee strongly suggests trust.
It would take too long to go into a precise explanation word by word, but I hope that we can see that by following Jesus on His journey, that He is taking us from praising the Lord when we are born again in Judea, through the watchfulness and discernment of the Holy Spirit and learning of ‘the rivers of living water’ in Samaria to our landing at the place of light and righteousness and trust at Cana in Galilee.
The more we look at scripture, the greater the depths we are shown. Three times the nobleman encounters the words “your son lives.” — and we witness a wonderful healing miracle. We see that when the nobleman believed — and trusted — Jesus, his son was freed from the bondage of sickness.
How often when we pray for healing do we trust and believe — or do we expect great signs and wonders? Most of The Lord’s miracles — now as it was then — are performed quietly and unseen by the eyes of men. Jesus is not a showman. He doesn’t need to be. He just needs us to be upright and trusting; He will do the rest.
* h7070. קָנֶה qâneh; from 7069; a reed (as erect); by resemblance a rod (especially for measuring), shaft, tube, stem, the radius (of the arm), beam (of a steelyard): — balance, bone, branch, calamus, cane, reed, x spearman, stalk. reed, stalk, bone, balances, stalk, water-plant, reed, calamus (aromatic reed) derived meanings measuring-rod, reed (as unit of measure - 6 cubits), beam (of scales - for scales themselves), shaft (of lampstand), branches (of lampstand), shoulder-joint
** h1556. גָּלַל g̱âlal; a primitive root; to roll (literally or figuratively): — commit, remove, roll (away, down, together), run down, seek occasion, trust, wallow.
A man is never the same after he has seen Jesus Christ. We are to be judged by our immortal moments.
In the meantime His disciples urged Him, saying, “Rabbi, eat.”
But He said to them, “I have food to eat of which you do not know.”
Therefore the disciples said to one another, “Has anyone brought Him anything to eat?”
Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work.
Do you not say, ‘There are still four months and then comes the harvest’? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest!
And he who reaps receives wages, and gathers fruit for eternal life, that both he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together.
For in this the saying is true: ‘One sows and another reaps.’
I sent you to reap that for which you have not laboured; others have laboured, and you have entered into their labours.”
[John 4:31-38 NKJV]
Fields are a type of the world. We have heard of those called to ‘the mission fields’, and what is a field but land which is ready to receive seed to bring about new growth and be a provision for the season ahead.
This allusion allows Jesus to talk of The Law of Sowing and Reaping — one of the big four ‘immutable laws’*. He tells us clearly here what the world (the field) is like. ‘One sows and another reaps.’, He says. We can see that He sowed seed with the Samaritan woman at the well, and reaped a harvest when other Samaritans heard of Him from her.
And many more believed because of His own word.
Then they said to the woman, “Now we believe, not because of what you said, for we ourselves have heard Him and we know that this is indeed the Christ, the Saviour of the world.”
[John 4:41-42 NKJV]
He sows the seed in us that we might bear fruit — and that fruit is passing on as seed to others, that they also may bear fruit. This is not our work; this is entirely and completely Jesus at work; we are mere vessels witnessing to His message. There will be a harvest, and we benefit from this amazing gift.
Jesus asks us to ‘look at the fields’; see the prophetic truth of His mission. Those fields are ‘already white for harvest!’; brilliant with the light of those coming to see the purity and holiness of The Lord.
* The main 4 Immutable Spiritual Laws (unchanging principles) in scripture are:
1 - Sowing the seed by the dawn-light fair,
Sowing the seed by the noonday glare,
Sowing the seed by the fading light,
Sowing the seed in the solemn night:
O what shall the harvest be?
Sown in the darkness or sown in the light,
Sown in our weakness or sown in our might,
Gathered in time or eternity,
Sure, ah! sure, will the harvest be.
2 - Sowing the seed by the wayside high,
Sowing the seed on the rocks to die,
Sowing the seed where the thorns will spoil,
Sowing the seed in the fertile soil:
O what shall the harvest be?
3 - Sowing the seed with an aching heart,
Sowing the seed while the tear-drops start,
Sowing in hope, till the reapers come,
Gladly to gather the harvest home:
O what shall the harvest be?
The secret of our inefficiency for God is that we do not believe what He tells us about prayer. Prayer is not rational but Redemptive. Little books of prayer are full of “buts.” The New Testament says that God will answer prayer every time. The point is not—“will you believe?” but “will I, who know Jesus Christ, believe on your behalf?” (see 1 John 5:14–16).