Go to God … First!

Now that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem. They were talking with each other about everything that had happened. As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them; but they were kept from recognizing him. (Luke 24:13-16)

The same day Mary Magdalene discovered the empty tomb and conversed with the angels; the same day Peter and John had a footrace to the tomb only to discover the grave clothes neatly folded and left behind; this same day we find two more of Jesus’ followers on the road to the village called Emmaus discussing the events that had transpired over the past few days. All of these events occur on the same day that Christ rose! In each instance we discover both confusion and wonder mixed with disillusionment and perhaps even despair and hopelessness. Talking among themselves, these first followers are seeking answers, comfort, and direction that only God can provide.

Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know. -Jeremiah 33:3

Ever been in that position? This so reminds me of King David when he found himself in this same quagmire of emotional turmoil. He and his troops had just returned to Ziklag from marching with Achish, only to discover their town had been raided and burned and all of the women in it, young and old alike, along with their sons and daughters, taken captive. And then the Bible tells us this:

So David and his men wept aloud until they had no strength left to weep.
(1 Samuel 30:4)

“I cannot understand Him, but I can trust Him. And so today, when everything physical and emotional in me is completely drained, and there is not a single note of praise in my heart, I choose to praise Him anyway. Not for what He does, but for Who He is. When I cannot praise Him out of joy, I will praise Him out of obedience. And I am learning that when I praise Him out of obedience from the depths of the pit, it is always more meaningful than when I praise Him out of an overflow of my heart from the heights of the mountain. And because I know His nature, and I know that even when I don’t feel it, He is still a kind, loving, good God, then I know that soon, He will fill my heart with joy once again. And the praise will flow easily from the depths of my heart.” -Laura Black

I would venture to say that confusion, disillusionment, despair, and hopelessness were the emotional state of David and his men. Always loyal to David, these men were now talking of stoning him due to the bitterness of their soul over the circumstances in their lives. We must remember when we are in severe emotional turmoil; chances are, like David’s men, our thinking can be askew.

But instead of seeking answers or refuge or consolation from his counselors, David turns to the Lord for his strength!

But David found strength in the LORD his God. (1 Samuel 30:6)

David was practicing a one of his own life principles: Trusting in God in all situations! We see in the Psalms his confidence in God’s deliverance:

I sought the LORD, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears.
(Psalm 34:4)

Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him. (Psalm 34:8)

Walking along the road to Emmaus, discussing the events that had recently transpired, these two followers of Jesus were trying to make some sense of it all. The accounts that had been brought to them regarding Jesus’ resurrection had seemed to them as sheer nonsense. Approaching them to walk along the road with them, they were absolutely kept from laying hold of Jesus’ true identity. For all they knew, He was just a stranger on His way to Emmaus as well. How like Jesus to come into their midst!

Take It to Heart

“God alone knows the depth and riches of His Godhead, and divine wisdom alone can declare His secrets.” -Thomas Aquinas
Over and over again we find in Scripture and lived out in life, people seeking counsel from someone other than God. Oh, we cry out to Him quickly enough in our despair, yet seek to handle everything else by ourselves. While the Bible instructs us to seek counsel from others, this comes only after we have sought the Lord first. Counsel from others often brings a confirmation of the Lord’s guidance.

Next time we are disillusioned or in a quandary, instead of turning to the arm of flesh for guidance and consolation, let us turn to the Lord and to His omnipotent hand.

In the morning, O LORD, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation. (Psalm 5:3)

Counsel and sound judgment are mine; I have understanding and power.
(Proverbs 8:14)

“Let the beloved of the LORD rest secure in him, for he shields him all day long, and the one the LORD loves rests between his shoulders.” -Deuteronomy 33:12

God instructs him and teaches him the right way. (Isaiah 28:26)

Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. (Isaiah 40:28-31)