Go Ravens!–Freaky Friday

raven2

This time of year, especially this year, if you heard the words, “Go Ravens!” you would most likely think of Super Bowl Champions Baltimore Ravens. Unless, perhaps, you are part of the mighty minority of slightly crazy kidmin leaders or highly motivated parents who have made themselves familiar with a freaky piece of Scripture found in the book of Proverbs.

Sure, ravens are in other places in the Bible, but in my humble opinion, on the Scale of Freakiness, none compare to Proverbs 30:17-18.

The eye that mocks the father, that scorns obedience to a mother, will be pecked out by the ravens of the valley and will be eaten by the vultures.

What in the world?????? Tell me if I’m wrong, but that seems like some pretty intense discipline to me. Both of our sons will testify to the fact that they heard me share these verses more than once, but never as a threat. Just as a simple reminder to those oh-so-much-simpler times when parents just cast their disobedient children outside the city gates to die. Just kidding. Well, not about the disobedient children’s crazily intense punishment, that was real. It just wasn’t that simple.

But every time I read them, these slightly freaky verses, they remind me about how God feels about both respect and disrespect. And it’s pretty obvious that He’s pretty serious about it. It’s a great relief to know that as a former eye rolling teenager, I didn’t have to literally worry about my eyes being plucked about by ravens and eaten by vultures. BUT. . . it’s also a great relief to know that God’s graphic word picture helped me to see that I needed to repent, and I needed to be forgiven. As God showed me that disrepect to my parents deserved a serious punishment, I learned that it could no longer be just something I could do as “normal” part of growing up. It needed to become something I had once done before allowing Christ to change my heart and set me on a new path–far away from ravens and vultures!!

I’m glad I stumbled upon these freaky verses. They made a huge impact on my life, and from time to time I love getting to share them with kids and parents. Because it’s these freaky things they never knew were in the Bible that often make an impact on their lives like nothing else.

Maybe you needed this reminder today. Maybe your kids will need it sometime in the future. Maybe you just found yourself a brand new freaky object lesson for your next children’s church lesson on respect or maybe you’ll just never look at the Ravens the same again thanks to today’s Freaky Friday post!

(Special thanks to my daughter in law for letting me us her raven picture from our recent Eagle Days in Keokuk)

Ravens and Patriots

It’s Sunday afternoon and the playoff games are on.  Currently the Ravens and Patriots are battling it out. Honestly, I don’t give a lick about either team. I have my favorites (GO PACK GO!, Tebow time, anyone?, and what Christian doesn’t get excited when we hear the Saints are marchin in!). But they were all knocked out last week (sad face).  Now, since I always tell my kids at church that you can find God in anything, I decided to ask Him what He might show me about Himself through this game that I care so little about, and of course, He has.

First off, Let’s take a look:

Dictionary.com  which tells me that a patriot is:

1. a person who loves, supports, and defends his or her country and its interests with devotion.

Then, let’s take a look at:

I Kings 17:1-6Tthe Real Story of the Patriots and the Ravens.

We don’t see Ravens and Patriots battling, we see them both being used to save a person (Elijah) and a  people (the Isreaelites).  God sends The Patriot, Elijah the Prophet, as His spokesman to His people, and deliverer of His judments. So not an easy job!!  As God’s messenger of judgment, Elijah must endure them as well– and this lastest judment means no rain, not even any dew for the next few years.  Of course, drought for Israel, means drought for Elijah the Patriot/Prophet as well. And no rain, means no water, no water  means no crops, no crops, means no animals, no animals means no food, no food means no worries for the ULTIMATE PATRIOT–THE GOD WHO LOVES, THE GOD WHO SUPPORTS, THE GOD WHO DEFENDS HIS COUNTRY WITH DEVOTION.

Enter the Ravens.  God lets Elijah know that although times are tough, He is keeping His promises to take care of His faithful.  (I LOVE THESE KIND OF PROMISES!!)  God gives Elijah specific instructions to turn eastward and hide in the Kerith Ravine, just east of the Jordan. There is a brook there to drink from and, get this, “I have ordered the RAVENS to feed you there.”  How awesome is that!!! What a blessed assurance that the God we serve controls all things, even Ravens.

And Elijah did what faithful people do, “He did what the Lord had told him.  He went to the Kerith Ravine, east of the Jordan, and he stayed there.  And the ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning and bread and meat in the evening, and he drank from the brook.”  What I think was probably the original Happy Meal!! I mean, just think how pumped Elijah must have been every morning to see those birds flyin’ in with his extra value meal.

But more than just meat and bread, every morning and again every night,  Elijah had this great evidence that in the midst of trying times, rebellious people, false prophets, false gods, lonliness, evil Kings and Jezebels, that God loved him, supported him, and was defending him and the people of Israel with devotion. Elijah knew that the God who ordered the Ravens to bring him the food necessary to save His life, was also at work to save the lives of the Israelite nation.

I guess what God is showing me, through ravens and patriots, is that every morning and every night as I sit down to eat, I can remember that the same Patriot God loves us, supports us and defends us with devotion.  So it is my desire to live like Elijah, loving God back in the same way–following faithfully, with trust and obedience, wherever He may tell me to go.