Maybe you’ve never heard the term – Shekinah Glory – but here in Hebrews it attempts to explain how Jesus was the perfect expression of the divine essence of His Father. God’s luminous presence was manifested in Jesus, and this splendor and light could not be dampened or hidden from sight…for God’s Shekinah Glory cannot be contained.
When God created us, He didn’t build robots. Instead, He gave us a free will to make decisions and act on them…whether wise or foolish. But it’s also our free will that gets us into trouble most times. We bristle at being told what to do, and obeying the rules, in our mind, is optional. Yes, our free will can become problematic! So in this passage, the Lord is quite concise and deliberate in His laying out of our options. We are given the choice…the decision is ours. Will we obey and receive a blessing, or will we rebel and experience a curse?
Our mind is a battlefield. Our new nature under Christ Jesus is ever struggling with our comfortable old nature. Romans 8:4 tells us not to live according to our sinful nature…but that’s easier said than done when our old self keeps tugging us back to what’s easy, and familiar. But that’s when we need to memorize I John 4:4 and recite it out loud…” the One who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.” The Holy Spirit indwelling within you is mightier than the devil…and more powerful than anything you are battling today. For it tells us to resist the devil and he must flee. So when your old and new self are clashing, look to the Lord for strength and victory.
This Scripture reminds me of the story of David and Goliath. Standing at over ten feet tall, this Philistine giant named Goliath, taunted the Israelite army and challenged anyone to man-to-man combat. It tells us for 40 days he would come forward every morning and evening and take his stand against King Saul and his frightened men. But it wasn’t until a young shepherd boy name David overheard Goliath defying the living God… that Goliath was silenced by a sling and a single stone.
So what exactly were the apostles doing that would land them in jail? It tells us that they were performing many miraculous signs and wonders…healing the sick and tormented…and that many were coming to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. They were doing good stuff, but they were also persecuted for it. Contention within the Body can degenerate into negative emotions that desire to make war against the good they see others doing…simply because it’s not them performing it. They feel threatened, so they attempt to discount and belittle rather than praising God for what He’s doing. Doing good regardless…it tells us in I Peter 3:17 that we may have to suffer in doing good…and that we shouldn’t become weary in doing it. (Galatians 6:9) I pray we all may have the boldness to continue doing good no matter the cost.
This story of Elisha is a foreshadowing of Jesus feeding the 5,000 – ( the only story, other than the Resurrection, that is found in all 4 Gospels). So it must have made quite an impact on the Disciples to witness a few loaves of bread and a couple of fish being multiplied into a huge meal for thousands. Comparing both stories, we see doubt and skepticism on the part of the faithful…people who had observed many miracles, but couldn’t fathom this one. We also see confidence and full trust in God that He would bless over and above. In both cases, there wasn’t just enough, there was plenty to go around…there wasn’t the bare minimum, there was excess to spare. For God is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask, (Ephesians 3:20) and He desires to lavish His blessings on us…to the point of overflowing.