Often when I am studying our weekly Bible Lesson, especially when I am going to be teaching Sunday school, I like to go through and notice the questions. They make good conversation starters and a good jumping off point for further study and prayer.
This week's lesson on Substance contains several good questions. The Responsive Reading includes the story of Jesus feeding the multitudes. A large crowd of over 5,000 people had gathered to hear Jesus teach. He asked his disciple Philip 'where shall we buy bread that these may eat'? They were far from any markets. Jesus already knew what he was going to do but he was making this demonstration so that his students would see the unlimited supply provided by divine Love. Another disciple, Andrew, asks him a question in return. A lad had offered to share his five loaves and two fish but 'what are they among so many'?
Have you ever sat down to pay your monthly bills and there seemed to be a whole multitude accumulated? Maybe about $5,000 worth? I have. It can seem daunting, especially if you don't have that much money in your check book or savings account. You can pay some of them, perhaps five loaves and two fishes worth, but 'what is that among so many'? Faced with a tall pile of bills I just took the one off the top and gratefully wrote a check. I took a moment to thank God that I was able to pay that one and expressed gratitude for the paycheck I was currently getting and the job that I loved. There was about 'five loaves and two fishes' worth of money left so I wrote out a few more bills and mailed them off. But 'what was that among so many'? Before I left my desk I took each one of those unpaid bills and was truly grateful for what each represented. It was right for those obligations to be met, I wanted to meet them, especially the one that was from a practitioner. I prayed until I was confident that Love would answer the need, just as it did that day Jesus fed his multitude. Later that day an unexpected check arrived in the mail and I was able to send off a few more bills. By the end of the week, all of them had been paid from different sources. And I had some left over!
Another question I am pondering comes from section two where David and his men return to the city of Ziklag to find that his enemies have attacked and taken everyone captive, including two of David's wives. David was upset and his men were angry with him because their families and property had been taken. David found encouragement when he prayed. He asks God (here's the question), "Shall I pursue after this troop? shall I overtake them?'. This is a response to a problem that yields a healing solution. God assures him that he will overtake them and will recover all. And that is exactly what happens. Do we have that same type of response when faced with a sudden situation? Pray first, take it to God. Then follow His directing. You, too, can 'recover all'.
There are several more excellent questions in this Bible Lesson and all lead to a clearer understanding of true substance and a promise that ... the goodness of God endureth continually. Or as it asks in Isaiah 14:27...The Lord of Hosts hath purposed, and who shall disannul it? and His hand is stretched out, and who shall turn it back?