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Hearing and Deciding

Acts 13:1-25    Joshua 18-19    Job 29

“The Holy Spirit said, ‘Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them'” (Acts 13:2). In today’s readings, Barnabas and Saul are sent out, the tribes of Israel finish dividing the land (Joshua 18-19), and Job begins his final discourse (Job 29-31) by remembering better days (Job 29) . . . All of which leads me to reflect on the manner in which we go about hearing God and making decisions.

“While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting . . .” (Acts 13:2) is the way the hearing begins in Acts 13. And the tribal inheritances were handed out by lottery “at Shiloh before the Lord, at the entrance of the tent of meeting” (Joshua 19:51). “They.” God’s people gathered. Together before the Lord. And more: focused on the Lord. Worshiping. Fasting. Expecting. Listening . . . And together they heard, decided, and took action. “So they finished dividing the land” (Joshua 19:51) . . . “Then after fasting and praying they laid their hands on them and sent them off” (Acts 13:3).

“Job again took up his discourse” (Job 29:1) . . . Job 29 stands out in contrast to the day’s other texts. Different  focus. Different context. Different results. Plenty of talk; no hearing or deciding .  . . Which leads to this: What might you and I learn from today’s narratives? How do we go about seeking God’s direction and making decisions? Are the behaviors of gathering together, worshiping God, fasting, praying, and listening part of our decision-making process? Or are we more apt to go it alone? Do more speaking than listening? Simply announce decisions to God and others? I wonder . . . Perhaps today we might learn a better way of hearing and deciding? May it be so. Amen.

“So, being sent out by the Holy Spirit, they went . . .”
     — Acts 13:4


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