On Monday of this week, I rose early while everyone else slept, opened my Bible to where I'd left off the day before and began to read. I was still thinking a lot about the fast we'd just been through.
I happened to be in the book of Exodus and, as I was reading, suddenly I saw a piece of glitter sitting on a verse I had just got to. It sparkled like a shard of light, glinting. It was next to the word 'Memorial'.
"Ooh... !" I thought, excited, and strained further to see whether it could be, could be, a speck of gold dust. Of course, the more realistic explanation is that it was a piece of glitter from a Christmas decoration, but we had just fasted.
Well, as soon as I noticed it, it instantly disappeared! I had not touched the page at all, blown on it, or done anything to make it move. Where did it go? It had been a definite chink of brightness, and now it was gone. I strained and looked some more, but nope it was gone.
I concluded then that I had seen it in the spirit. I had no problem believing that. And then I sat back and went 'WOW'. Wow. I stared into the distance for a minute, thinking Was that because we just fasted? Then I decided I need to go back to look properly at the verse in question: Exodus 30:16. Where in the verse was the sparkle located, and why did I see it there? In other words, what was God wanting to show me?
Ok, so let's look at this verse. I'm game! It sure is a tucked-away little part of scripture. In fact, if I hadn't seen the sparkle next to it I would have skimmed over this part of the Israelites' story.
The verse is part of a passage where the Israelites each give a sum of money to the Lord, while in the wilderness. It is a specified amount: half a shekel.
The purpose of the money was so that the people wouldn't be touched by a plague. That money would be an offering to the Lord. In other words, like our fast, their offering afforded them protection.
Well, that was the very topic I wrote about on Monday. So that was interesting. But verse 16, where I saw the sparkle, then built on that:
"And you shall take the atonement money of the children of Israel and shall appoint it for the service of the tabernacle of meeting, that it may be a memorial for the children of Israel before the Lord, to make atonement for yourselves." (Exodus 30:16, NKJV)
The sparkle was next to the word 'memorial', so this stood out to me.
What's more, I noticed that I had previously scribbled a note in the margin, about another place in scripture where a 'memorial' to the Lord is mentioned. That place was Acts 10:4, where we see a Roman Centurion, Cornelius, who has been faithful to God. An angel appears to him and says:
"Cornelius! ... Your prayers and your alms have come up for a memorial before God." (Acts 10:4, NKJV)
My friends, I believe that God is taking us on a little journey this week to say well done for this fast, and to show us what it's done.
On Monday we talked about how the fast afforded us protection. That was a beautiful thing to know, and though we may never see on earth what that means exactly for our lives, I believe it and receive that word.
And now today it seems God is saying that our corporate fast came up as a memorial before him. What is a memorial? My dictionary tells me that it's something that preserves the memory of anything, serves to keep in remembrance.
It is that God remembers what we've done and will remember this for the rest of our earthly lives. We remember it too. We have put ourselves into God's remembrance.
That is such a simple, but new thought for me in relation to these corporate fasts. It thrills me!
Well, SUMites, wasn't it good fasting together! Let's see if God has anything else to share with us by Friday... And I close with this scripture, which seems relevant:
Then those who feared the Lord spoke to one another, and the Lord listened and heard them; So a book of remembrance was written before Him (Malachi 3:16, NKJV)
Love you all,