Tag Archives: Affinity

Chapter-a-Day Zechariah13

A crowd of people in the main square of Copenh...
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I’ll say, ‘That’s my people.’
   They’ll say, ‘God—my God!'” Zechariah 13:9b (MSG)

Walking through a crowd of people at a local event, I know a lot of people. Most of them are simply familir acquaintances. I smile. I wave. I greet the person by name and utter a non-chalant “How are you?” as both of us keep moving. They are a face in the crowd. A familiar face, perhaps, but still just a face with a name and little bit if of knowledge that makes the slight differentiation from a complete stranger.

Walking on through the crowd, I see someone I know. More than passing knowledge of their name and a few facts about them, I know this person intimately. We are good friends. I stop. He stops. We embrace warmly. My “How are you?” is now directed to the person with eye contact and intention. I want to know. I will stand and listen for the response. We have spent time together. We have shared the journey. The knowledge of one another is far more intimate. More than that, there is an affinity for one another. The crowd mills around in every direction, but attention is focused on this one person and this one conversation. When the conversation ends, I am quick to tell my fellow companions about the person to whom I was just having conversation. “That was my friend,” I’ll say as I describe him and our relationship. I want them to know my friend, as well.

I think about God’s Message to Zechariah and feel underneath the text His strong desire to be in relationship with us. Not just a casual, passing knowledge about one another but a deep relationship that comes from sharing time, conversation and experience. The kind of relationship that sources a desire to proclaim it, and share it with others. “That’s my people!” God says. “That’s my God,” I say to my companions.

I walk through the crowd. What about God? Is He a complete stranger. Would I know Him if I bumped into Him? Is he simply a familiar face for whom I have not problem smiling and waving with a passing nod. Or, is He someone I know and would gladly stop to talk and introduce to my companions?

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Chapter-a-Day Exodus 11

God saw to it that the Egyptians liked the people. Also, Moses was greatly admired by the Egyptians, a respected public figure among both Pharaoh's servants and the people at large. Exodus 11:3 (MSG)

I have long been intrigued by the idea of God's "favor." Growing up, I noticed that there were many capable children in my class, but every once in a while there was one or two who seemed to have "favor" with the teachers, adults, and their peers. It wasn't that they were rich kids. It wasn't that they came from powerful families. It wasn't that they were particularly smarter or more gifted than other kids. They weren't even brown nosers. Nevertheless, you could see that they had a certain affinity with those around them.

As I read through God's message, I see a tiny thread woven through the fabric of the story. There is a string of God's favor that is given to certain individuals at certain times that God's purpose can be accomplished. Abraham had it with his neighbors. Jacob did, as well. Moses had it with the Egyptians. David had it with the people, as did many of the leaders in the book of Judges. I don't believe favor can be acheived by effort, nor can it be attained through some recipe of our own desire and good works. There is something much deeper and more spiritual involved.

Like Jabez, however, I believe we can seek God that He might grant us His favor at the right time and place to accomplish His purpose in us.