Take It Away!

Have you ever reread a good book? Why? Was it because you wanted to relive the characters? thought you might have missed something the first time? hoped it would add value to your life?

Are you in the majority who has not returned to a good book? Was the feeling after once finishing it satisfying enough? With your praise you may have given the good book to someone else. Possibly, you put it on a bookshelf or in a box with your other good books, where they will age together and pass out of vogue. Someday another generation–uninterested–may pile them in a chancy stack destined for The Salvation Army. There they may or may not be revived.

There is one book, however, that by its very nature will never pass away. People have been drawn to it throughout the ages. They have read and reread its pages looking for real life answers. Something they can take away to make sense out of chaos. Often called the Good Book, the Holy Bible enriches the reader, for it is vibrant and personally piercing.

Within its timeless pages searching minds and hearts are forever uncovering new insights and hope. Was that true for you during the past nine posts while exploring God’s eight double knocks? Did you take away a new thought? a new concept? a new understanding? I did and have selected a takeaway from each double knock to share:

Abraham! Abraham!

God is never late.

Jacob, Jacob

God might lead us out of our comfort zone.

Moses! Moses!

God uses our past.

Samuel! Samuel!

God's purpose includes children.

Martha, Martha

Take time to reassess priorities.

Simon, Simon

Spiritual battles are taking place that humans are not privy to.

My God, My God

Even Jesus asked God, "Why?"

Saul, Saul

A person can change.

If you took away something else or want to expand on the ones above, please don’t hesitate to share in the comment area below.

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Who Heard God’s Fourth Double Knock?

The Bible records only eight times when God reiterates someone’s name. The first time was to Abraham. Skipping a generation, He spoke the next one to Abraham’s grandson, Jacob. More than four hundred years elapsed before God used the third double knock on Moses. The next one was not heard until another four centuries had passed.

Hannah tightened her arms around her little man and squeezed and kissed him again and again. Steeling herself to stop, she released her toddler to the arms of Eli and turned away. As Samuel’s screams ran after her, she quickened her steps and let her tears flow freely. Somehow she gathered up the courage not to look back.

The heart-wrenching agony was worse than that of a few short years ago when she begged God for her firstborn child. But she could not keep him. What she could and would keep was her part of the deal–the holy vow of her own making:

And she vowed a vow and said, “O LORD of hosts, if you will indeed look on the affliction of your servant and remember me and not forget your servant, but will give to your servant a son, then I will give him to the LORD all the days of his life, and no razor shall touch his head” (1 Samuel 1:11 ESV).

With her steps hastily distancing her from Samuel, Hannah grasped for any consoling thought to soothe her stomach-churning pain of separation. She imagined how happy she would be this time next year when she came to Shiloh for the annual sacrifice and saw her son. In the meantime she would not let a day go by without holding him up to God in prayer that he would grow in faith and courage.

And there was something else she could do! The minute she got home, she would start spinning wool to weave him a coat. Next year when she made her pilgrimage, she would take it to him. And every year thereafter Samuel would see his smiling mother greeting him with a new and larger coat.

He was such a good boy! Oh, he was bound to become a fine man. She would always be proud of him, a man of God’s choosing!

Well, if she couldn’t keep him with her, there wasn’t a better place for him to live than in the house of God under the tutelage of the nation’s judge and high priest. Thus Hannah assumed. But there must have come a time when she had second thoughts. For things were not as they ought to be in Eli’s household.

His sons–worthless, lawless priests–habitually, shamelessly desecrated the worship of God (1 Samuel 2:12-17) and the morality of God. Surely, the devout Hannah was among those who complained:

Now Eli was very old, and he kept hearing all that his sons were doing to all Israel, and how they lay with the women who were serving at the entrance to the tent of meeting. And he said to them, “Why do you do such things? For I hear of your evil dealings from all these people. No, my sons; it is no good report that I hear the people of the LORD spreading abroad (1 Samuel 2:22-24 ESV).

Eli gave his sons a slap on the wrist. Verbally criticized them but took no action to correct them. And that’s when God took the purehearted, twelve-year-old Samuel into His counsel, beginning with the fourth double knock:

And the LORD came and stood, calling as at other times, “Samuel! Samuel!” And Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant hears.” Then the LORD said to Samuel, “Behold, I am about to do a thing in Israel at which the two ears of everyone who hears it will tingle. On that day I will fulfill against Eli all that I have spoken concerning his house, from beginning to end. And I declare to him that I am about to punish his house forever, for the iniquity that he knew, because his sons were blaspheming God, and he did not restrain them (1 Samuel 3:10-14 ESV).

Samuel grew up to become judge and prophet for the entire Jewish nation.
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You’ll Find It Eight Times in the Bible

Eight times in the Bible God speaks the one-on-one double knock.

“Double knock” is how F. B. Meyer (1847-1929)–pastor and author–described God’s repeating a person’s name to get that one’s undivided attention. What God was about to say was important, and He wanted the person he had singled out to be aware of its heightened seriousness. When God doubled the person’s name, He was essentially saying, “Listen up.”

Double Knock #1

Then he reached out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. But the angel of the Lord called out to him from heaven, “Abraham! Abraham!” “Here I am,” he replied. “Do not lay a hand on the boy,” he said. “Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.” (Genesis 22:10-12 NIV)

Hold on! Abraham was about to kill his only son because God had told him to do it (Genesis 22:2). When he reached the point of no return, Abraham proved he would obey God no matter the cost–even if that meant his most precious earthly possession. But God did not require the sacrifice. What He wanted was Abraham’s willingness to be faithful and obedient to Him. God is number one.

Double Knock #2

And God spoke to Israel in visions of the night and said, “Jacob, Jacob.” And he said, “Here I am.” Then he said, “I am God, the God of your father. Do not be afraid to go down to Egypt, for there I will make you into a great nation. I myself will go down with you to Egypt, and I will also bring you up again, and Joseph’s hand shall close your eyes.” (Genesis 46:2-4 ESV)

Jacob was scared. He had started a life-changing journey. But wasn’t he too old to be moving to a new country? a new culture? a new language? Shouldn’t he go back and die in his homeland–the land promised to his grandfather Abraham? Jacob needed God’s confirmation he was following His will, and God gave it. God confirms His direction.

Double Knock #3

When the Lord saw that he had gone over to look, God called to him from within the bush, “Moses! Moses!” And Moses said, “Here I am.” (Exodus 3:4 NIV)

God was going to offer Moses an earth-shattering job, but first He had to get him ready to listen. God knows how to get our attention.

Double Knock #4

The Lord came and stood there, calling as at the other times, “Samuel! Samuel!” Then Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant is listening.”
(1 Samuel 3:10 NIV)

On the fourth occurrence Samuel did not again mistake the voice he heard as coming from Eli, the priest. The twelve-year-old listened intently as God apprised him of the judgment that would befall Eli’s household. Children are not exempt from knowing God’s business.

Double Knock #5

“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:41-42)

In loving-kindness Jesus corrects Martha. She was so busy doing for Jesus that she was missing out on the pleasure of His company. Enjoy Jesus!

Double Knock #6

“Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift all of you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.” (Luke 22:31-32 NIV)

As He had with Martha, Jesus sought to soothe a troubled heart. In Simon Peter’s case, however, his was yet to come. God is in our future.

Double Knock #7

From noon until three in the afternoon darkness came over all the land. About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”). (Matthew 27:45-46 NIV)

God the Son had carried out perfectly God the Father’s plan for His earthly life. Why the divine desertion? No one knows. But somehow during the three-hour darkness, the obedient Son felt utterly alone–totally abandoned by His Heavenly Father. We, too, may have periods of dark desperation when we cry, “Lord, I have done all you asked of me; why this?” Jesus’ sufferings pass all understanding.

Double Knock #8

As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?” (Acts 9:4 NIV)

Like Moses’ experience, a spectacular event captured Saul’s attention. This was Saul’s spotlighted moment of decision to resist or to yield to Jesus Christ. God lets us decide whether to get into business with Him or not.

Why the urgency of the double knock in the above lives? Visit here in the coming weeks to open those doors.

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