Photo credit to Brittany Cunningham.
“For behold, He who forms the mountains and creates the wind, and declares to man what is His thought, who makes the morning darkness, and treads on the heights of the earth—the LORD, the God of hosts, is His name!” (Amos 4:13)
Maybe I should choose a bigger word to start with, but no, I’m starting with “for” or “kiy”. This little word indicates causal relations and You God, are having Amos relate the cause of all the things befalling Israel with the Causative Agent of everything—You. If I want to understand the truth about life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, then I need to understand this causal relationship. More than that, I need to understand the “CAUSE” of everything.
Sometimes, paying attention to the little things is seeing the most important thing. Elsewhere, You tell us not to despise the day of small things because You are doing something big in them, or maybe it’s more that You will be made bigger in our eyes by them. So here’s this other little word that we might have a tendency to glance past, but let’s not today. Let’s take time to stop and behold, “lo,” hinneh, to behold. God is revealing His causative nature and is giving us the opportunity to see. But this has nothing to do with glancing and moving on. This is exclamation city here! Everything is conditional upon us seeing what You intend us to see. Not only that, our outcome of spirit and life is absolutely dependent upon us seeing what is true in and of You.
David uses this word in Psalm 133:1. “Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity!” The truth is that unity will never come between brothers until unity is found with God the Creator first. See, behold is all about this causative relationship. The beholding, the seeing for real, precedes the unity. The beholding, the seeing You for real precedes the goodness and pleasantness and it’s where the goodness and pleasantness is found.
Now, here’s a thought. If one looks at the related word hinneni, which is like adding the pronoun “I” to “behold,” it becomes “Here am I” or “Behold, Me.” First, God stands before us to be “beholden” by us. He says, “Here am I,” “Behold, Me.” He invites us to look upon Him and to know Him for who He really is and who He has always been and who He will always be. “I AM, look and know Me.”
But remember, this is all about a causative relationship. What happens when one looks on You God, and sees You for who You really are? It changes their life. They see how much they need You. They see how lost they are without You. They see how warped their thinking is without You and they cry out to You, “Here am I!” I see that Your hand is over the good in life and over the tragedies. I see that everything is under Your control. I see Your sovereignty and Your love, Your patience and Your anger, and so much, much more. And when I take the time to actually see I come to the exclamation that finally I get it and I am ready to “do the will of the Lord.” Anything You ask, I’ll do it. Just let me be Your humble servant.
Let’s emotionally intensify this whole sentence. Fill it with excitement and fervor and desire and awe. A thousand times You bring out this intensity. Does it wake me up or do I just pass over it? The deep is calling out, am I listening? You want me to grasp something of great importance, am I stopping to get it?
You spoke through Habakkuk saying, “Behold, his soul is puffed up, it is not upright within him, but the righteous shall live by his faith.” It’s not just about looking and seeing with the eyes. It’s not just about getting something with Your head. T.O. Lambkin says it, “emphasized the immediacy, the here-and-now-ness, of the situation.” In the prophets, it’s not what the prophet is saying but what God is trying to get us to see. God is communicating Himself to us. He wants us to take this to heart, not just to head. God is telling us that He is the Cause and not us. God is inviting us to join Him in His glorious “Causing.” And His Cause is alway righteous because He is Righteousness. It’s like You’re saying over and over again, “Look at Me! See Me! Open your eyes to Truth! Stop looking at lies and living after them! Wake up! Who are you to puff yourself up? What mountains have you formed? Did you create the wind? Have you shared Your thoughts with all of mankind? Can you make the dawn come from night? Can you go to every high place on the earth?” I can’t. But You can, Lord.
Just like in Amos’ day, I can choose to see things my own way. I can even choose to see You whatever way I want to but that doesn’t make You that way. It just makes me wrong and lost and delusional. But BEHOLD! You have caused me to see, if only I will look at You! If I stop seeing through my eyes, my way, and look through my eyes directly at You, “Then shall my light break forth as the morning, and my health shall spring forth speedily: and my righteousness shall go before me; the glory of the Lord shall be my rereward. Then shall I call, and the Lord shall answer; I shall cry, and He shall say, ‘Here I am!” (slightly paraphrased Isaiah 58:8,9) “If you take away from the midst of you your faulty sight and replace it with Mine and your actions follow, You will know Me and experience Me! I will be Your God! And You will be My people! Here I AM!!!! Where are you?”
Here I am, Lord! Don’t just refine my vision. Open my eyes to see You as Your are and to be filled with Your living glory! You know that reminds me of this old hymn I learned once. Maybe Clara H. Scott was reading these words in the 1800’s when she penned this first stanza. What an appropriate prayer her song is. “Open my eyes, that I may see glimpses of truth thou hast for me; place in my hands the wonderful key that shall unclasp and set me free. Silently now I wait for thee, ready, my God, thy will to see. Open my eyes, illumine me, Spirit divine!” Now let’s highlight that with all the emotion of God! The God of hosts is Your name! Here You ARE! Imagine that! Here You ARE, the CAUSE of everything seeking me out that I might gain a relationship of truth and life with You and in You. Open our eyes to see this glorious, miraculous truth! Open my eyes, continually, and illumine me, Spirit divine!