Summary: BEING PART OF THE WIDEST NETWORK IN THE CREATION
Is your face there in God’s Facebook
Linked in…Tweeter…Facebook…Orkut… now these are the names of social networking portals which figure high in the lingo of the modern day iPod generation youth. Is not social networking the order of the day? Very much! So much so, as per the recent media reports the US-based Facebook with a view to tap a greater share of the market is contemplating commencing its operations right from India with the city of Hyderabad being its base, initially. While business contacts amongst flabby corporate czars may still be established in golf courses, for the younger generation their way of establishing contacts (for whatever reason including furthering business interests) seems to begin and end with the cyber world.
While on the subject of social networking-advising discretion in making friends and at the same time advocating usage of opportunities in sharing the Gospel-I would like to focus (in this Sermon) upon the WAY to establishing the widest network in this World. Has it ever occurred to you that if you are “linked-in” with the Creator, you are creating endless possibilities for yourself? The Bible has enough examples to authenticate the fact that the good Lord has networks in places deemed impossible for man to establish a network therein. Acknowledging that this physical world can be divided into three realms…the sea, the sky and the sod (land) let us look at some Biblical examples of stunning networks at work in each of these realms.
A disobedient prophet has been cast into a raging sea. His swimming skills cannot help him at a time, he is being tossed about like a leaf in the wind, and even if the waves calm down, being miles away from the seashore, he cannot hope to make it all the way to the land by swimming alone. What does he do? He cries out in desperation to the good Lord and lo and behold at the Lord’s command, a whale emerges from the deep and swallows the drowning prophet saving him from death. Welcome to the Jonah story…welcome once again to that incredible story of an incredible God at work…even using a whale in His scheme of things. It doesn’t stop there. The great fish resisting all the temptation to “digest” the prophet, gives him a free “submarine” ride all the way to the shore (Jonah 1,2, 3:1-3). Were Jonah and the great whale by any chance friends before, courtesy any social networking portal? You see, if you are networked with the good Lord, you would have a network working for you even in the depths of a deep blue sea!
A Prophet had announced a curse of famine upon an idolatrous land and had gone hiding. Hunger stalked the land but this Prophet lodging beside a cool brook was not going to be deprived. Ravens (hey, ravens are very greedy birds by nature so much so, they do not even share food with their own kind) now supernaturally transformed, brought the daily rations to the Prophet on dot. Boy, were they not carrying meat and bread in their beak, not far from their salivating taste buds? These birds under Heavenly orders were not going to be tempted while being in the midst of their Divine mission. Though starvation gripped the land, Prophet Elijah thanks to his network with the feathery friends of the sky never experienced any hunger pangs till the good Lord established yet another “network” for him (I Kings 17:1-9). An unknown “foreign” widow would now provide for him!
We have heard of a saying that every cat is a tiger in its own alley, meaning it derives extra strength cum courage from its familiar domain. But ever heard of “big cats” becoming as harmless as domestic cats “in their own alley” (read den)? Welcome to the Daniel in Lion’s den account once again. There they were…ferocious hungry lions but sitting as tame cats beside Daniel in their den (Daniel 6:1-21) one evening, when this innocent Prophet was thrown in amongst them. Now who forged “friendship” between these two unlikely co-habitants of the den? No prizes for guessing! Oh yes, then what about those who conspired against Daniel and intended that he become the “dinner” (he was thrown amongst the lions in the evening time), well… they unwittingly became “the breakfast” for these starving carnivores the next morning (Daniel 6:24)! Reason? They had dared to mess-up with a guy who was a part of the Divine network!
So far the examples were revolving around the animal world right? Now let me introduce to you an unlikely ophthalmologist treating a blind (blinded by an oh –so-bright vision) persecutor turned apostle. Now “Doctor” Ananias (a devout Christian residing in Damascus) and blind Saul -before his baptism-did not know each other but the good Lord established the requisite network which resulted in miraculous restoration of eyesight of the latter (Acts 9:1-21).