Sep 15, 2019
162 The Lion of Judah A Guided Christian Meditation on Genesis 49:8-10
I'm Chaplain Jared and I work as a hospice chaplain and an ICU chaplain, my purpose in making this podcast is to help you find more peace in your life and to be more open for your heart to be changed by the Spirit of God. By using centuries old form of Christian Meditation named Lectio Divina:
Outline: Relaxation, Reading, Meditation, Prayer, Contemplation and Visualization.
Get into a place where you can sit comfortably and uninterrupted for about 20 minutes.You should hopefully not be driving or anything tensing or unrelaxing. If you feel comfortable to do so, I invite you to close your eyes.
Guided Relaxation / Guided Meditation:
Breathe and direct your thoughts to contacting God. Let your stomach be a balloon inflate, deflate.
Bible verses for Meditation:
8 Judah, your brothers will praise you;
your hand will be on the neck of your enemies;
your father's sons will bow down to you.
9 You are a lion's cub, Judah;
you return from the prey, my son.
Like a lion he crouches and lies down,
like a lioness’ who dares to rouse him?
10 The scepter will not depart from Judah,
nor the ruler's staff from between his feet,
until he to whom it belongs[d] shall come
and the obedience of the nations shall be his.
8 "Judah, your brothers shall praise you;
your hand shall be on the neck of your enemies;
your father's sons shall bow down before you.
9 Judah is a lion's cub;
from the prey, my son, you have gone up.
He stooped down; he crouched as a lion
and as a lioness; who dares rouse him?
10 The scepter shall not depart from Judah,
nor the ruler's staff from between his feet,
until tribute comes to him;
and to him shall be the obedience of the peoples.
Meditation on Scripture:
How do you respond to challenges? When you feel failure staring in you in the face what do you do? As you think about the things you have to do or the things you fear many times we want to burry our head in the sand until God fixes it. Or even better we want to sit in blissful silence until then. The challenge of this mindset is that it is not the only manifestation of God. In this scripture Jehovah is referred to as a lion. He is known as the lion of Judah. Many other scriptures show God as a mighty warrior who will destroy our enemies and be our literal savior. Jesus rebuked the evil spirits that he encountered. There was incredibly violence and force in the creation of the earth. God's work is not devoid of ferocity.
I propose there is a different option to trying to relax away our stress and fear. We can embrace the strength of the Lion of Judah. In your heart at this very moment God resides. The same God who is referred to as a lion is in your heart. Yet he is not advocating for us to do violence to each other but to overcome fear.
In May I had reached the end of an 8 year journey where I was actively working to become a US military chaplain. I had poured myself into this goal. I had dedicated thousands of hours in training and preparation and it all came down to a face to face interview with a room full of senior officers and chaplains. I flew to Washington DC and was sitting inside the pentagon which was just as intimidating as its sounds. As I sat in the hallway I realized that I could not force myself to be calm in that moment. So I decided to retell myself the story that I was not fearful but excited. In this moment my relationship to the anticipation changed. I was not calm but I was also not afraid. I felt the twinge of anticipatory excitement and that made a huge difference for me and I felt completely different about it.
The next time you feel fear, recognize that the God of heaven is not afraid to stand mightily in your heart. Part of our walk with God is learning how to live with the Lion. When God comes again the greatest joy is how we will experience the Lamb of God laying down with the Lion of Judah and we will realize that there is no contradiction in this.
Meditation of Prayer:
Pray as directed by the Spirit.
Dedicate these moments to the patient waiting, when you feel ready ask God for understanding you desire from Him.
Meditation of God and His Glory / Hesychasm:
I invite you to sit in silence feeling being patient for your own faults and trials.
Summarize what insights you have gained during this meditation and meditate and visualize positive change in your life:
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In what way are you a warrior of God.
Final Thought: You are a warrior of God. Not against other people on earth, but against the worst part of yourself, against your fear, against sin, against those things that would cause you to violate the two most important commandments of loving God and loving our neighbor. Take strength in knowing that the same God who created the universe in an explosive miracle can lead you to overcome fear. Jesus said that if we have faith then we can move mountains. However, when mountains move they don’t gently slide. The power of God in your heart can overcome any darkness and uncertainty and you can rest in the knowledge that we will win. We, united with the Lion will overcome.
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