What do you crave, really?
In Psalm 42, the author writes that as a deer craves or longs for water, so his soul craves after God, even though the situation at the moment may be dire.
What does it mean to “crave after God?” Interestingly, God gives us the answer in His word. Deuteronomy 6:4-9 is a key, fundamental passage in Judaism, and Yeshua (Jesus) quoted from it when asked “what is the greatest commandment?” Yeshua quoted the part that says, “Hear O Israel, The LORD our God, the LORD is one. You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, soul and strength.” Any Jew, then or now, would recognize that verse as part of the entire passage that goes on to clarify what it means to “crave” after God. The rest of the passage is this:
“And these words which I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the door posts of your house and on your gates.” (ESV)
Craving God would have us teaching our children (not just taking them to Sunday school), and talking of His ways and laws all the time, and writing reminders of His law (and grace) on our houses.
And yet when we gather or take a trip with our families or friends, what is our conversation mostly about? Rarely do I find people who live these words. Not even in the churches do I find a craving for God. People would rather discuss anything but His word. Try it. At a ‘Christian’ gathering, try to start a discussion about the Bible or even a recent sermon. You may be surprised at the result.
As one of many examples, the topic of having the 10 commandments displayed in public or in schools has been in the news off and on for years. When it does hit the news, I often hear of Christians objecting to the removal of the display. And yet, how many of those objecting have the “10 commandments” displayed in their own houses? In their churches? Unfortunately, very few. We simply do not crave God.
Many crave what is seen as “outpourings of God’s spirit” as a substitute for actually craving God himself. I refer you to Yeshua’s (Jesus’) words in Matt. 7:21-23 (see this blog post on Matt. 7:21-23, as well as the comments to it).
Many ‘modern’ Christians would call this fanaticism, yet God often calls to us in His word to remember what He has done and said. If that is fanaticism, then this world needs more of it!