“If an Ephraimite fugitive said, "Let me cross," the men of Gilead would ask, "Are you an Ephraimite?" and he would say, "No." And they would say, "Say, 'Shibboleth.'" But he would always say, "Sibboleth"—he couldn't say it right. Then they would grab him and kill him there at the fords of the Jordan.” Judges 12: 5-6 (MSG)
Let’s take a break from the topic of weight loss.
I came across the above verse in my reading the other day and it has been rolling around in my mind since then. As we read in this particular record of Israel’s history, Israel has spread far and wide in the Promised Land.
Because of the distance separating this huge family from one another, new dialects have emerged in what was once their common language.
Now they do not even recognize each other as family members and they are battling each other! How sad that after all the tribe had been through, in just a few short generations, they seem to have lost track of each other.
But think about it. There is a grave lesson in this story that emphasizes the need to gather with our “tribe” (read ‘peeps’).
You see, there is a unique vernacular, nuances in conversation, that becomes established between two people who spend much time together, a kind of verbal shorthand that both people understand without even trying.
And when people are not able to spend that kind of time, they will lose the ease of their conversation. How many of us have experienced this with our families, best friends, or even our spouse?
I’ve realized that the same could be said about our relationship with Jesus. Without the daily, hopefully day-long conversation called prayer, we will quickly lose our ease with Him and a language barrier may intrude on what should be our most intimate relationship.
I know that without that daily quiet time in the Word, in prayer and in silence waiting to hear from Jesus, I would soon not speak the same dialect, and quite possibly lose out on the sweet communion that is mine when I sit with Him, share my heart, and wait to hear His still small voice. Let’s not risk losing track of Jesus, the dearest Friend we will ever have!