Apopka, Florida – 2013
We have been singing about one little hour, and I’ve been thinking about an expression they have about something being a golden hour. Have you ever heard of that? They call it the golden hour and that’s following the minutes, or hours following a traumatic injury, and casualty and the prompt medical care that is given at that time prevents death if it can take place. Well, I’ve been thinking of that in a Spiritual way. Sometimes there are things that happen and maybe it might not seem like much, it could seem like a little splinter, but unless prompt care is given, even spiritually there could be casualties, and there could be death. We’d like to prevent Spiritual death if we can. They say if help is given within the first hour there is only a 10 fatality rate, in the second hour it’s 11, in the third hour it’s 12, the fourth hour is 33, the fifth hour is 36, the sixth hour is 44. If you want to go to 8 or 10, it’s 75 fatality rate. So the sooner something is cared, for the better it will be for us.
I’ve been trying to think of some examples spiritually. First of all, I thought about Mary and Martha. Sometimes, family things can run deep. But I thought of Mary and Martha – they were both sitting at Jesus feet and they were both hearing the words, but since Martha was cumbered about with much serving, and all went well and nothing was said by Jesus until Martha said, “Lord, dost thou not care?” Don’t you care? I don’t know if you have ever had that thought creep in because of surrounding circumstances, you wonder if God is there and if He cares. But Jesus … I believe that this is followed by a golden hour, golden minutes, because Jesus said, “She has chosen the big part and it won’t be taken from her.” So that was quick spiritual attention given. Because that thought, given enough time enough feeding, could mean spiritual death.
I thought of that woman in Luke 8. We heard about the women in Luke 13, but Luke 8 it tells about the woman that wasn’t well for 12 years and spent all of her living with physicians. She knew the burden of pain and suffering and health issues. She felt within herself, “If I could just touch the hem of His garment, then I’ll get help.” We know that she did. Even though there was the whole multitude, Jesus stopped everyone and said, “I perceive that virtue or help or strength has gone out from Me.” Now that woman, her situation would never have been completed, we know that she could have gotten physical help that day, but she would never have heard those words, “Daughter be of good comfort; thy faith hath made thee whole. Go in peace.” She would have perpetually gone on thinking, “Well I’m not as good as others. I had to slither in to get help from Jesus, and it’s not fair any other way.” But no, her breath meant as much as anyone else’s there that day. That God granted her to breathe in breath as well as anyone else and it was her right to get help because of her spirit. I’m grateful for those golden moments that she could have and carry in her heart, “Daughter be of good comfort; you’re whole,” but it never would have ended like that and it would have been problematic.
I thought also of that mountain of transfiguration in Luke 9:30-33 when Peter, James, and John went up there on that mountain that day. Peter in his zeal said, “Let us make a tabernacle for Elijah and Moses.” That was good in one sense, but then Jesus knew that it would come to no good in the end. “Even Moses,” Jesus said, “Moses spoke of Me,” and even though there are others that kept true to the end that we respect and we remember, yet unless we hear Him for ourselves, it was a golden moment, “This is my beloved Son; I want you to hear Him.” No matter what we are surrounded by, unless we hear Him and keep close to Him, and be rooted in Him, there can be casualty.
I thought about Peter in Luke 22:31-33 when he didn’t know the power of his flesh and the weakness of it. Peter, in his zeal, said, “Lord, I’ll face death, I will go to prison for Thee.” We know that he failed. I’m sure all of us know and have had the shock at the weakness of our own flesh when it hits us, but yet, think of the golden moments when he could remember when Jesus said to him, “I have prayed for Thee that Thy faith fail not, and when Thou art converted, strengthen your brethren.” So that made a healthy situation even though there was some injury in him in his failure, and the attention was given spiritually.
I thought about Elijah, I Kings 19:18, when he was depressed, and he felt within himself that he just wanted his own life to be gone but the message was given to him, “You’re not alone. There’s seven thousand others that haven’t bowed their knee to Baal.” Sometimes in our temptations and in our experiences, we get to feel like we are soloists and no one has ever had some of our thoughts or some of our feelings, or our situation. Yet it was a golden hour or a golden thought for him to be given that message that there are others that have kept true no matter what. I think of immediately following that, that mantle was placed on Elisha, and what encouragement that would have been for him.
I was also thinking about David and Bathsheba. I like that illustration that was given to David in II Samuel 12 where the message was given to him, an illustration about a little lamb. There was a rich man and a poor man and the poor man had one little lamb in his household. He nurtured it with his family, it was with him, and it ate with him, lived with him; it was the only thing that they had. Yet that rich man had lots of lambs and sheep. Yet the rich man offered the man’s lamb; the man that just had one little lamb, he gave his. And when that illustration was told to David through Nathan from God, David said readily, “That man’s worthy to die.” He calculated it in his judgement and then Nathan said, “Thou art the man, it was you.” The strength that was in him, the hardness that was in him, it was evident that it was broken and he became soft. That was a golden moment, a golden hour.
I will mention just one more, and we have been studying in Exodus 32 where Moses spent 40 days and 40 nights up on that mount. He said the people were straying and that they had corrupted themselves and Moses interceded. But then I thought about Moses later, when he came down the mountain and when the impact hit him of what God saw long before him, and he threw down those tables of stone and he broke them. I can just remember for myself that God is awake, He is aware, He sees everything and I want that to be my golden thought, golden hour in these days.
In 1967, our doorbell rang and the message was given of the death in the war of Vietnam of my brother-in-law. It was in Operation Korea and the higher navy headquarters had given the order to remove all the river monitors. Those that were on the scene didn’t want that to happen, and yet it did, and there were casualties. I’m grateful that God on every level oversees all of us and we honour Him and we know that He is in control and will give us the golden moments and golden hour that we need.