Join Adele-Alys as she investigates the phrase, “here I am,” for this week’s edition of Word Nerd Wednesday. How will you answer God’s call?
Here I Am
by Adele Alys Spil
My GPS and I are at odds with each other. Being a goal-oriented girl, once I fix on a destination, I focus all my efforts on getting there as quickly as possible. Yet–no matter the place I choose as my endpoint–I am met with silence unless I share the coordinates of my current location first. It’s so annoying, especially because, by definition, my GPS knows my location all along.
I am reminded of the story in Genesis 3:8-9 when God “went walking in the garden in the cool of day.” “Where are you,” God asked Adam and Eve. Of course, He knew. What He was really asking was where were their hearts and minds in relation to Him.
What they should have done was own up to what they did wrong. How they could have answered was “Here I am” to try to make it right. Instead they “hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God. “
Do you think it would have changed things if they had said Here I Am instead? I do.
Our God is the God of second chances and throughout the Old Testament, He continued to call His people (often by name ) and to engage them verbally in such a way that the only appropriate response is “Here I Am”.
That phrase (Here I Am/Hineni) is used 178 times in the Old Testament alone. And it always carries with it the sense that one is spiritually ready to accept God’s will and to make the sacrifices necessary to follow it.
God Called Leaders
1) God called to leaders like Moses, who accepted the mission ( after some convincing)
And Moses said, “I will turn aside to see this great sight, why the bush is not burned.” When the Lord saw that he turned aside to see, God called to him out of the bush, “Moses, Moses!” And he said, “Here I am.Exodus 3:3-4
God Called Priests
2) God called to priests like Samuel, who answered immediately but mistook God’s voice for his mentor Eli’s:
The lamp of God had not yet gone out, and Samuel was lying down in the temple of the Lord, where the ark of God was. Then the Lord called Samuel, and he said, “Here I am!” and ran to Eli and said, “Here I am, for you called me.1 Samuel 3:3-5
God Called Prophets
3) God called to prophets like Isaiah, who confessed to unworthiness but asked to be made clean and then took up the call :
Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a burning coal that he had taken with tongs from the altar. And he touched my mouth and said: “Behold, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away, and your sin atoned for. “
And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Then I said, “Here I am! Send me.”Isaiah 6:6-8
God Called Patriarchs
4) But first and foremost, God and His angels called to the Patriarchs:
A) To Jacob
Then the angel of God said to me in the dream, ‘Jacob,’ and I said, ‘Here I am.’Genesis 31:11
And God spoke to Israel in visions of the night and said, “Jacob, Jacob.” And he said, “Here I am.”Genesis 46:2
B) And to Abraham
[ The Sacrifice of Isaac ] After these things God tested Abraham and said to him, “Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.”Genesis 22:1
But the angel of the Lord called to him from heaven and said, “Abraham, Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.”Genesis 22:11
How Will You Answer?
5,780 years later, God is still speaking and still calling us His children to faith in Him, to covenant with His Son Jesus, and to community with each other. He also calls us by name to further his kingdom in a specific way. For some, it might be to a task for a season, and for others, it might be to a vocation for a lifetime. If it hasn’t happened yet it will.
And when it does will you pretend not to hear, hide yourself among the trees that tempted you to follow your own way, or have the courage to step forward and say, “Hineni, Here I am Lord, ready to do your will. “Where is your heart in relation to God? #hereiam #sendme Click To Tweet
Both these songs are titled “Here I Am” and portray a Hineni moment.
Which resonates the most with you? Why?
For more about the kind of hearing that leads us to answer God’s call, check out this post: Have You Heard God Calling Your Name?
The daughter of a Lutheran minister and a Catholic college professor, Adele-Alys faith life has always been a patchwork. Married to a Jewish man for 38 years, she delved deeply into his faith. It sharpened my picture of Jesus and popped my spiritual ears in ways I could not imagine.”
You can connect Adele-Alys via Twitter (@morgantonrose), Pinterest, and her blog (adelealysblog.wordpress.com).