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Immerse: Chronicles Week 3

Foreshadowing

Anyone that knows me, knows I love reading, which is why it should come as no surprise one of my favorite classes in school was English. I loved analyzing the literature and learning about different ways the author would communicate with the reader.  One day we were reading short stories and discussing examples of foreshadowing. Wikipedia defines it as, “…a literary device in which a writer gives an advance hint of what is to come later in the story.” My teacher’s description was a little more vivid. He used the literary dramatic principle known as of Chekhov’s gun, which states, if there’s a gun on the table in the beginning of a story, then it will most assuredly be used later on. Otherwise, what is the point of it being there?  Sometimes these bits of foreshadowing are quite obvious, but other times they get overlooked and it isn’t until later we realize their importance. It’s one of the reasons for the old saying “hindsight is 20/20.”

                In Immerse: Chronicles, day 13 (page 57), King Solomon is standing in front of the people of Israel. He then begins an earnest prayer over the Israelites and their future. It starts like many prayers, in that he gives God glory and gratitude. But then he says, “If your people Israel are defeated by their enemies because they have sinned against you, and if they turn back and acknowledge your name and pray to you here in this Temple, then hear from heaven and forgive the sin of your people Israel and return them to this land you gave to them and to their ancestors.” That is a very specific situation, which you might recognize as the basic plot of the entirety of the book of Judges. Solomon doesn’t just stop there. He then prays a few more “if, then” prayers about drought, famine, plagues, wars, and even sinning. All of these events eventually did happen. I don’t know what the Israelites thought about Solomon’s prayer, but I could make a guess based on how the rest of the Old Testament unfolds. They were probably thinking the things Solomon mentioned couldn’t possibly apply to them. They were living in an extremely prosperous time after all. But the wisdom with which God gifted Solomon led him to this prayer of intercession he knew would be needed for the Israelites in the coming years, which also served as a warning/prophesy of the things to come.

                Just like the Israelites, we often overlook or ignore those “gun on a table” moments we experience as we go about our lives. It could be ignoring a call to serve because we talk ourselves out of it, or thoughts of “that other guy’s problems, not mine” when we listen to a particularly convicting sermon (because it couldn’t possibly be us who needs to hear it!). Maybe God keeps throwing someone in front of you because He wants you to share the gospel with them, but you dismiss it as a strange coincidence. Whatever the case may be, God is more than willing to share with us the wisdom He bestowed upon Solomon. We just have to be willing to recognize it when it’s given to us.