Wednesday, June 13, 2012


You know, it's one thing to take a verse out of context.

It's a whole other thing to completely misread it.

I had this happen the other day.  This year I'm reading through the Bible using The Chronological Bible.  It's been very interesting reading Scripture in *real-time*.  And one of the things I do is keep a quiet-time journal.  In this journal, I write a verse or two that really struck me that particular day.

So, on Monday, I found myself in the book of 1 Kingsreading the very exciting story of Elijah facing off against the priests of Baal.  And the verse that stood out to me was 1 Kings 18:21.

But when I copied this verse into my journal, I miswrote one of the words. This is how I wrote it (from the NLT translation):

"How much longer will you waver, hovering between two opinions?  If the LORD is God, follow him!"

But then I looked again and realized I had made a mistake.  It does NOT say *hovering* between two opinions – it says *hobbling*.

(Interesting sidenote:  The ESV says "limping" – the KJV says "halt" – the NASB says "hesitate")

Upon my first reading of this verse, I had in my mind a picture of myself hovering.  Kinda circling around two opinions.  Yes, I believe that the LORD is God, but I sorta hover over still trying to control my own life.  

When I saw that the word was actually *hobbling* – it kinda stopped me.

Let’s go to the dictionary first:

HOVER - To remain suspended over a place or object; to move to and fro near a place; to fluctuate around a given point 

HOBBLE - To walk or move along haltingly or with difficulty

You see, hobbling is something that is done to a horse or a person for a very specific reason:

A hobble is a device that prevents or limits the locomotion of a human or an animal, by tethering one or more legs. 

You see, when I read what I thought I read, I had this idea that it was just harmless hovering that Elijah was talking about.  Sorta innocent waffling, being a little wishy-washy, just kinda hanging around, a little unsure about trusting.

I thought I was just a hummingbird hovering around two opinions.

But no!

I am a completely grounded dodo bird, crippled and tethered to my unbelief.

Wavering between trusting God and having complete allegiance to Him – or not – is not without consequence.

I will be impeded, thwarted, stymied in my walk with the Lord if I don't stop WAVERING!!

My walk of faith will become a measly shriveled crippled thing.

This is how that Scripture truly reads (and I happen to believe that Elijah shouted this to all the people present on that mountaintop):

"How much longer will you waver, HOBBLING between two opinions?  If the LORD is God, follow him!"

I read in this verse a conviction, a command, and a courageous stand. YES, I choose God – and that means I choose to follow Him, NO MATTER WHAT!

Joshua said it this way:

"But if you refuse to serve the LORD, then choose today whom you will serve…But as for me and my family, we will serve the LORD." (Joshua 24:15)

There's something else that happened on this day in Elijah's life.  It's the rest of that verse – it's the reaction of the people:

"But the people were completely silent."

How pathetic.  How sad.  What a terrible loss…

So, today I am putting myself up on that mountain with ol' Elijah.  And when he shouts out his words, and the crowd stands silent, I am standing up on singularly un-hobbled legs and shouting back to him…(please picture me with an upraised fist):

"Count me in, Elijah!  Today I choose God, and I will follow and serve Him with my whole heart!"

Lord, rain down on me fire from heaven – 

Let me run like a spiritual thoroughbred!!

What are the things that hobble you in your walk of faith?

Linked today with Joan at the GRACE CAFE

BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"


  1. This is hand's down my favorite post I've read in a while. I love it when one single word teaches the entire lesson. Really and truly, that is my favorite thing about Bible study.

  2. Amen! Raising my fist with you and declaring there's no go like Jehovah!

    I get hobbled when my eyes are focused on my situation, instead of my Saviour....

  3. I should really start proof reading BEFORE I click publish...

    There's no god like Jehovah!

  4. Amazing the difference one word can make. I often find myself transfixed on a particular word when I read scripture.

  5. I'm BACK! Sharon, I've missed you - at least rattling off comments to you - but have been so blessed to see you checking in with my sparse posts over the last few weeks. Too much busy and mental exhaustion. However, as I'm catching up with your life now that you are totally in the throes of your move - NOT nearly so drained as you are. Being a veteran of 18 moves in 20 years in my former military wife life, I can totally identify with your "hobbling" about. Some moves were tougher than others. Some were very welcome - others were not. Making these moves in my younger days - even with small children in tow - seemed so much easier than wrapping my mind around what you are doing now - after 28 years! My sympathies go with you on your difficult days - and I rejoice with you in the new vistas of service God is calling you to. How hard to walk through the change, though. I have to say, reviewing all your most recent posts, the bit about your boy's footprints from ages 6 and 7 - tucked away like a time capsule with no way to take that with you - WOW - that cut me!! I would melt into tears, too. BUT - GOD. And, the things of the earth - even footprints - grow strangely dim. We had to say goodbye to decades of memories over the past five years after grandma passed at 101 years old. Getting rid of the family home since 1937 with so many memories - some of the things we had to watch be loaded into someone else's car, truck, or worse - garbage truck bound for the dump - OH! May we never hold so tightly to the things of the earth that we become roadblocks to God's grander purposes. May you know His peace through the coming days AND His strength! We've done the DIY moves a couple times - YECH!

    With you in spirit, my friend. Wish you'd post photos sometime. Ed and I would LOVE a log cabin in the mountains - however - NOT the process of moving into one . . .

    Be ye blessed!

  6. i love this post! i did the same thing one time with the scripture that says, "It is God who arms me with strength" - I glanced at my note card real fast and read "It is God who amazes me" - I kinda liked that version as well. :)

  7. Me, too! I choose God, end of story. If I didn't know better, I would think you eavesdropped on my phone conversation to my brother last night. Reading through Ezekiel, he exclaimed "Didn't Isreal get it? How many times does God have to same the same thing to them?" Just like us!

  8. Wow! Big difference between the two words. And I can picture you standing on the mountain, calling out the troops and saying, "Let's get with it. Let us break these chains of doubt and serve the Lord!"

    Great post!!!


"So [I] have been greatly encouraged in the midst of [my] troubles and suffering, dear brothers and sisters, because you have remained strong in your faith. It gives [me] new life to know that you are standing firm in the Lord. How [I] thank God for you!" (1 Thessalonians 3:7-9)

Thanks for your comments - it is such a joy to be sharing my journey with friends like YOU!

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