Sometimes as I teach classes at the Georgia school of Preaching, I have found myself develop a “tic” in that, when I pause, I will often say, “consider this,” or “think about this.” It is a habit speakers sometimes fall into to fill the silence – something to say because speakers don’t want to have pauses or silence in their speeches (even though there may be such in their minds).
So, as I “considered” writing this article, I wanted to “think about” the idea of “consider.”
The dictionary defines the word consider as “to think carefully about, typically before making a decision, to think about and be drawn toward, or to regard something as having a specified quality.” Synonyms are “deem, think, believe, judge, adjudge.”
Now consider some passages of Scripture that enjoin us to consider some things.
When the children of Israel asked for a king (1 Samuel 8) it grieved Samuel, and the Lord acquiesced in their demand for a king. In 1 Samuel 12 Samuel talked to the children of Israel about what having a king would entail, and to reinforce this, God “verified his message” by sending thunder and rain that day! The people asked that Samuel pray for them because they knew that they added to their sins by asking for a king. Samuel then states that they should not fear, but they need to serve the Lord with all their heart. God will not forsake his people. And Samuel stated that it would be sin for him NOT to pray for them. Then he states in 1 Samuel 12:24, “Only fear the Lord, and serve Him in truth with all your heart; for consider what great things He has done for you. But if you still do wickedly, you shall be swept away, both you and your king.” Consider what great things the Lord has done for us!!
In Ezekiel 12:3 God tells Ezekiel that he dwelled among a rebellious people and in a rebellious house. They saw but did not see, that heard but did not hear. So, he tells Ezekiel to prepare an object lesson of packing a bag and carrying it around, as if he were going into captivity. “It may be that they will consider, though they are a rebellious house.”
Twice, in Haggai 1:5 and 1:7, God encourages the people to “consider (continued on pg. 3) your ways.” They had come back to build the Temple that had been destroyed in 586 BC by the Babylonian armies by Nebuchadnezzar. They had let the work linger for 16 years, and Haggai preached to them about the fact that they need to put God and his house first (see Matthew 6:33. That lesson comes home to us today as well!
Jesus, in Matthew 6:28, said to his disciples that they should “consider the lilies of the field, they toil not, neither do they reap, but your Heavenly Father takes care of them.” Should Christians worry (see also Luke 12:27)?
The Hebrew writer continually encouraged the Christians to whom he was writing that they needed to consider, or think about Jesus as the great example, and one another. In Hebrews 3:1 the writer states, “Consider the Apostle and High Priest of our confession, Christ Jesus, who was faithful to him who appointed him, as Moses was faithful in all his house.” Jesus’ faithfulness to God is the encouragement for us to be faithful to God in like manner. In Hebrews 12:3 he encouraged the Hebrews to “consider him who endured such hostility from sinners against himself, lest you become weary and faint in your souls.” Jesus’ faithfulness to God and his will is the encouragement WE need to be faithful to God as well.
In Hebrews 10:24, we are to “consider one another to provoke unto love and good works.” Beloved, we are to think of and help one another in the church. We need to encourage one another to greater love and faithfulness. WE NEED EACH OTHER!
So, when I say “consider,” please think about what is being said, and please bear with me. I do believe we need to think more about our relationship with the Lord and with one another. “MEDITATE on these things,” (Philippians 4:8).