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Living In S-O-S (Jeremiah 33:3 Land)

In my distress, I called out to the Lord, and he heard me.
-1 Samuel 22:7, Psalm 4:1, 18:6, 55:17, 86:7, 120:1, and Jonah 2:2

I had a dream where a man said to me that his favorite place to live was in "S-O-S".  I thought that was a strange thing to say.  I was not sure what it meant.

Distress Signal

As you might know, S-O-S is the distress signal.  It means that help is needed immediately.  An S-O-S is sent out when there has been a serious accident or an attack.

Distress means:
Pressure, stress, constraint; also, great pain, anxiety, or sorrow; acute suffering; affliction; trouble; a state of extreme necessity... (The New Century Dictionary, 1948).
The Hebrew word for distress in the verses above, is tsarah, which the Strong's Hebrew Bible Dictionary says literally means "tightness" or "tight place", and it can also mean "afflicted" and the other words above, especially "distress", because it is often translated to that word.

Living in S-O-S

If "S-O-S" means distress signal or signaling distress, it was notable that the man (in my dream) said it is his favorite place to live.  It was like he was saying, in a matter-of-fact way, that he likes living where the S-O-S is sent out.  The peculiar thing was the "live" part.

I often think about how Jesus said that he came that we might have life, and have life to the fullest (John 10:10).  And Jesus himself is the life (the way, the truth and the life) (John 14:6).  He is the answer to, "how do we get there?"  He is the way to salvation, the way to heaven, and the way to life on earth.


David's Life in S-O-S

David usually writes about how he was (past tense) in distress, and how he called out to God, and that God saved him.  God intervened in his life.  "In distress I called out, and God heard", David writes.  The Hebrew idea of God hearing is God acting.

But, there are other places in the scriptures where it is written that a person or people were in distress, period.  Sometimes they were delivered, which is mentioned further on, and sometimes perhaps not.

When David was banished, in exile, or on the run; he had 400 men with him in the wilderness.  The scripture describes them as being in distress:
All those who were in distress or in debt or discontented gathered around him, and he became their commander. -1 Sam. 22:2a
That's David's community or fellowship he first led.  It does not say, that they all (or David on their behalf) called on God and God changed their circumstances.  It actually got worse, before it got better!  By chapter 30 of 1 Samuel, David is "greatly distressed", because his men are talking about stoning him (1 Sam. 30:6).

David, who later wrote that God delivered him from distress, went through a lot of distress before things got better or God answered.  There is a hallway between the door in to where you are, and the the door out to where you want to go.

Living in the Place of Calling on God

I wondered about the man in my dream.  He was saying that his favorite place to live is in the place of S-O-S, which I thought was the distress call.  He did not say he loves living in breakthrough, answered prayer, or deliverance; but in the place of sending out the signal or calling out for help.

At first, the man worried me, in that I thought, "does he like living in distress?"  That is not a good thing.  But that is not what he said.  He said that he likes living in the place of calling out to God.

I first thought what he said was a negative, but as I pondered for some time, I saw the positive.  Calling out to God is a positive thing.  Every child of God needs to live in daily dependency on him.

If all the authors of the Bible and even the Apostles needed to call out for guidance, intervention, help, and succor; then we do too!  It's the normal Christian life.  What is not normal is to not call upon God.

We call S-O-S the distress signal, and that is true.  But S-O-S is not the distress itself, but the signal.  It is the call-out, the prayer to the Lord.  The key is prayer.

Jeremiah 33:3

S-O-S, in Morse Code is . . . - - - . . .  It is three dots, three dashes, then three dots.  This got me thinking about Jeremiah 33:3, that says:
Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.
Maybe that is the distress call?  God wants to relieve our stress, but he wants us to call out for him to do it.  God wanted to restore his people, as he had promised to do, but he encouraged Jeremiah to call out to him to do it, and lead the people in calling out together.

God is saying that he wants to do things for us, but we have to ask.  It is relational.  God is a covenant God.  For example: God wants to give us, in Christ, the nations; but we have to ask for them (Psalm 2:8).

Even the top prophets don't know everything; and will likely die not knowing everything.  The way revelation works is that the more you know, the more you know you don't know, and the more you want to know.  Get it?

The book of Jeremiah is 52 chapters long.  At the beginning of chapter 33, God tells Jeremiah to call out to him for the hidden revelations.  This is after the man had 32 chapters of the Bible revealed to him.  He still had 24 more to go (Jeremiah & Lamentations).

Reading and studying the Bible it is of great benefit, and that same Bible teaches us to be people of prayer, who call out to God for answers.  We are people of the living Christ, who walks among us and guides us.

In prayer, there is a humiliation of having to craft the words yourself usually, and praying to an invisible God.  You might be brave enough to journal your prayers.  Prayers of distress that have not been answered yet can be raw and filled with testimony of suffering. But, but, but...  But, God.

But, God hears our prayers.  God sees our hearts lifted up to him.  God sees the face turned towards him in prayer.  Pray in secret and be rewarded openly (Matt. 6:6).

The gift of prayer is one of the greatest weapons that the believer has.  We get to make requests to the King of All, and the Bible says that he listens and answers us.  We only get a limited time to live our lives, so why not spend more time in prayer, to God who can do things in our lives, without limit?

I want to live life calling out for God's perspective.


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