"The LORD had said to Abram, 'Leave your country, your people and your father's household and go the land I will show you."  Genesis 12:1

When I run back into the world of Genesis - back into the beginnings of how people deal with God and God deals with people - I am increasingly amazed. 

Take Abram for example (Abraham being his later name).  There is no record of Abram doing anything with God before we meet him in Scripture.  Saying anything to God.  Behaving any way that would make you believe that he is different than anyone else at the beginning.  Then, out of nowhere, completely unprovoked, God just shows up and starts talking to him.

How about Jacob as another example.  He lies to his dad, steals from his brother, and his name means "deceiver, supplanter."  Nice.  Seems like a perfect candidate for God to pick.  Yet, as Jacob travels and goes to sleep, sure enough God shows up to him in a dream.  Unprovoked.

Moses meets God in a bush - unprovoked.  Gideon meets an angel of God - unprovoked.  Joshua meets the Captain of the armies of the LORD - unprovoked.  See the pattern?

What is unique about this pattern is that it seemed to be more common this way in the ancient world.  In our world, we don't expect to see the supernatural really.  Maybe we do, but we feel that it will only come through seeking God and praying and fasting.  Without a doubt, God shows Himself to those who seek Him through prayer and fasting.  But sometimes He doesn't.

And sometimes He shows Himself to those who have no idea that He is coming.  They haven't been praying necessarily, they aren't fasting and waiting on the LORD.  They are just living.  And here comes God, unprovoked, to bust right into their world and talk to them - either through an angelic messenger, a bush, a voice, a donkey, whatever.  That was the common course of the ancient world as recorded in the Holy Scriptures.  What's even more curious is that most of the people that found themselves in this position thought it was perfectly normal.  Not that they weren't scared or blown away or didn't have a surge of adrenaline when all of this happened - it's just that they accepted it as part of life.

The thing that strikes me as cool about that is it seems like those living in the ancient times of the OT knew that there were cracks in our world.  There was a different reality present that wasn't fully segmented from the everyday, mundane existence of regular life.  At any moment, God or one of his angelic messengers could show up in a bush, a donkey, or looking like your neighbor Frank.  Maybe that's why the writer of Hebrews mentions that some people have entertained angels unaware.

I love the fact that the Bible reminds me that today is not just dead-set in stone that it will be an ordinary day.  There is the chance that God may do something surprising.  He works mysteriously, and sometimes even contradictory, to what we think He will (or should) do.  We are not stuck just to languish in this mundane existence because we remember there are cracks in the world - and those cracks provide peepholes into another reality.  A reality where God chooses to show up when and how He wants to.