Friday, October 21, 2011

"Here Am I"

In the book of Abraham we read of the premortal council when God the Father presented His plan of salvation to us. During that council God said, “Whom shall I send? And one answered like unto the Son of Man: Here am I, send me” (Abraham 3:27).

The Hebrew word that is translated “Here am I” in these verses is hininee. And it means more than just “I’m here.” It is the kind of word a servant would say to a king when beckoned. It means “Whatever you want me to do, I will do. That’s why I’m here.” In the Old Testament we find the word hininee over and over again. Abraham says it to God (Genesis 22:1), Isaac says it to his father Abraham (Genesis 22:7), Jacob says it to the angel God sends to him (Genesis 31:11), Joseph says it to his father Jacob (Genesis 37:13), and Moses says it to God when God calls to him from the burning bush (Exodus 3:4). It is what Samuel said to Eli when awakened in the night (1 Samuel 3:4), and what Isaiah said to God when called to be a prophet (Isaiah 6:8).

All these examples urge me to turn to the Lord and say, “Hininee! Here I am ready to serve and do what you want!” But there is one use of the word in the Old Testament that is different, a usage that touches my heart very deeply. In Isaiah chapter 58 the Lord chastises the people who are complaining that God has refused to answer their prayers. He tells them that the reason He has not answered is because they are not resting from their own pleasures on the Sabbath day and that they are not caring for the poor when they fast. Then He says, if you will rest from your own pleasures on the Sabbath and care for the poor when you fast, “Then shalt thou call, and the Lord shall answer; thou shalt cry, and he shall say, Here am I” (Isaiah 58:9).

Every time I read that my heart warms. The Lord is calling to me, “Hininee. Hininee! I am here to help you. What do you want Me to do?” As Isaiah goes on to explain, “And the Lord shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not” (Isaiah 58:11).

1 comment:

Becky Rose said...

reminds me of a Ezra Taft Benson quote from a BYU address in the 70's where it talks about turning our lives over to him and he can make more out of our lives than we can. The talk is about the Savior, but that quote at the end is my helper.