Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Why read this blog?

“…Of making many books there is no end…all has been heard. Fear God, and keep his commandments; for that is the whole duty of everyone.”  Ecclesiastes 12:12-14

            And making many blogs as well, for that matter. So why read this one? Because “I will make your offspring like the dust of the earth; so that if one can count the dust of the earth, your offspring also can be counted…[The LORD] brought him outside and said, “Look toward heaven and count the stars, if you are able to count them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your descendants be.” Genesis 13:16; 15:5. These staggering numbers, when combined, are still not enough to contain the fullness of God. They are but a drop in the bucket.

            It is the same with books, blogs, podcasts, and on and on and on. All the various media types combined are still not enough to even begin to explain what can never be explained. The best ones, I think, have one important thing in common-they do not teach what to think, they teach how to think. How to think generally does not come from repeating the same stuff we already know, although, as someone wiser than I once said, one must know the rules well to break them properly. Or intelligently. Or something like that-you get the point.

            Now back to Passover and Israel’s vocation. A good part of Exodus through Numbers describes God’s directives to Israel for living out their vocation and calling; a how-to manual, if you will. Deuteronomy is a recap. Deuteronomy also contains dire warnings about the consequences for Israel if they fail their vocation; if they follow the way of the serpent, who “… said to the woman, “You will not die, for God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” Genesis 3:4-5.

Funny how so much goes back to the garden. Paul describes it this way: “For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them…for though they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their senseless minds were darkened. Claiming to be wise…they exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling a mortal human being or birds or four-footed animals or reptiles.” Romans 1:19-23.

Precisely the thing God warned against. Even if Israel was unfaithful to their end of the covenant, God remained faithful to His end: everything came to pass just as He predicted. Israel’s failures and the consequences she suffered are well documented in her scriptures, especially in her prophetic scriptures. Keep in mind, however, the prophetic voice is not all doom gloom and judgement. There is restoration as well, along with a vision for a new age.

            At this point we could, along with Paul, ask ‘What happened?’ Israel…”had everything going for [her]—family, glory, covenants, revelation, worship, promises, to say nothing of being the race that produced the Messiah, the Christ, who is God over everything, always.” Romans 9:4-5.

 Did God’s word fail? Was exile and captivity punishment or consequence? Was the whole thing preordained from the beginning? Did God base redemption on His intimate knowledge of human nature and plan accordingly? Why do it this way? Why do it at all? Stay tuned as we follow the redemption plan and see how it all unfolds. And buckle up. Things may get a little bumpy.


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