37 Truths To Joy In The Whole Bible
I was just reading through the book of Esther and came to the part where Esther hadconvinced King Ahasuerus not to kill all the Jews in all of his 127 provinces. When I readthat I was relieved, thinking, "Oh good, they are going to call it all off, the Jews will liveand rejoice." They did live, but the command was then given that instead the Jews shouldkill all who hated them in the 127 provinces. The Bible presents this as a good andglorious turn of events, but my pleasure in this Biblical story was temporarily aborted. Ihad forgotten some of the humbling (for sinners like us) yet glorious truths of the Bible.Fully acknowledging and accepting these truths is a prerequisite to understanding andloving the whole Bible. Parts of the Bible won't make sense or bring joy unless we acceptthese things.I very much hope that none of this sours your opinion of me. I'm just trying to help us all.But, to quote Esther, "If I perish, I perish."So, to understand and love the whole Bible we must...1.Fully acknowledge in our hearts that God has eternally planned (or as the King,"decreed") everything that has or will ever come to pass in all of creation. He hasnever and will never "make up" new plans as history goes along. An infinite mind,with infinite wisdom, motivated out of infinite love, does not get it wrong "thefirst time." "For He was foreknown before the foundation of the world, but hasappeared in these last times for the sake of you." (1 Peter 1: 20)2.Fully acknowledge in our hearts that while we see in Scripture that Godsometimes changes His mind, even the change of mind was planned from alleternity. In history and in Scripture God sometimes addresses situations from thesimple perspective of what a situation deserves, pertaining to justice. In thesecases He has planned to view things narrowly, from a holiness versus sin perspective, because that is what God is: "holy, holy, holy." In His astonishingholiness He fully intends to punish. There is nothing deceptive about it. But Godis more than holy. He is Love. He is Holy Love. And so in His great plan He plansfor and allows the interplay of His holiness and love, His justice and grace. Godis, after all, all about displaying Who He is. But in viewing things from thenarrow perspective He does not thereby cease to have an infinite mind.Everything- even His own threats- takes place in the broad perspective of Hissovereign, eternal, and completely unchangeable plan. As mentioned, He does notmake things up as He goes along.3.Fully acknowledge in our hearts that the Old Testament people were saved by believing in the promise of the One to come. They were not saved by sacrifices, but the sacrifices themselves were to be understood as pointing to the Sacrifice of the Lamb to come.