Conversely, if we are really to understand the Bible record, we must enter into our study of it on the assumption that the experiences recorded there are basically of the same type as ours would have been if we had been there. Those who lived through those experiences felt very much as we would have if we had been in their place because they are real people just like you and me.
Unless this comes home to us, the things that happened to the people in the Bible will remain unreal to us. It will be more like a farce. We will not genuinely be able to believe the Bible or find its contents to be real, because it will have no experiential substance for us.
“Failure to read the Bible in this realistic manner account for two common problems in Christian groups that hold the Bible central to their faith. One is that it becomes simply a book of doctrine, of abstract truth about God, in which one can search endlessly without encountering God himself or hearing his voice.”
In the Bible, God is always the main character. God is always the Hero (my hero), and the humans play supporting roles. It’s easy to lose sight of this fact because the human characters are so interesting and because one can identify with David or Ruth more readily than with God.
The human characters are not irrelevant, and you can learn a lot from studying them. However, one thing you’ll learn is that their faith and effectiveness were directly proportional to their awareness that they were not the heroes of their own stories. For example, as a young man, Moses was horrified at the way the Egyptian government was oppressing the Hebrews.
He tried to play the hero in the situation and had disastrous results. He killed someone and had to flee the country. Years later, he started taking orders from God. He led the people’s successful liberation from slavery, and after that he was almost always careful to let God call the shots and take the top billing He deserved. As children of God, we must learn to let God call the shots and stop playing God in the lives of people.
Just once, Moses slipped. In a moment of annoyance, he acted as though he was the one responsible for taking care of the people. Today, we find ourselves behaving like Moses whenever God gives us the privilege of leading or taking care of other people. We quickly forget that the position we occupy is for the greater good of mankind and for the glory of God. Just like Moses adopted one of God’s instructions to make the scene more dramatic and himself the star; we do the same too.
This incident cost him the chance to be in the limelight when the people entered the Promised Land (Numbers 20: 1-13). It is my prayer that our egoistic and macho stance, playing God won’t cost us our place in God’s kingdom. The focus on God should put your ego into perspective. Moses was a talented guy, no question. But fundamentally, he was nobody special.
Signing on with God’s plan was what enabled him to do something special. Joshua has been just as capable of leading the Israelites into the Promised Land – he did it. And Joshua was nobody special. It could just as easily have been you if you had been there, and had been willing to do whatever job God assigned to you, and had resisted the temptation to sign autographs ?.
Blessings and Love ???
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