Monday, May 9, 2011

The Bible is Not an Instruction Manual

Worriers about God's will, you ought to read this great post by Michael Kelley. It is excellent and helpful. An excerpt:
Thing is, the Bible isn’t an instruction manual for life, and because it’s not, we see that God is not absent from those small details. The Bible is the means by which we might know God in Christ, not primarily the means by which we might figure out the details of our own lives. God is the main character of the Bible; not me. And not you.

One of the characteristics revealed in the pages of Scripture is God’s desire for intimacy with His people. And perhaps that’s exactly the reason why you don’t find blank pages waiting to be filled in on a daily basis. If that were the case, then where would our relationship with God be? We would reduce Him to a cosmic slot machine who spits out answers when we pull the lever.

And you don’t love a slot machine. You USE a slot machine.


Mike said...

Brilliantly stated! It would be nice if more bible-readers caught on to this!

Seattle Boy said...

So who are god's people? Your god evidently doesn't love the people of Memphis.

Jared said...

Not if love means "never letting something difficult happen to somebody.

But he loves his Son and sent him to die. Clearly there was larger vision in mind than merely 'safety'.

David McLemore said...

Seattle Boy, I can attest to God loving people through situations like a flood. My house was flooded last year and I tell you that the love of God was more manifest during that time than many other times in my life.

If God didn't send the flood, my life would look different today. The flood was his means of providing for me. He took things away from me so that he could show me himself. It sounds paradoxical, and that's because it is. The suffering that the people of God endure isn't outside of the goodness of the blessing that he has for them.

Jared is right, Jesus is a much larger vision than my house being flooded. Without Christ's atoning sacrifice and the good news coming down from the cross, the flood indeed would have been bad. But, because of the cross, even the bad things are ok in light of the gospel.

In fact, the bad things make the cross even more important. I deserve far worse suffering than I'll ever get. That's how deep my sin is. And, I'm not going to escape the little suffering that I will endure so I need a savior who can tell me in the midst of it that he is good. And I need to know that I can believe him. The cross proves it.

Looking beyond ourselves and our current circumstances isn't easy, but if we take scripture for what it is, how can we not see the glory of the love of God all over the place? A dead man on a cross bearing the sins of his people? Love knows nothing greater!

I'm one of God's people and he sent a river into my house. Not becuase he didn't love me, but because he did.