Sunday, February 11, 2007

The Word

Let us trembling come
With hearts undone
To the throne of
God Almighty
King of Heaven and Earth

Let us fall on our faces
let us kneel before the throne of grace
Let us give away ourselves
In absolute submission
Surrendering our all
To Christ

I've been reading through the Old Testament for the last couple months, though not so quickly as I'd like. I've let myself get distracted and "have too little time to read much tonight" more times than I care to admit, to be perfectly honest. I've found that, while I value starting my day with Scripture, I can truly dig in much better at night, so I try to start with a short devotional in the morning, and do my main study at night. That requires a good deal of discipline, though, especially when it's 3 am that you're getting done with homework. Which suggests that one should be disciplining oneself to use one's time better in the first place. Which is another thing I've been learning.

As I've been reading through the first half of numbers in the last week, I've noticed a couple things. The main themes that have really stood out to me have been about the Father's character. He's sovereign. He cares immensely for His people - so much so that He gives incredibly detailed instructions for their well-being. Going back to the laws in Exodus and Leviticus, there are moral laws for their spiritual and moral well-being, and physical laws for their physical well-being. The accuracy of the treatments prescribed for various ailments and so forth is astounding for a document of this age... unless it's from God. (It certainly excels comparable documents even from far later, like the Qur'an, which prescribes as medicine various processes and chemicals that are far from beneficial.) As well as all of that, though, Numbers brings home God's care for His people, and the reality and immediacy of His presence in His people's lives. He actively participates in judgment, correction, instruction, and protection of His own. He never leaves them alone. Even when He's punishing them and teaching them by sending them into 40 years of exile in the desert, He doesn't leave them. Though they were unfaithful to and untrusting of Him, He remains true and unchanging. There's such a glimpse into His character - into His unyielding, jealous love for His people - in these passages. There is an awe that He has been growing in me - and awe of who He really is. I never understood before in more than an abstract, intellectual sense why these books were here. Now, they're meaningful and real. I see His grace and my sin shown into sharp contrast by the light of His word - His law, His work in history. These books - books I've never really gotten before - have become a huge blessing and encouragement.

As I've mentioned before, I'm increasingly convinced that peace is really nothing more than knowing God. If we know who He is, we will trust Him, and if we trust Him - really, truly trust Him - then we will know peace; because nothing can ever surprise Him or shake us if we're in His hands. So while there are difficult things in my life right now, I can honestly say that they mostly don't bother me. Why? Because I'm learning to know my King.

Grace and peace to all of you.

- Chris


  1. That reminds me of a quote by Billy Graham. He said, "In Christ we are relaxed and at peace in the midst of the confusions, bewilderments, and perplexities of this life. The storm rages, but our hearts are at rest. We have found peace--at last!"

    I enjoyed your post. Thanks :)

  2. i love the OT, too; and i study best at night. something about the stillness of the night; no one able to call or come by; being alone with God.


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