OneClearVoice - rpritts
Why did God chose to write the Bible the style that He wrote it?
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Think about it. The Bible was not written in a manner that at first impression you'd expect from a God seeking to make His universal message clear to all peoples of all nations.
- The Bible appears to be mostly about the birth and establishment and then falterings of the nation of Israel. God speaks, men of His prophecy rule and judge on His behalf, yet the writing is in historical narrative voice as Israel attempts to interact with God.
- The Bible is made up of sixty four separate books, some historical, some poetic, some prophetic, others epistles written by apostles primarily to individual churches. Probably not the way in which we would have gone about it ourselves.
While it may be tempting to write the Bible off at this point perhaps, it would be more enlightening I believe to consider why from God's perspective this needs to be so.
One essential key then to understanding the proper context of the Bible is to attempt to understand why God chose to write it in the manner in which He did.
- Let us first consider:
- Not only is God seeking to communicate clearly to all peoples, but He is attempting to speak across all times and all cultures. Not an easy feat to accomplish.
- God knowingly is having to communicate to an audience that has entirely fallen from Him. They refuse to hear what He has to say to them, and the words that they do selectively hear they twist to their own corrupted self serving logic.
What God needed was a vehicle in which He could illustrate His Love/Mercy/Patience/Long suffering for all mankind on the one hand, and His Truth/Judgment/Righteousness/Holiness on the other, both in a fashion least likely to be misunderstood or avoided. He needed to clearly state why mankind must return, precisely how mankind must return, and step by step what He was going to do to make that plan happen. Most importantly for our discussion here today God needed to infatically express that it was entirely by His grace that we would be saved, not by law, not by various forms of government, not by works, not by best intentions, not by logic and rationalization; strictly by our trust and reliance on His uncontaminated actions.
So then, how does God choose to communicate this? He chose to use a people that weren't even a nation at the time
- This is then where the context of the Bible should be properly considered:
- That man will be man, nations will continue being nations (including Israel)
- That God's success will not be dependent upon man's
- Men will attempt to destroy, enslave, disperse, distract, strictly on the basis of Israel's proclamation of being "God's chosen" vessel.
- God will use this inevitably based on the true nature of fallen man to draw the attention of every civilized nation past/present/future and thereby every citizen therein.
You see, the plan is not dependent upon Israel being obedient and faithful to God; in no way was this going to happen. The plan wasn't dependent upon either the Catholic or Protestant Reformers figuring it all out thus becoming truly faithful and obedient; that wasn't to happen either. The plan was simply dependent upon man doing what he does best - revolt against God, even revolt against God in the name of God.
For the Bible reader Israel falls, He picks them back up. Israel backslides, He sets them back straight. Israel serves all the other gods, He leaves them temporarily to their own devices, He answers later their desperate calls. Not only does He do this for Israels sake, but He does this in plain sight of the angered nations for our observance as well. The message becomes quite clear.
For the Bible avoider, Little Ol' Israel, right in the very middle of the middle east, right in the middle of world trade and commerce, right in the middle of world politics and world conflict. A small little speck on the map that other giants are coaxed into thinking that they can push around (or pushed out into the sea). It angers them that they cannot. The nations rage, diplomats strike strong words, strategists plot. Unwittingly, men carry out God's manifold purposes. The seed of the gospel is carried from nation to nation like gnawing pricks in their socks.
We can now see that the true context of the Bible is not just in the mere words printed on the page, but in the living and tangible effects God's message has on even the non-believer; even the very notion of the Bible. The context is not just what it says, but what it represents, and what men will do to either promote it or supress it.
In conjunction with the conscience God planted within us and His Holy Spirit all around us, we are all moved, we are all shaped, in one fashion or another.
God speaks often without saying a word, the words we read remind us. The passages we read help focus and sustain our attention. The chapters and book are not only God's "Here I am", but a "where are you?", "when will you come?".
This is why the Bible is written the style that it is written.
Verses to consider:
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