Trying to Figure It All Out
I finished reading through Job this morning. It reminded me of how little we know about things we think we know. For example, I’m an old earth creationist, but when I read about Behemoth and Leviathan I wonder: Are these creatures that still exist today? Or are they creatures many thought were extinct by the time humans came along, but weren’t? Are they ancient mythical creatures as some suggest? I’ve heard all the different perspectives on those creatures, but I still wonder if I may be wrong or right about the age of creation. I’ve come to the conclusion that this is okay.
I’m also somewhat of a partial-preterist (really I’m a mix) when it comes to eschatology, but I often wonder about the things going on around me. I’ve studied eschatology from all the differing viewpoints. Sometimes I think the world is getting worse, and sometimes I can see it getting better. The latter may seem laughable to some until you study history. I’ve learned so much about historical context when it comes to prophecy, yet I still wonder about how the present and future unfolds. I’ve come to the conclusion that this is okay.
Maybe some of you reading this are ready to answer me with the “correct” perspective, but that’s really not my point. The point is that just like Job didn’t have it all figured out, neither do we. I am not a Calvinist. That conclusion came out my own studies of the Scriptures, but I still hold it all with an open hand so I can continue to learn. Once our open hands become fists, we become like Job’s friends: stubbornly so sure of ourselves, unable to grow, and unnecessarily harsh toward others who have different perspectives.
KNOWING God is much different than knowledge of differing facts in nonessential doctrines that we often divide over. KNOWING God is about an intimate relationship. In fact the Bible uses the word “to know” to express intimacy between married couples. Sometimes I think God wants us not to stop studying these things, but to focus on living as New Creations of Jesus Christ more than arguing over who is right and trying to put God in our little boxes.
I can see God inviting us on a tour of his majestic ways the way he did Job and then challenging us to figure it out. Finally I can see God saying, “What I ask is that you love me and trust me, keep my commandments, and share and live out the good news of the gospel.” I love following the Lord into the future and just trusting that, whether things get worse first or better, He knows what He is doing and His Kingdom will prevail. I’m just thankful to be a part of the journey even though I don’t have it all figured out.
In all of this I’m not at all shunning the awesome dialogue on nonessential matters, just the spirit/attitude that pervaded Job’s friends into assuming they had it all right.