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The big picture of Scripture offers a portrait of God as one who fulfills plans and keeps promises. This One is trustworthy: we can confidently stake our lives on God’s faithfulness. It’s important to hold onto this grand theme as we make our way through hundreds of years of history.
Along the journey, there are setbacks, failures, and disobedience on the part of the people. We shake our heads at human behavior, and sometimes wonder if the promises will ever truly come to pass. Reaching the Promised Land is great—but even there, where is the respite from sin and violence? We even wonder about some of the commands God is said to have given to the people to carry out. Questions do arise.
So…how do we “read” the setbacks, the seeming disappointments, the shocking instructions?
One of the principles of Biblical interpretation in our Presbyterian approach is this: we should understand the smaller details in the light of the Big Story of our good and gracious God.
This God has acted mightily in history, and especially through Jesus Christ, to overcome sin and make a new creation. Whenever there is “fog” that seems to obscure this understanding of God’s true nature, we opt for the more profound reality. As Christians, we are incredibly blessed to have Christ as our guide and interpreter.
In a real sense, we view all that went before through the lens of Jesus’ life, teachings, death, and resurrection. He is the supreme self-revelation of God, by which we measure everything else.
Some believe that when we get to heaven, we will have the opportunity to get all our “earthly”questions answered. That should be very interesting. In the meantime, let us live by the light we have been given, following Christ in everyday life.