The Fly Over
As we enter into this 31-week study through the Bible I'm confident of many benefits we'll experience individually and as a congregation, but the one that comes to mind on the cusp of this voyage is the opportunity to get a panoramic look at God's relationship with us humans. It'll be a fly-over of sorts as we start at square one, creation, and end up with a glimpse of the consummation of God's plan, heaven.
There are a lot of people, Christians included, who have trouble understanding God. They'll say, "How could God do this or that?" or "If God really loved us He wouldn't act that way!" Granted, there are many God-denying events recorded in the Bible (as well as other records of human history) that seem to indicate that God can't exist, at least the God we hear about in Bible Classes. Many of these atheistic or agnostic conclusions are based on individual events or statements, not on His total body of work. How would you liked be judged based on one particular day or period of your life?
Years ago my niece who lived just across the street from us brought a friend by our house to swim in our pool. I was out working in the yard and was frustrated at something, can't remember just what. But apparently I didn’t make a great first impression on this stranger as I overheard her say to my niece, "Boy, you've got a grumpy uncle!" I was offended. "You don't even know me," I wanted to shout. My character was being judged on the basis of one passing encounter! Too many people do the same with God.
Many people don’t judge God -- they judge some being they think is God. They don't know Him well enough to make a clear-headed judgment on his character. They don't know the plan, and when you don't know the plan individual steps along the way may seem contradictory.
Have you ever printed out a map to a destination east of you and were taken aback when you have to take a highway that goes west? On the basis of that one step on a long journey it appears that the direction giver is insane, wicked, or just plan uninformed! But sometimes God takes us on what appears to us to be the wrong direction to get us on the right direction.
God can't be judged on individual events. We need to know The Story.