One of my greatest joys in reading my bible over the years is discovering for myself that it is alive and active. It continually blows my mind that something written hundreds of years ago can speak comfort and wisdom right into my circumstance today. I also love how it is relevant to us at every season of life – from the youngest child for whom the gospel is so simple they can receive it (indeed being childlike is the only way we can), to the oldest most learned intellectual, who has studied the scripture for decades and can tell you details of the historical contexts and nuances of the original language that make you gasp at how clever God is. At every level He speaks through His word. And whether we are highly brilliant or intellectually challenged, whether we have owned a bible for 5 minutes or have spent a lifetime studying it – God’s word speaks. It is good for us to keep on reading, keep on digging in and finding out more. And the bible itself says that we shouldn’t be mindless about our faith but that we should;
“…. always be prepared to make a defence to anyone who asks you for the reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect.” 1 Peter 3:15
Having said all that sometimes we can dig and study and read and ask, and still we are left with questions – both in life and in our bible study. I have to confess I spent a slightly embarrassingly long time in Genesis chapter 5/6 studying and trying to understand and read between the lines. And after all my reading, asking, googling and thinking I’ve just got a bigger list of questions!! How come they all lived 10 times longer than we do? Who are the ‘sons of God’? Who are the Nephilim and how did they manage to be around before and after the flood? And why didn’t Noah start a family until he was 500? I’ve read up on various theories but bottom line is no-one knows for sure, except God. What a funny line to walk between digging deeper and yet embracing mystery.
Many years ago, before I was married, I shared a house with some girls from my church. One of these dear friends liked to talk a lot. And she especially liked to talk, laugh loudly, shout at and ask questions all the way through movies! Telly was much more of an interactive affair when she was around. Often times it would be at a point in the plot when you didn’t yet know why the character was walking down that particular dark alley or before the script writers had let you in on what epic twist was about to jump out from around the next corner, but she liked to ask anyway and so I would just make up answers, say them with conviction and that seemed to do the trick. It was actually quite fun. Often my speculations were absurd and bore no resemblance to the actual plot. And then we would just laugh more! It has been a useful skill in parenting small children – sometimes they just need an answer to their perpetual ” why?”. But actually sometimes we just don’t know. And do you know what? That is actually ok.
“For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known. – 1 Corinthians 13:12”
One day when we get to meet Jesus face to face we will be able to ask Him – but do you know what I think? I think that we probably won’t care. It probably won’t matter. You see the questions serve a purpose – they cause us to pursue the one who has all the answers. Jesus is the way, the truth and the life. All our questions ultimately find their answers in Him.
Right in the middle of this chapter we read one verse about a man named Enoch. It says;
“Enoch walked with God, and he was not, for God took him” Gen 5:24
Can’t wait to hear more of that story!!
Thanks for reading. Love Rach. x