Psalm 24, Isaiah 55:1–13, Romans 11:33–36
Many folks are obsessed with picking apart the Scriptures to find any issues or incongruities. Some do this out honest inquiry, some do it in an attempt to discredit the Scriptures. The reality is that we have to look at the Scriptures as the writers intended (which can be difficult) and literary type. Often people view the Scriptures as something they are not.
This is an important concept to understand, especially in light of the last couple of days discussing the Holy Spirit and Jesus. The Scriptures are the starting point to understand God and our relationship with God.
Psalm 24 is a victorious Psalm. Yet, God is no mere victorious general entering the city of Jerusalem. God is so much more. Tucked in the Psalm is “Such is the generation of those who inquire of him, who seek the face of the God of Jacob.” This seeking is the next step. We are called to seek God and we start with the Scriptures. As we seek God and read the Scriptures, only then can begin to grasp just what it means to know the “King of Glory.”
Isaiah’s is the call of God to each and every one to seek Him. In the midst of trials, exile, and destruction, God is still calling people to turn to Him. Will they all escape the judgement? No. That isn’t the point, and never was. The purpose of seeking God—to have our hearts turned to Him—is not to escape the pain, misery, and fallenness of this world, it is to place it all into the redeeming power of God.
Redemption and reconciliation are very much a part of Paul’s message. When Paul speaks about the depth of the riches, it is not—again—to escape, but to put into perspective our experiences in the world. In comparison to God, what we think is small. In comparison to God, we are insignificant; from a human perspective, that is. God cares for us all. It is not that God diminishes our troubles or joys. It is that while what revolves around us is hugely important, there is still a larger picture.
Knowing God means not just the Holy Spirit or Jesus or God the Father, but seeking God fully and doing our best to understand God. We have the tools and gifts: the Scriptures, the church (framily and tradition), our minds, our experience.
1) What is one area of the 4 (Scriptures, church, mind, experience) that you rely or focus most on? Why? How might that be disadvantageous?
2) What is the one area you are the weakest in? Why? How could you strengthen that area?
3) As inheritors of the Protestant tradition, we often hold the Scriptures extraordinarily high to the detriment of the other 3. Yes, holding the Scriptures highly is a good thing. However, balance is required, so why is that a bad thing?