Connecting with God

  • Read Hosea 11 here.
  • If you missed Sunday’s sermon (17 May), you can listen to it here.

I believe that all of history is connected and serves a purpose for God. I linked to Hosea 11 at the top of the page because this chapter demonstrates how historical events impact God.  God is not just an impassive observer of life on Earth.  God’s dealings with Israel in the 700’s BC were influenced by the events of the Exodus 700 years earlier.  And the events of the Exodus were prophesied to Abraham (Gen 15:13-14) another 500 years earlier.  One thing leads to another, and God’s in control.

The Gospels of Matthew and Luke both contain lists of genealogies in their first few chapters.  These lists contain a lot of names we know nothing about, but they do have a point.  They remind us that God spent thousands of years preparing for the arrival of Jesus.  Jesus’ birth was not just an afterthought.  His earthly ancestors connect Jesus to every major event of history recorded in the Bible all the way back to Creation.

In a similar way we are connected to the great examples of faith described in Scripture.  We have a special blessing because we look back at these faithful followers of God through the lens of the cross.  In Hebrews 11:39-40, we read

These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised. God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect.

Their faith is rewarded when it is passed on to us.  Likewise, we have a responsibility to pass on the torch of faith to others. Our life has a purpose.

In his book Epic, John Eldredge presents history as a story written by God, with each of us having a role, a purpose.  It begins and ends in a perfect, peaceful garden, but in between it’s a classic battle of good and evil, of love and sacrifice.  Christians recognize that we have a role to play in this story.  We’re part of the struggle against evil, representing God in the world.  We believe that the final script has already been written and God wins!

In contrast many people reject the idea that God controls the span of history.  Eldredge quotes (p9) Neil Postman who gives a striking summary of the alternative worldview.

In the end, science does not provide the answers most of us require.  It’s story of our origins and our end is, to say the least, unsatisfactory.  To the question, “How did it all begin?”, science answers “Probably by an accident.”  To the question, “How will it all end?”, science answers, “Probably by an accident.”  And to many people, the accidental life is not worth living. (Science and the Story That We Need)

The Bible has many ways of reminding us that God has a purpose for our lives.  Do you have a favorite verse that reminds you of this? Please leave a comment and share your verse with us.

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2 comments

  1. Mark Wagner

    My favorite passage concerning God’s control of history is Habakkuk 1:6.
    The prophet is imploring God to intervene and remedy the injustice going on all around him.

    God answers,
    “I am raising up the Babylonians, that ruthless and impetuous people, who sweep across the whole earth to seize dwelling places not their own.”

    I’m sure this is not the answer Habakkuk wanted to hear. It makes no sense to the human mind to raise up wicked people to judge injustice, but it demonstrates how God is guiding history and how his ways are higher than our ways.

    • ozziepete

      Thanks for chiming in Mark. I appreciate your comments and that’s one of my favorite passages too. I love Habbakuk’s gutsy response in 2:1 where he basically says, “okay God, I’m staying in this tower to wait and see how you fix this mess.” And then comparing that attitude to chapter 3 where he has witnessed God’s response.

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