The Whole Thing
Shame, shame. Another chunk of time away from blogging. And this time with no excuse except that like always I've been saving reading for the last thing before I go to bed and the real problem is that I've been staying up way too late watching TV and I'm plain exhausted.
If you are reading the Bible in a year or are thinking about doing it, I would recommend having a exercise to do alongside it. Because even though I sometimes feel like I'm crazy person to commit to reading the Bible everyday AND blogging every day for a year...a lot of the time it's the blogging that helps me retain what I've read. Because the past few days most of the messages I've heard have gone in one ear and out the other.
It's a Biblical concept that if you don't do something about the Word, it's useless. While the Biblical concept is talking about more general and more hearty Christian doings, I think it applies here too.
But yesterday I got a glimpse at understanding some of the things in the Bible that have always perplexed me. It was such a tiny glimpse that I barely got to hold it my hand long enough to truly see it. But I got a glimpse at why God commands the Israelites to kill entire groups of people...men, women, and children.
I think it's obvious why I might struggle to sit with this. I think close to everyone struggles with it. It's outside our general morality scope and it's outside most everyone's God concept scope. God is love...God is good...God kills people?
I'm afraid to get into this. I'm scared because I don't know how I feel about it and because it seems a big responsibility to put this on the internet. Ah.
So forgive me if I'm not as eloquent as I should be, and don't forget that this is the Bible diary. It's a daily growing and evolving understanding of the Bible and who God is. Today's post is a chapter alone.
I got a glimpse at how it (God wiping people out) makes sense by seeing it all as part of what is pretty much the biggest message I've being seeing in the Bible thus far. I've seen it everywhere, throughout. The big message I see is that God is holy. God is bigger. God is the most important. God is God.
We might get caught up in the workplace, in homework, in conflict, in vanities, in desires, in romance, in beauty, in money, in hunger, in pain, in striving, in health, in second by second life, the world in our face. We do get caught up in it all. We get caught up in our experience. But God is bigger, God is most important, God is God.
He is the whole thing.
The actual whole thing.
As I look out now onto the Seal Beach pier from this comfy coffee house chair, I know there are so many things floating around in everyone's head and everyone's life ...but I also know that God is hanging over it all, He's in it all, He's orchestrating, He's moving, He's causing the sun to set, the waves to lap, the air to breeze, the very breath we breathe.
God is God of the big things, the storms, the wars, the waterfalls, the gorillas, the sorrows, the biggest prayers you can pray. And God is God of the most basic, nitty gritty things. The cells in your body, the plankton in the sea, the hair on our head, and the breath you breathe now and the breath you breathe now. Now. Now. Now.
He is the whole thing and Lord God Almighty, allow us to see it. Now. Now. Now.
He is the whole thing and absolutely nothing is worth it if it makes you forget it. He is the whole thing.
Deuteronomy 7:2-4 "and when the Lord your God has delivered them over to you and you have defeated them, then you must destroy them totally. Make no treaty with them, and show them no mercy...for they will turn your children away from following me to serve other gods..."
Absolutely nothing is worth it if it makes you forget the Lord your God.
Now this is where I pull back. Because I see how this looks. It could look like I'm condoning killing so that you don't become distracted from God. Which is ridiculous and not what I am saying. I'm not saying that for 2 reasons.
One, this is Old Testament. And we are CHRISTians. Christ told us not to throw the first stone, to take the plank out of our own eye before getting the speck out someone else's. Christ told us to love our enemy. Christ told us to preach the gospel.
Two, none of us has the authority or understanding to know who is truly a distraction from God. We have the ability to discern who are good friends, who are not. We have the ability to discern what is a bad way to spend our time, etc. But we do not have the ability to look into the future as God did in Deuteronomy "for they will turn your children away from following me." God knows this will happen. It's not a flippant "maybe they will, so better be safe than sorry." It's God Almighty knowing the future and seeing that, indeed, this is what will happen.
God is the whole thing. That's what I've been seeing throughout the Bible.
He is forgiving and uncompromising.
He is loving and discerning.
He is good and powerful.
He is the one thing I need.
He is the one thing I want.