Tuesday, May 21, 2013
This morning I heard a portion of the radio program 'Discover the Word'. The hosts discussed that the Bible is first of all a revelation of God -- not just a revelation by God about various things, but God revealing Himself -- and only secondarily a guide for living.
During the discussion, Haddon Robinson told of a hearing a sermon in which Moses was used as an example of principles of leadership. (Most everyone thinks Moses was a great leader, so that makes sense to most everyone.) After the sermon Robinson told the preacher that he had missed a couple of principles. Intrigued, the speaker asked what they were. Well first, Robinson said, you need to be raised in a home of privilege as was Moses. Second, he continued, you must have a temper as Moses had. The speaker replied that those two did not fit. Why did they not fit? Possibly because the speaker determined what the principles were before studying the life of Moses?
On the radio program Robinson went on to make this point. Too often, if we are preaching on a topic we read a book on that topic first. So, for example, we read a book on leadership to learn principles of leadership and then go to the Bible to confirm them, or find examples of them. We are elevating the secondary reason of the Bible over the first. While the record of Moses may teach us something about leadership, it first teaches us about God and what He is doing in His unfolding drama of redemption (as well as of the world, its history and God's place in it).
The Bible is not primarily a "how-to" book, but rather a "But God" book.
Exodus 13:18 But God led the people about, through the way of the wilderness of the Red sea: and the children of Israel went up harnessed out of the land of Egypt.
Psalms 49:15 But God will redeem my soul from the power of the grave: for he shall receive me. Selah.
Psalms 75:7 But God is the judge: he putteth down one, and setteth up another.
Jonah 4:7 But God prepared a worm when the morning rose the next day, and it smote the gourd that it withered.
Luke 12:20 But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?
Acts 13:30 But God raised him from the dead:
1 Corinthians 2:10 But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.
1 Corinthians 3:6 I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.
Ephesians 2:4 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us