This too shall pass

I have been reading the Old Testament of the Bible, the stories.  Stories tell truth in a different way than the other books.  Prophecy tells truth often symbolically, or it tells of a time yet unknown.  Doctrinal books tell truth directly and those books are chock full of truth and have to be read slowly.  Wisdom books tell the truth in often witty ways, but again the truth is compact and has to be taken slowly.  The stories tell truth more indirectly.  After reading many of the stories, one gets a sense of God’s truth through the repetitiveness of how he acts or speaks in the stories.  This truth settles slowly, almost imperceptibly, then suddenly you, the reader, realize you’ve been given quite a deep picture of God without being aware of how its coming about.

One of the pictures of God I get from the Old Testament stories is that God never lets evil just go on indefinitely.  Even though the evil is hated by God, it doesn’t control him.  Quite the opposite.  He always has the situation covered.  He knows what will happen and often directly turns the circumstances of evil into good for His own people.  Evil always has a definite end in God’s sight, both a real end in time, and an end in the sense that it is being used for His purposes.

The other theme I see is that God doesn’t allow evil to continue indefinitely IN his people either.  He will deal with it.  Because He knows hearts and attitudes, he sometimes deals directly through revelation to the person, allowing His grace to become a vehicle for change in a persons life.  Other times, he abruptly ends the person’s life.  Its quite awe inspiring, rather like watching one’s dad go to battle to defend you, or having him quite sternly rebuke or punish you. 

Nothing lasts forever, but God, and those who are His.

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