My Thoughts. . .
Several years ago, one of our church members asked a question. Others might not ask, but will think it. She had suffered a number of setbacks in life and another one was not lightly kicking her backside. Her statement was, “I know God tests us in order to teach us a lesson. I understand. I really do understand. So why don’t the tests stop?”
Israel spent four hundred and thirty years in Egyptian slavery (Exodus 12:40). This period of time saw them crying out to God for deliverance (Exodus 2:23-25). The RSV translates verse 25 as “God knew their condition.” Four hundred and thirty years is a long period of time to be praying for deliverance. About eleven generations did not have the pleasure of their pleas being rewarded. Does that mean they had not learned their lesson? Did that mean those who were true believers in Yahweh were not of sufficient numbers for their plea to be granted? If pagan gods could not answer the prayers of their subjects because they were not true deities, would four hundred and thirty years of silence not scream that same message to Yahweh’s children? Perhaps.
In the book of Isaiah, God states,
“‘For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,’ declares the LORD. ‘As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts’.” (Isaiah 55:8-9).
Peter reminds us that “With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day” (2 Peter 3:8).
We attempt to describe eternity with finite words due to our finite experiences. We cannot visualize an endless period that isn’t a period. Neither can we comprehend Yahweh without reducing Him to our limited conceptions. Our vision is restricted to the time we spend here, and the world often revolves around our desires.
When Adam and Eve disobeyed God and the prophesy of Genesis 3:15 was made, how many generations passed before it was fulfilled with the advent of Jesus into man’s history?
“You speak, and man turns back to dust. A thousand years are but as yesterday to you! They are like a single hour! We glide along the tides of time as swiftly as a racing river and vanish as quickly as a dream. We are like grass that is green in the morning but mowed down and withered before the evening shadows fall. . . All our days are filled with sighing. Seventy years are given us! And some may even live to eighty. But even the best of these years are often emptiness and pain; soon they disappear, and we are gone” (Psalm 90:3-10 TLB).
Bad things happen to good people. Fairness is not how “Life” is spelled. Sometimes bad people receive the breaks not the good folks. Positive thoughts often go negative. Ready or not, death visits all ages. The lesson taught is that this world is not our home. Jesus invites all to “come” (Matthew 11:28-29). The choice is ours.