Practical Proverbial, from Hebrews, 14 November 2016

For somewhere he has spoken about the seventh day in these words: “On the seventh day God rested from all his works.”  And again in the passage above he says, “They shall never enter my rest.”  Hebrews 4, verses 4-5.

I like how the author of Hebrews says “for somewhere he has spoken.”   I think this is a GREAT Christian witness and a huge statement about our faith.

We don’t have to have all the answers.

You’ve read the context.   The author is (still) talking about how God rested on the seventh day, comparing this rest to God’s peace that is our ultimate rest (both here and in the afterlife).  Until we’re buried in the dirt, we don’t have to have all the answers.

We don’t know who wrote Hebrews.   Some people think it was Barnabas, Bartholomew, or one of the other lesser followers of Jesus.   For centuries, scholars thought it was Paul, but forensic textual analysis reveals this probably isn’t so.  When you boil that down to the end, it doesn’t really matter who wrote it (any more than it matters who wrote Job or Judges, for which we also don’t truly know the authorship).   Not knowing is just another evidence that we don’t have all the answers.

What matters is what Job and Judges say.   What matters is that we know that God rested from His woks.   What matters is knowing that those who believe in Jesus will enter His rest.   We’re sure of this because the Bible is Jesus Himself talking with us, telling us what we need to know in life.   What matters is listening to God.  You get the picture.

But what about the fact that the author cites three books as if they are one (seemingly mixing the words of Genesis, Exodus, and Psalm 95)?   Surely that must mean they aren’t cohesive and written by one person (God)!   Again, not so much.   Have you read any kind of non-fiction book?   The bibliography for any book will usually show dozens, maybe hundreds, of individual sources that, when compiled, paint a clear picture of points the author is making.   That the author would mix multiple books, therefore, seems sort of irrelevant.   Indeed, if we assume that the person who wrote the book was (probably) only moderately educated in the Scriptures – not a rabbi or a dedicated Torah scholar of his day – then perhaps it’s all the more amazing that a somewhat uneducated person would make the intellectual point of combining these disparate sources to draw common meaning.

Again, these are smaller points that just don’t matter when compared to the fact that Scripture is God Himself talking with us.   We don’t have all the answers; neither do scientists.   We can’t predict everything; neither can the government.   The men who recorded the Bible were terribly flawed people; so are we.  We know these things are true and we know that God is reliable because He proves Himself to be.  We don’t know why all things happen but we do know that all things happen to serve God’s purpose.   If we don’t have all the answers we think we must know, morning and evening still occur.   The world still keeps on turning and will do so until God decides to stop it.  It’s ok to not know all the answers.   This side of the dirt, we aren’t supposed to.

For more reading:   Exodus 20:11 Genesis 2:1-3, Psalm 95:11.

Lord God, You and only You have all the answers.   Thank You for giving me all I need to know at the moment.   Thank You for that day, some day, when more will be revealed to me.

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