As you read the Bible there is a pattern that arises. God is awesome, we mess up, God saves us, God is still awesome, and then we mess up again and the process starts all over. This is something that my wife and I were talking about just last night. Specifically, there was a perspective of God giving us another chance to make it right. That got me thinking, which is usually scary.
Those of us that are parents typically have a desire to do things for our children to make it easier on them. For instance, our daughter is in gymnastics. When she is at practices and competitions we are not able to be out on the floor with her. We can only watch. When she makes a mistake and I see that disappointment on her face, I want so badly to be out there to life her spirits and give her pointers. If I could I would just do it for her, so she didn’t have to deal with the mistakes and emotions. I would turn back time to give her another chance in whatever event she is doing. I also know that doing it for her or turning back time would not be good parenting. I must put away my own emotions and allow her to work through these things and simply provide her with the tools and resources to get better and grow.
So, why does this apply to the pattern that we see develop as we read the Bible? I believe that God absolutely does NOT give us a chance to “make it right.” We can’t “do it right” to begin with. That is our problem. No matter how hard we try, we are unable to “do it right.” We need HIM to be able to do it right. As our heavenly father what does God do? He sets us up for success.
Throughout history we see humanity screw it all up. Whether it is the fall, the screwed-up kings, the crazy judges, our inability to keep up with our end of the covenant, or crucifying Jesus, we never get it right. Despite all that God never just wipes the slate clean and says, “Try that again.” Even with the flood He doesn’t wipe it all clean. He keeps a miniscule portion of humanity around. Even they screwed it up despite being the only ones saved from the flood. What He does do is give us the tools, resources, and ability to move forward and grow in HIM. He gave Noah the plans for the Death Star, wait, I mean the ark (thought I was writing a Star Wars review for a moment). He certainly did not build it for Noah, though He could have. Instead, he gave Noah the resources, tools, and the ability to get it done.
Read the book of Judges, again if you need to. God didn’t just give the land back to Israel when they messed up over and over again. He gives them what they need to get it back. He even goes ahead of them as a lead blocker at times. In the end, it caused Israel to continue to rely on HIM and cry out to HIM. He was glorified, even though the Israelites didn’t see it.
What about the apostles? If He was going to just do it for them He wouldn’t have needed them to begin with. Instead, HIS ability as a perfect father encouraged and facilitated growth. He taught them. Which brings us to Jesus.
Jesus was the final, and ultimately the only, tool and resource we needed all along. He was building us up to that point. He was planning that all along. No matter what mistakes we make we can come to the Throne of Grace through Jesus. Through our faith in Jesus we are BEING transformed. Humanity was always BEING transformed. We weren’t being given second chances because without HIM we never had a chance to begin with. Now, we continue to be transformed. Transformed by the only resource ever needed. The only one that would give us the ability to “get it right.” JESUS! Our SAVIOR! Our KING!
Maybe I am over simplifying all of it. In my mind though it is too perfect. Too simple. I don’t feel like I constantly must be begging for another chance. I don’t feel like I must pay for a debt of mistakes. That debt was paid on the cross. It was paid with the blood of Jesus when He willingly became sin for me. So, all I must do is trust in HIM? YUP! Its not complicated. One tool. One resource. Jesus!
A side note:
Our church has started reading the Bible together. We are doing this on our own time using the Read Scripture App. If you have never checked this app out, then you should. We have started a facebook group to have discussions about the daily readings. Multiple people from multiple churches have joined the group already. If you are looking for a new and fun way to read through the entire Bible this year, then I would encourage you to join us! If you are interested, you can search the group. It is called “Read Together. Grow together.” Just ask to join and we will approve you. This is a great opportunity for Christians from all denominations to come together and grow spiritually together!