November 16, 2018

Wandering Wonderment

By Larry Ray Hafley

There are a number of items in the Bible I would like to know more about. Are you curious too? Perhaps you have mused or dreamed of certain things in the Scriptures that are but briefly mentioned - just enough to whet your imagination. Can you think of a few examples?

I suppose most all of us would love to know more about Jesus' early life. Before his thirtieth birthday, we only have the event when he was twelve (Lk. 2:42). Do you ever long for more such information? What was his life like as a child and as a young man?

Remember the dream Mrs. Pilate had? What happened to the woman at the well in John 4? What did the Ethiopian eunuch do with his new found faith? Did you ever wonder what happened to Joseph, the Lord's earthly "father"?

Surely, the life of Moses was interesting. He was highly educated in Egyptian lore, "and he was a man of power in words and deeds" (Acts 7:22). We know a great deal about his life as the great Lawgiver, the Emancipator of Israel, but what is signified by his "power in words and deeds"?

At the death of Jesus, "the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, and came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many" (Matt. 27:52-54). Exactly who were these saints? What did they experience when they went into the city? What were the reactions to their appearances?

And what of the plot to kill Lazarus after the Lord raised him from the dead (Jn. 12:10)? Were any of the conspirators later converted (Acts 6:7)? Think of the intrigue we know nothing about. What became of the men who led Saul of Tarsus into Damascus after the Lord appeared to him? They were his associates. What did they think? What did they come to know and believe? How did Paul's nephew learn of the secret plan to assassinate his uncle? Was his sister or nephew a Christian? If not, what was his immediate family's reaction to Paul after his conversion?

"And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself" (Lk. 24:27). What would you give to know all that the Lord said on that occasion? And what was included in the "many other words" of Peter on Pentecost (Acts 2:40)? Would you like to have a record of Paul's appeals to Felix? We have the skeleton of his sermon outline (righteousness, temperance and judgment to come), but what did he say?

On and on we could go. Concerning a multitude of these and related topics, we can observe:

(1) That God has revealed all we need to know (2 Tim. 3:16,17). We lack nothing necessary to life and godliness (2 Pet. 1:3).

(2) That the Bible is not written to satisfy a curious appetite (Jn. 21:25).

And what of the plot to kill Lazarus after the Lord raised him from the dead (Jn. 12:10)? Were any of the conspirators later converted (Acts 6:7)? Think of the intrigue we know nothing about. What became of the men who led Saul of Tarsus into Damascus after the Lord appeared to him? They were his associates. What did they think? What did they come to know and believe? How did Paul's nephew learn of the secret plan to assassinate his uncle? Was his sister or nephew a Christian? If not, what was his immediate family's reaction to Paul after his conversion?

(3) That our thirst for more information may be the reason God has left some things in obscurity. It may be his way to motivate us to mine the truth for the precious ore of faith and insight. "Blessed are they that do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled" (Matt. 6:5).

(4) That a subtle sign of inspiration is seen in the things that are not revealed. Man writes to answers our quest for more knowledge. Holy men of God, though, spake as they were borne along by the Holy Spirit in order to effect the purposes of God. If the Bible had been a deliberate fraud, mere men could not failed but to have embellished mysteries with more detail.

(5) That the cloud of one passage may be clearly dissipated by the elements of light in another. The book of Matthew and Stephen and Paul's discourses (Acts 7 & 13) may clarify the missing links of Luke 24:27.

(6) That the secret things belong unto God (Deut. 29:29).

(7) That it will be wonderful to go to heaven and obtain answers to our questions and solutions to the puzzles of our curious faith - or will it even matter then?

Guardian of Truth XXXII: 5, p. 147
March 3, 1988

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