Tuesday, October 06, 2009

A history worth reading

Good morning. Today’s scripture comes from Psalm 111:2 (but please read the entire Psalm) (NIV):

“Great are the works of the Lord;
They are pondered by all who delight in them.”

As part of my online degree studies, I’m taking a History of Western Civilization class. I find history fascinating and I love reading about the different cultures of the world. When I looked into seminary a few years back, I was most interested in studying the history of my faith. Those stories tell us who we are and where we come from. I’m only halfway through the class, and so far we’ve studied the Hebrews, the Greeks, and the Romans.

The history of the Hebrews shows that they are the only civilization that left information behind in order to understand him better and to live a better life. The Psalms consist of writings from man talking back to God in an ongoing conversation. Mostly, we hear from David, pleading for help with his enemies, later praising God for his wondrous works, and, finally, he is confident that God will act righteously – again. We read these stories in order to increase our faith that God is working behind the scenes on our behalf. It’s a story of redemption.

The Greeks’ history tells us how they started the democratic process, but the famous Greek philosophers eventually came to the conclusion that the gods lived on the mountaintops and didn’t interfere with our lives here on earth. The Romans believed in self-determination in conquering the known world, and they let people retain their religious beliefs, for the most part, as long as they worshipped Caesar first. The rest of our world history is about man, not God.

Yet, the Bible shares a constant story of a God wanting to be first in our lives but isn’t demanding. He wants our love in return, certainly, but he gives us freewill to choose or deny him. God constantly interacts with his people in order to show his love for us. He wants us to know him, so he shares his story with us in a period covering some 6,000 years, from the time of Adam in Genesis to John’s writing of Revelation in about AD 95. Even though mankind does not deserve God’s grace, he continues to reach out to us in ways we can’t fathom. Just when we think all is lost, and we have no way out, God restores us. Open the Bible today and find out more about who God is.

How does this apply to my life?

Today’s prayer: Lord, you are truly an amazing God. You reach out to us, your people, every day of our lives. Even though we don’t deserve it, you give us unconditional love by wanting to be a part of our lives. Even in the most minute details, you care about us. Amen

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