The Shelter of God's Word: Are You among the Prophets?
- Wednesday, August 29, 2007
But the Bible mocks death: “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” (1 Corinthians 15:55). The Bible is able to do this because it relates the powerful story of how God Himself has overcome death for us through the life, death, and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.
This is why Christians can find comfort at the passing of a loved one, even as they grieve their loss and long for the resurrection to come. This is why Christian martyrs in many parts of the world refuse to compromise their testimonies on pain of death; they know death is not the end, and the proclamation of life in Christ and victory over the grave is mankind’s greatest need and hope.
The more one takes shelter in the Word of God, the more the promise of life, bliss, and peace beyond this brief space of time is urged upon us, until the fear of death no longer exerts its tiresome toll, and the assurance of life brings hope and peace even in the face of life’s mortal end.
A Shelter from Hopelessness
The Bible thus provides a shelter of hope in an age of hopelessness. Press any unbelieving contemporary on the question of hope, press him far enough, and all that he can really hope for is—death! Death for himself. Death for his loved ones. Death for our civilization. Death for the universe. Death for any hope of life anywhere, ever again.
True, many hope to find happiness here, or success, fortune, fame, or just fun. But these hopes are all false, or, at best, fleeting, for they shall all one day be dashed to pieces by the inevitability of death. No wonder Paul described those who live apart from God as “without hope in the world” (Ephesians 2:12).
But the message of the Bible is the message of hope—Christ in you, as Paul put it, the hope of glory (Colossians 1:27)! He who overcame death and the grave, and lives forever by the power of an indestructible life, comes to indwell those who believe in Him, imparting to them not just the hope of everlasting life, but the hope of a meaningful, joyful, powerful life of loving God and others in the here and now.
The Bible thrusts upon us the hope of life, real life, full and abundant life (John 10:10, 14:6), and invites us to drink it up (Psalm 36:7-9), feast on it to the full (Revelation 3:20), celebrate it with joy (Psalm 116:12,13), and pass it on to others (John 14:6; Acts 1:8). You cannot shelter long in the Word of God without becoming caught up in the message of life and hope it shouts on virtually every page.
A Shelter from Deceit
It is a common complaint that no one seems to want to tell the truth these days. But then, our intellectual elites reassure us, there is no truth, so what’s to tell? It is as in David’s day: “Everyone utters lies to his neighbor; with flattering lips and a double heart they speak” (Psalm 12:2).
In a world where truth is utterly relative—that is, non-existent—the best anyone can do is try cautiously to navigate the uncertain shoals of deception and half-truth as they tack toward whatever they have determined to be their hope. But then . . .
In his own day of deception and half-truths, David took shelter in the Word of God: “The words of the LORD are pure words, like silver refined in a furnace on the ground, purified seven times. You, O LORD, will keep them; you will guard us from this generation forever” (Psalm 12:6,7). The Scriptures claim to be truth from God, and all who have lined their lives up with those plain and profound words have found them to be precisely that.
As we shelter in the Word of God we find the truth that enables us to make sense of everything else in life, and to chart a safe and meaningful course for our own journey.
A Shelter from Whim
Pop culture celebrates the putative glories of uncertainty and change. Top 10 lists change daily. Pop stars rise and fall. Pop couples pledge eternal love and break up on a whim. Who was last year’s “American Idol”? Who cares? Pop culture communicates a culture of whim: “If it feels good, do it,” as the mantra from Laugh-In had it. But one person’s whim can be another person’s tragedy. Just ask the students at Virginia Tech.
Recently on Pastors / Leadership
Have something to say about this article? Leave your comment via Facebook below!
Listen to Your Favorite Pastors
Add Crosswalk.com content to your siteBrowse available content