Thursday, June 27, 2013

Bible Detective

                I have always loved a good mystery novel. As a child my favorite mystery author was Agatha Christie. I would begin one of her books and couldn't stop until I got to the end. My mom was also a mystery lover, so she and I would watch all the mystery movies we could get our hands on. The thrill of the hunt was what intrigued me the most. With the turn of every page, there was a clue, a little nugget of information that kept you guessing, that sparked in me a desire to know the end.

                As I prayed this morning, I thought about the mystery of God, the depth and riches of His grace and mercy. He has become my favorite mystery writer of all times. Instead of “who done it” I now know Who did it, and the fun part is getting to know why He did it. There is a mystery in the Bible, it is written in the Old Testament as little nuggets, clues to what is coming, clues to the mystery that is going to be revealed. For us Christians, we know what this mystery is, because we have seen and experienced the mystery of Christ in our lives, but, there are still more mysteries to be solved.
                “But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the ages for our glory.” 1 Corinthians 2:7
                The word mystery is defined as “hidden things”. Vines Expository Dictionary describes the word mystery as “God’s plan of providing salvation for me through Jesus Christ; which was once hidden but now revealed. Being outside the range of unassisted natural apprehension, can be made known only by Divine revelation, and is made known in a manner and at a time appointed by God, and to those who are illuminated by His Spirit. In the ordinary sense a ‘mystery’ implies knowledge withheld; its scriptural significance is truth revealed.”
                We have been given the greatest mystery of all times, God’s Word. Each page holds for us a new mystery to uncover, a new truth to grasp and hold onto. He lays before us nuggets and clues to lead us down the path to His glory. Whenever I read the word “mystery” in my Bible, there sparks in me a desire to know more, to seek harder, to search out what He is showing me. This should be true for all of us. God has revealed His Word to us, and we are to be detectives, seeking out the clues He lays before us as we grow closer to Him with each passing day.

                Paul goes on to say that “none of the rulers of this age knew; for had they known, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. But as it is written, “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” (1 Cor. 2:8-9) Paul is not telling us that we cannot know these mysteries God has written for us, but that we can know them, we can seek them out. We may not understand them, but that is where the detective in us begins- with the seeking out and finding out the mystery that God has for us.  
                Just like any good mystery novel, only a little bit at a time is revealed, dropping clues for us to follow. The Lord God, beginning in Genesis 1:1 has given us a little bit at a time, a clue here and a clue there. The more we seek to understand and search out, the more He reveals to us. I would not stop reading an Agatha Christie novel halfway through, I couldn’t- because I had to know the truth. The question we have to ask ourselves is do we stop seeking God halfway through, or do we also desire to know the truth? Do we desire to know the mysteries of God; do we seek to understand the words He has written for us? Do we seek to know Him, and the wonders of His grace?

                Isaiah 48:6 says, “You have heard; See all this, and will you not declare it? I have made you hear new things from this time, even hidden things, and you did not know them.” God has revealed to us the hidden things; the clues from the Old Testament have led us to the full revelation of Jesus Christ. The Old Testament conceals Christ, the New Testament reveals Christ. Do we seek to understand the things of God, or are we content with what we know, and have no desire to go any farther. Are you content to read the first half of the mystery novel, or do you desire to know the truth, the end of the matter?
                Do you seek a good mystery? Then begin to seek Christ, begin to open the pages of the greatest mystery you will ever experience and seek God. He desires for us to seek Him, He desires for us to follow the nuggets, the clues as His detectives, with the Holy Spirit guiding us. He desires to reveal more of Himself to you each and every day. But, He will only do so if you desire to know the truth, if you desire to seek Him out.
                “And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:13. Begin to seek Him, and He promises that you will find Him. He has laid before us a great mystery, He desires for us to follow the bread crumbs until we come to the full knowledge of His grace and glory. The thrill of the hunt was what kept me turning the pages, and it is that same thrill of knowing Him more fully that keeps me turning the pages of my Bible.

                Throughout the Bible God calls out for us to seek Him, to get to know Him, to search until we find Him. He is the mystery, and He has in these last days revealed His glory to us all. All we have to do is be willing to search for clues, and keep the investigation going. The more I read, the more I understand, the more I understand, the more I want to read. Jesus gives us the key to solving the mysteries of God as laid before us in His word. He tells us to “ask, and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.” (Luke 11:9-10)

                If you desire to know the deep things of God, to understand the mysteries of His grace; then ask, seek and knock. Be a detective and search out the God of all mysteries, the God of all wonders, the God who has clearly revealed to us His glory and His name. What greater adventure can we have than to be detectives of His word? James tells us that if we lack wisdom we are to ask God, because He gives to all of us liberally and without reproach. (James 1:5) God wants you to seek Him out, He wants you to follow the clues He has laid before you in His Word. He has “made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself.” (Ephesians 1:9) Be a detective, search and seek until you find the truth, don’t quit halfway through, but keep striving, keep pushing, keep searching and the Lord will reveal His glory to you, day after day until you get to the end where you will see Him face to face. Amen and Amen.