The fact that the Bible does not make sense is proof that it was written by God and not man. Now, I know I have already offended a lot of Christians by saying the Bible doesn’t make sense and what I mean is that it isn’t black and white (though so many wish it was, pretend it is, and quote their favorite portions as such). People want formulas – how many “seven steps to xxxx” are best sellers?? We want hard constructs so we can see precise measurements that we can compare: do I measure up, or the more common – do they measure up?
There is only one grading rubric and that’s Jesus – so newsflash everyone, we all fail. How we live out our faith depends on what we read in the Bible and if the Bible were perfectly clear then we would not be so divided over it. I know that I was taught that the Bible is clear. I was offended the first time this concept of grey was presented to me, but once I moved away from my Sunday school stories and actually dug into the real stories of hurting men and women who constantly failed and God continued to forgive and love the more I saw the complexities of scripture.
People wouldn’t write that. We would write nice formulas and exact guidelines. I know the next argument will be that God gave us exact guidelines in the Bible – but did He? Sure we have the Ten Commandments and Leviticus but if those are our guidelines for today as well then why are we wearing clothes that blend fabrics like wool and linen? Why are you eating seafood? Jesus came and said he was the fulfillment of the law. God told Peter – kill and eat. The rules changed. The standard didn’t.
What that means is that Jesus was and still is the standard. Living like Jesus looked different in the Old Testament than the new, and today. People wouldn’t write that. We are not that forward thinking. Governments everywhere are having to make new laws as things change and remove old laws. People make these laws and demand punishment – God made a standard and said I know you won’t choose to live up to this so I’ll make the way for you. I’ll die so you can come home. People prefer punishments of prison and the death penalty. I know because I feel that way.
People would never write the way God wrote the Bible. That is comforting to me, but still uncomfortable because it leaves me wrestling with this letter from God to me. I have recently been reading to my kids a book by Rachel Held Evans called Inspired. We just read about her faith journey with the Bible and she talks about Jacob. It got my heart when she reminded us that when we wrestle with God we are not only given a limp but a blessing.
So if you see Christians who walk around perfectly straight, then you can conclude that they have not spent time wrestling with God. I don’t know how happy Jacob was initially about the limp but it’s significant and the blessing came hand in hand. He’s not a God who only keeps us humble but He is also a God of goodness.
So much has happened in my life that a black and white God and scripture actually won’t cut it. My life have been thousands of colors. He is in them all and He is giving me both a limp and a blessing. As I wrestle Lord, keep me humble and blessed.