Daily D – Deuteronomy 29:29
The hidden things belong to the LORD our God, but the revealed things belong to us and to our children forever, so that we may follow all the words of this law.
DEUTERONOMY 29:29 (CSB)
The three books we collectively call The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien have two prequels. The Hobbit is the story of Bilbo Baggins and how he came to possess the ring of power. The Silmarillion is the creation narrative of Middle-Earth. While The Lord of the Rings books and movies are wonderful adventures, the wonder is enhanced by the backstory of Bilbo Baggins, and even more so by the creation narrative.
The Exodus and the entrance to the Promised Land is quite an adventure tale of its own. As Deuteronomy winds down to its conclusion, there is powerful instruction regarding what kind of choices lead to what kinds of consequences. Obedience leads to blessing and peace. Disobedience leads to punishment and destruction.
As much as Moses wrote, and as much as he knew from his up-close experience of God, there was more to know than he could tell. Thus we come to the twenty-ninth verse of chapter twenty-nine.
If you want to make a name for yourself in ever-broadening circles, if you want to get rich quick with a book and lecture project, write about what the Bible does not explicitly declare. There are many who have done this across the years. The twentieth century saw many books in this line of conjecture. Our present century has its own prophets of extra-biblical material.
Take a look at today’s verse and take it to heart. Yes, there is a greater reality, deeper truths than anyone in this world knows at this moment. While that may fire our imaginations and lead us to interesting works of literature and other art, those unknowable truths are not to guide our lives. We are to focus on what we know to be true.
Obedience, an alignment with the will of God and attunement to the heart of God, produces ever-more blessed lives and communities. Conjecture regarding unknowable things produces ever-more conflict within our own minds and when pondering the imponderable with others.
Know the truth. Learn it well. Take it to heart. Do what you know to be true. Focus on what is right, just, fair, and compassionate. Use your imagination, but never confuse imagination with ultimate truth.
Our reality has a backstory we will never fully comprehend on this side of heaven. What we can know for sure is that God our Father created this world and everything in it so that we can know how good and loving he is and enter into a relationship with him that is as real as anything could be. Our rebellions against his instructions are met with his mercy and forgiveness because he himself took the initiative to solve our sin problems. Separation from him is a choice we can make. Uniting with his eternal purpose is the choice we should make.
The truth is, God loves you and has a wonderful, individualized plan for your life that is full of meaning, purpose, and joy. No other plan you can follow or devise will lead you to the good life God has in store for you. This much you can know for sure. Spend the majority of your life on what you can know for sure.
I will focus on what I am accountable for knowing.
Our Father, I want to know you and experience you. I do not want to be distracted by anything that would drag me away from your truth. Amen.
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6 Then the LORD spoke to Job out of the storm:
7 “Brace yourself like a man;
I will question you,
and you shall answer me.
8 “Would you discredit my justice?
Would you condemn me to justify yourself?
9 Do you have an arm like God’s,
and can your voice thunder like his?
10 Then adorn yourself with glory and splendor,
and clothe yourself in honor and majesty.
11 Unleash the fury of your wrath,
look at all who are proud and bring them low,
12 look at all who are proud and humble them,
crush the wicked where they stand.
13 Bury them all in the dust together;
shroud their faces in the grave.
14 Then I myself will admit to you
that your own right hand can save you
The New International Version (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2011), Job 40:6–14.
Job 29:21-25 21 “People listened to me expectantly,
waiting in silence for my counsel.
22 After I had spoken, they spoke no more;
my words fell gently on their ears.
23 They waited for me as for showers
and drank in my words as the spring rain.
24 When I smiled at them, they scarcely believed it;
the light of my face was precious to them.
25 I chose the way for them and sat as their chief;
I dwelt as a king among his troops;
I was like one who comforts mourners.