Daily D – Romans 9:31-33
But Israel, pursuing the law of righteousness, has not achieved the righteousness of the law. Why is that? Because they did not pursue it by faith, but as if it were by works. They stumbled over the stumbling stone. As it is written, Look, I am putting a stone in Zion to stumble over and a rock to trip over, and the one who believes on him will not be put to shame. (CSB) ROM. 9:31-33
A quick Google search for the two words Bible code provided 189,000,000 results. There is a book available by that name. There are YouTube videos demonstrating how people detect the secret code in the Bible. The Apostle Paul used the word mystery twenty-one times in his writings.
What does this mean?
It means we need to read the Bible for the plain meaning of the text. This is a core truth when it comes to biblical interpretation. It means to stop looking for hidden meaning and pay attention to the obvious meaning.
When Paul wrote about mystery twenty-one times, he was referring to what was promised and hidden in the past which has been revealed in Jesus Christ. What the prophets of old anticipated had come true. If there is a Bible Code it is this: Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through him (John 14:6). The secret is out!
So many people prefer researching mysteries without any clues to actually opening the Bible and seeing what God said for himself. This is why television preachers who act like magicians on stage — on stage — attract more eyeballs and dollars than the faithful preacher in a congregation of ordinary folks who declares the truth simply and straightforwardly without unnecessary drama or manipulation.
There is no doubt that TV preachers are more entertaining. Books like The Bible Code make engrossing reading. Halloween candy can also substitute for a meal. However, when we read the Bible in an orderly, systematic manner while asking God to speak to our hearts, he does what he said he would do in Jer. 33:3: “Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and incomprehensible things you do not know.”
If you want to know God and to experience him, take the Bible and read it day by day. Do not only read it but do what it says (James 1:22-25). Use the SOAP acrostic this devotional is drawn from:
No longer will you search out mysteries without any clues. Instead, you will seek God in the manner he has preserved for you for centuries with words of truth and life. You may not get all tingly like the TV preachers and book authors want you to, but you will know and experience God. The greatest mystery of all is why more people do not do just that.
I will seek to know and experience God through the words of truth and life he has preserved for me and for all who will seek him in this manner.
Our Father, open my heart to your words of truth and life. Speak to me. Teach me. Give me ears to hear what your Spirit is saying. Give me a willing and obedient heart to do what you say. I want to know you and to experience you. I will stop seeking out the unknowable and give attention to how you have made yourself known to all people for all time. Amen.
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John 7:3, 4 So his brothers said to him, “Leave here and go to Judea so that your disciples can see your works that you are doing. For no one does anything in secret while he’s seeking public recognition. If you do these things, show yourself to the world.” (CSB)
Psalm 9:9, 10 The LORD is a refuge for the persecuted, a refuge in times of trouble. Those who know your name trust in you because you have not abandoned those who seek you, LORD. (CSB)