Theme of the Month…or a “Topical Solution”

With the end of a book, it is time for a new direction! Throughout Isaiah I have string on mapenjoyed seeing how so many themes are repeated and tie all 66 chapters together. I want to see how that happens in the Bible, and take a deeper look at some of the imagery contained within words. I am starting with the mini metaphors in Proverbs.

Proverbs 25:2 seemed to be an appropriate beginning:

“It is the glory of God to conceal a matter,
But the glory of kings is to search out a matter.” (NASB)

The New Living Translation says it:

“It is God’s privilege to conceal things
    and the king’s privilege to discover them.”

ESV:

It is the glory of God to conceal things,
    but the glory of kings is to search things out.” 

The Message:

“God delights in concealing things;
    scientists delight in discovering things.”

I am really curious about the word “glory.” I looked it up, and the Hebrew word used both times refers to “heaviness, burden, riches, reputation, importance, glory, splendor, distinction, honor, testimonial” (see LOGOS).

The culture of a monarchy with its distinct social statuses is one of defined lifestyles and tasks. The Middle Eastern cultures operate on more of a social reputation track: honor and reputation are very important. God, as God, is above the social structure. How does He relate to humanity? He plants treasures within the structure of this world that He wants to enjoy with us. 

Kings have great responsibility, but they are at the top of the totem pole. Butterfly_magnification_series_collageWhat can they aim for? They can discover the secrets that are in the universe. This ambition drives the discoveries of great scientists, who search the mysteries of the deepest ocean canyon and the smallest scale on a butterfly’s wing. It also drives the pioneers of the imagination who stretch the possibilities of normal lifestyles set in abnormal yet believable worlds. What else is out there?

Looking out to the rest of the Bible, I found two verses cross-referenced with “conceal,” which also speak to the extent of God’s knowledge.

Deuteronomy 29:29, NIV, “29 The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may follow all the words of this law.”

Moses, speaking to Israel near the end of 40 years in the wilderness, has already given the nation of Israel the law that God gave to him. This was the contract between God as Protector and the people as His subjects. What God had not given them, they did not need to worry about. Their concern was with the things He had laid out in the law.

Paul says in Romans 11:33, “Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and[a] knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out!”

Even though Israel rejected Jesus as Savior, God will still redeem them! He works in ways we do not understand with mercy that can’t be tamed. But we get to enjoy the experience with Him!

God, thank You for this chance to explore the mysteries in Your Word to a greater depth, and the treasures You have planted within it. Please spark a fire in me to be excited about learning and applying Your truth in my life. You are so much bigger, I want to know more! Amen.

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