I love to read. Reading has given me a love for learning new things through which I can gain knowledge and wisdom that might inform my life and worldview. I love practical instruction for DIY, cooking, animal care, and preserving food. I love Biblical commentary and I enjoy reading fiction by authors that use language in an interesting way and take me on an unpredictable journey. I don’t care for writing styles that seem scripted along a formula formed by publishing houses to sell books. I think I may be a bit of a book snob.
While on vacation this summer, out of desperation to have something fiction and wholesome to read, I picked up a book on my library app by an author I previously thought to be trite.
I was surprised. This story was full of truth since it was based on Biblical historical narrative, and I learned a lot about Hebrew life and myself from it. I had closed off my mind towards this particular author because of my presuppositions based on what I knew from my own experience.
This reminded me of the prophet Zechariah. Zechariah had the privilege of announcing to the nation of Israel that King Darius was giving them permission to return to Jerusalem from a seventy year exile in Babylon in order to rebuild the Temple. Through Jeremiah, God gave instructions for the nation to purify itself in preparation for God to dwell with them once again. However, the Jewish people expected the presence of God to dwell in the rebuilt Temple as He had during the exodus. And they expected the promised messiah to be a political savior who would defeat their captors. The Jews were looking for God’s presence from the perspective of their previous experience of Him, something that occurred in the seen realm. But the prophecies God gave Zechariah were of a spiritual nature with an unseen outcome. God sent His Son in the seen realm, but ushered in an unseen spiritual Kingdom that reigns for ever and ever, and He established a new covenant available to ALL who believe in Jesus Christ. This is so much bigger than what the Jewish nation could imagine, and because of that, they missed the treasure.
How often do I get things wrong because I don’t ask the Holy Spirit to open my spiritual eyes and see things from the Father’s perspective? How often do I miss the treasure God wants to give me? How often do I hang on to an offense because forgiveness seems just too hard? How often am I blinded to God’s desire for my life because I am too distracted, numbed, or deceived with the common beliefs of our current culture? How many of my friends and family members have become disobedient to God’s word because they listened to false teachers’ philosophies? Scientists “facts” and popular thought have taken the place of God’s word as the truth and compass to life in our culture.
But we don’t have to follow suit, there is another way! I am so grateful for the gifts of God’s word and the Holy Spirit in whom we abide, for empowerment to obey, grow, and be perfected to maturity. I am thankful that when we ask, the Holy Spirit indeed opens our eyes and gives us understanding. I’m thankful for God’s purpose in planting us in this part of history, in this culture, because He has a plan that is so good it is going to be mind blowing!