Wednesday, March 8, 2023

Reading from right to left. . .

Hebrew, as you may know, writes and reads from right to left and not the left to write order of English.  Perhaps it is a silly observation but perhaps that little clue ought to suggest something more than a linguistic phenomenon.  Perhaps that is the direction of God's work and His Word.

Most of us all think that prophecy points to what is to come.  After all, that is the point of prophecy, isn't is?   All the stories of the Old Testament point forward to what is to come, right?  So Abraham's almost sacrifice of Isaac prefigures the Father's offering of His one and only Son, right?  Or do we have it backwards?

Could it be that Christ orders not only what comes after Him but all that has come before?  After all, He was appointed Savior before the foundation of the world and before any sin had been committed.  His marriage to the Church was not some that came after Adam and Eve but actually preceded them and the marriage of man and woman.  

Could it be that we have read it all wrong?  It is not the events of the past that shape the future but the future (from our perspective, anyway) that orders the past?  The pre-incarnate Christ is the incarnate Christ.  Before God made everything and even before God made anything, Christ knew and consented to become the Savior of man and his world.  Christ is not an option exercised by God when everything else was tried and failed, Christ was and is the plan of God from before the beginning of all that is.

Sin has disordered God's order so that it seems like God approaches everything the way we do -- trial and error.  But our Lord was never a back up plan in case the Law did not save us.  Christ was always the first and only plan of salvation for you and me and any and all who will be saved.  The order of creation and the order of redemption are not different orders but the same order from the same mind and heart of God.  It gave us a past we did not want and stole from us a future we desired but it did more.  Sin made it appear that God was as inept as we are, trying things out as we might be to try and fix our messes.  

It is not God who sees as we see but we who cannot see as God sees.  When Job was asked where he was when God set the heavens and earth in place, he had no answer.  But the Word was there.  Wisdom was there.  God reads from the right to the left, the future He has appointed defines the past.  God wrote the future before we lived the past -- grace upon grace, to be sure.

When he established the heavens, I was there,
when he drew a circle on the face of the deep,
28when he made firm the skies above,
when he established the fountains of the deep,
29when he assigned to the sea its limit,
so that the waters might not transgress his command,
when he marked out the foundations of the earth,  30then I was beside him, like a master worker;
and I was daily his delight,
rejoicing before him always,
31rejoicing in his inhabited world
and delighting in the human race.
  Proverbs 8:27-31

The kerygma of Christianity is the announcement of the future not as what might or will happen but what God has already set in place and faith apprehends this future as even more secure and trustworthy than what we know of our past or live in our present.  Quite literally, all theology is Christology -- all that God has hidden is revealed in Christ, even the hidden face of God we see in Christ so that we can confess with confidence beholding the crucified Lord -- I have seen the Father!

1 comment:

Janis Williams said...

Comforting to know thoughts I have had are not unique to my poor brain. As long as I have understood that God created time, and lives outside it, I have pondered how the eternal “now” defines all we do, and all of history is only a prelude to the “it is finished.”