Tuesday: Mysteries

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts” (Isa. 55:8-9).

Read Romans 9:17-24. Given what we have read so far, how are we to understand Paul’s point here?

Jesus is the Way

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By dealing with Egypt at the time of the Exodus in the manner He did, God was working for the salvation of the human race. God’s revelation of Himself in the plagues of Egypt and in the deliverance of His people was designed to reveal to the Egyptians, as well as to other nations, that the God of Israel indeed was the true God. It was designed to be an invitation for the peoples of the nations to abandon their gods and to come and worship Him.

Obviously Pharaoh had already made his choice against God, so that in hardening his heart, God was not cutting him off from the opportunity of salvation. The hardening was against the appeal to let Israel go, not against God’s appeal for Pharaoh to accept personal salvation. Christ died for Pharaoh, just as much as for Moses, Aaron, and the rest of the children of Israel.

The crucial point in all this is that as fallen human beings we have such a narrow view of the world, of reality, and of God and how He works in the world. How can we expect to understand all of God’s ways when the natural world, everywhere we turn, holds mysteries we can’t understand? After all, it was only in the past 171 years that doctors learned it might be a good idea to wash their hands before performing surgery! That’s how steeped in ignorance we have been. And who knows, if time should last, what other things we will discover in the future that will reveal just how steeped in ignorance we are today?

Certainly we don’t always understand God’s ways, but Jesus came to reveal to us what God is like (John 14:9). Why, then, amid all of life’s mysteries and unexpected events is it so crucial for us to dwell on the character of Christ and what He has revealed to us about God and His love for us? How can knowing what God’s character is like help us to stay faithful amid trials that seem so unjustified and so unfair?

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Source: Daily Sabbath School Lessons