Well, it’s the first week of March and we’ve made it through the Old Testament. By the end of the month, our journey through the Bible will be complete. It’s been a quick journey and I’ve wanted to meander a few times but I’ve managed to stay on course. Now I’m ready to go back and vacation in some of the books that visited briefly during our journey. I’ve said I’m starting with Psalms but I’m very tempted to start with the books of the minor prophets that we read this week: Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi.
The message that was driven home for me this week is what it means to be friends with God. The prophets served to make God’s thoughts, wishes, and warnings clearly known to His people. As I look back over the entire Old Testament, I don’t remember a single time that God kept a secret from His people, or set them up in an unexpected trap. Can you think of one? He always let them know what He was going to do before He did it. That’s what a friend does: a friend lets you in on his plans and his expectations; that’s exactly the way God operated in the Old Testament.
You know, I just thought of a possible exception: Job. That said, I don’t think Job takes away from the truth of God sharing with His friends. In Job’s case, God was so sure of Job’s heart that He didn’t feel a need to warn Job because He knew how Job would react. Again, an example of a close friendship. God acts in much the same way today. He’s let us know both what He expects of us as Christians and what we as Christians should expect from the world. We know this in a very general way, but many times He lets us in on the specifics. Can’t you look back on situations and see how God prepared you for them? I know I can so I’m sure you can, too. As Jesus told his disciples in John 15:15 (NLT):
I no longer call you servants, because a master doesn’t confide in his servants. Now you are my friends, since I have told you everything the Father told me.
I’d like to thank those of you taking the journey with me. You have helped to keep me on track. Knowing that you were here waiting and willing to share with me each week was a source of motivation and encouragment. Knowing I didn’t want to let you down, I pushed through sometimes when I wanted to fall off. This push towards excellence that we give each other is captured in Proverbs 27:17 (NLT).
As iron sharpens iron, a friend sharpens a friend.
Have a great week and don’t forget to share what you’re learning.