On The Books of History

Read Joshua if you ever need to be encouraged that Jehovah is God.

Joshua is a book of action where the good guys win. The book lines up the Israelites against the inhabitants of Canaan, and time and again Israel, at the word of Jehovah, routs the enemy.

I’ve been reading Witness Lee’s Life-Study of the Bible since 2004. I’m currently a little over 40% done with the 1,984 messages which comprise the entire collection, and am currently reading through the twelve books of history.  The messages on the books of history have shown me that there is a way to interpret the books of history so that I see what God is doing today and where I stand in His move.

Remember Lancelot? or was it Joshua…

I may be wrong, but I would guess that a lot of Christians probably equate the books of history to the exciting stories of “The Old Days”. For example, Joshua is a valiant warrior-leader whose people dispossess seven tribes and conquer a vast land. Caleb, his companion who at age 80 hasn’t had the slightest dimming of his eye,  defeats a tribe of ungodly giants to take possession of a prominent hill, promising to give his daughter to whoever defeats some other impregnable enemy city. Not too far from Troy and Achilles. I mean, the books of history are the Christian version of the Iliad, right? To an American in 2014, warrior-kings, walled cities  and harlot-heroines are about as close to reality  as the Knights of the Round Table.

I find that the uneducated Englishman is an almost total skeptic about History. I had expected he would disbelieve the Gospels because they contain miracles: but he really disbelieves them because they deal with things that happened 2000 years ago.
-CS Lewis, God in the Dock, p. 94

Now, what challenges me is not to garner the moral lesson from the text, but to see what the text itself, with all of its parts and its central theme, means for us today. In other words, it’s not all about good and evil. Affirmation that the good guys win and the bad guys lose isn’t all there is. Layer upon layer of meaning come out of the books of history. That’s where revelation comes in, and for me, that’s where the Life-Study of the Bible has done wonders.

Witness Lee on the Books of History:

In studying the histories and prophecies of the Old Testament, we need the full scope, the full view, of the entire Scriptures concerning God’s eternal economy for Christ and the church, which consummates in the New Jerusalem. This will render us not only a broader view but also the deeper, intrinsic significance of God’s purpose in presenting to us the histories and giving us the prophecies of the Old Testament. The scope, the center, and the intrinsic significance of all the histories and the prophecies of the Old Testament must be Christ and His Body, which will ultimately consummate in the New Jerusalem for God’s eternal economy.

I plan to write a post once a week or so that follows my Life-Study Reading. Next up: Rahab.

Further Reading:
LifeandBuilding.com – The Bible as Revelation and History

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