If God inspired the bible, wouldn’t he inspire it in such a way that we would easily understand his intentions and purpose for our lives?
This is an excellent question.
And the answer is, no. Surprise!
2Timothy 3:16 says:
“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness…” (NIV)
“All the Holy Writings are God-given and are made alive by Him. Man is helped when he is taught God’s Word. It shows what is wrong. It changes the way of a man’s life. It shows him how to be right with God.” (NLV)
“Every part of Scripture is God-breathed and useful one way or another—showing us truth, exposing our rebellion, correcting our mistakes, training us to live God’s way. Through the Word we are put together and shaped up for the tasks God has for us.” (MSG) [all emphasis in above versions mine]
Look at the words used for what the Word of God can do–teaching, correcting, exposing, training. All of them action words. None with a sense of end or need of completion; as if the knowledge of God and His purposes for our lives can have completeness.
Above anything, the Bible is a story of a God wanting to reunite with his creation. Yes, the tired old cliché rings true: Scripture is ultimately a love letter from the creator to his creation. He once had a relationship with us, and he longs to have that relationship again. Why would it be a stretch of imagination to think that He would not want us to long for him; to discover him and explore him through his inspired Word.
After all, He made us in His image…
“Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness…” (NIV)
“Let us make human beings in our image, make them reflecting our nature…” (MSG)
…not by physical appearance, but by nature—the inward appearance—with a heart of longing for the “why?” and a soul of eagerness for the discovery.
He has given us the free will to choose him.
He has given us the curiosity to seek him.
He has also given us the benefit of doubt. Not the benefit of “the” doubt, but the benefit of doubt; the ability, and the desire, to question.
The one thing he has not given us is knowledge on a silver platter, and that drives our little Greek-influenced eight-pound brains nuts! We Westerners like facts and figures and absolutes, not unresolved problems. We like the solutions, not the seeking. We like our answers, not the revelation of more questions. We like things that fit into our neat little “knowledge boxes” so we can put them on our “mastery shelves”, storing them away, never to bother with them again. Forgotten…but at least solved.
Of course God’s not going to let us do that with His Word. Why would he?
Remember, God gave us our natural inquisitiveness. It is a gift. It is a blessing. So, too, is the Bible a gift, and a blessing; an inspired Word to spark our inquisitive nature, to feed it, to encourage it, continually, layer-upon-layer (which is another post all together).
It’s not God’s fault that our innate nature has been calloused over and hardened by laziness and affluence, that our curiosity, especially toward Him, has grown complacent and shallow. We are victims of culture, masters of conquest, where questions have become just another battle to fight, solutions just another victory to be won.
Through our 21st century comforts and culture, we’ve drifted away from God’s image. Forming instead in our own, self-satisfied and supreme. The image in the mirror: Our very own idols.
“Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 18:3 NIV)
God doesn’t want answers or revelation or truth spoon fed to us with no sense of wonder or awe on our part, something akin to becoming like little children I would think, even (and perhaps especially) as we ascend this endless mountain of understanding called God’s Word.
He has given us this gift of discovery, of exploration, of unfolding wisdom at our own pace and in our own timing. Each revelation being its own amazing “Ah-ha!” moment, and each moment building upon the last; higher and higher, toward a greater and greater sense of appreciation.
Ultimately, toward Him.