I have often wondered what it was like to live in the Garden of Eden, be challenged to build an ark, or be told to leave my homeland and family, and journey to a place I knew not. What would it have been like to live in Moses’ sandals; to see a burning bush not consumed by fire, then be told to return to Egypt and demand the release of God’s people from an evil Pharaoh? What was it like to see the Red Sea parted, to be saved by God’s Power, only to complain and rebel against the Almighty?
What would it have been like to be at Jericho “when the walls came tumbling down”? Israel was warned to love God and keep His commandments, and yet, they did not. Their rebellion brought on God’s punishment and when they repented, He raised up judges to deliver them. They defied Him again by demanding a king to rule over them. We can read about the united kingdom under Saul, David, and Solomon and the mistakes each ruler made. Then came the divided kingdom, the kings of Judah and Israel, and how each nation rebelled against God. We know about the prophets who encouraged faithfulness and warned about judgment.
If it were possible to go back in time, just once, to see history unfold, I would choose to see our LORD’s ministry, to hear Him speak in a way that was described as, “Never has a man spoken the way this man speaks.” While Christ was a master teacher in so many ways, I believe it was His message that was unlike anything people had heard before. He made fantastic and unimaginable claims about Himself and His mission, all of which were backed up by miracles. While there is much about our LORD’s life not recorded, the Gospels reveal what we need to know Him.
What was it like to be in Jerusalem on the Day of Pentecost and to hear the first gospel message, or to be scattered abroad preaching the word? I think it would have been amazing to witness Paul’s ministry, but then saddening to see the hardships and difficulties associated with his efforts. Men of inspiration wrote to various churches and individuals to encourage, buildup, and admonish when needed. Christians were reminded to be hopeful and remain faithful in their service.
Among other things, the Bible is an historical account of mankind, with bits and pieces revealed as God intended. Each person lives only a moment in time and cannot really know what it was like back then or what it will be like in the future. From what we know, God did not tell Adam and Eve about Abraham, and Abraham did not know about Moses, and Moses did not know David, and you get the picture.
In whatever time a person lived, God revealed what people needed to know. Many promises and prophecies were given, along with the details of what God wanted from people at a particular time. By the end of the first century AD, God had completed His revelation to man. Nothing more will be given by way of instruction or promises. We have the completed Word of God.
I am sure that God’s Word continues to live and that literal translations reveal exactly what He wants us to know. There is an abundance of testimony and evidence supporting faith in God revelation. Sadly, many are losing confidence in Bible translations, and they are abandoning its message and God ‘s will. I am reminded, “Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God”. It is a good time to be living, as it has always been.