Sometimes, when I am studying the Bible, I find myself faced with a mystery. What on earth was God saying or doing on this occasion and what does it mean? Someone once complained about this wondering why God hid things from us.
Why, he wanted to know,
doesn’t God come right out and tell us plainly so we don’t have to guess? I have two things to say about that:
One: How plain does God have to be? What part of
Thou shalt not steal do we not understand? The truth is, the Ten Commandments are a plain, unambiguous statement of how we should live our lives. Two: When you have found your own way to an answer to a difficult question, you are far more likely to remember it. And I could add a third: God loves a mystery.
We should understand that well enough. There are people who take great pleasure in designing crossword puzzles that drive us crazy. But there may be a more serious side to this. There is a rather difficult passage in Paul’s letter to the Romans that reveals something unexpected. Here, Paul is trying to sort his way through a vexing problem. Let’s take a look beginning in Romans, the 11th chapter.