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As God’s enemies become bolder in their reproaches, how will God’s people respond? In the first books of the Bible, God gave us just the right lessons we need.
Over the past few days, I’ve been listening to a CD of the Bible from Genesis to Joshua. (My 40-minute drive to work allows plenty of free time.) As I was listening, I kept thinking about this magazine issue.
The sweep of God’s work to redeem Israel from pharaoh and then resettle them in the Promised Land is breathtaking. God declared emphatically that nothing like it had ever happened in human history, with God redeeming a nation of slaves and helping them seize a new homeland from warrior nations “greater and mightier” than they (Deuteronomy 9:1).
Every seven years Israel was supposed to listen to the Bible’s account of God’s deliverance (Deuteronomy 31:9–13). Each new king was to write these words and reread them throughout his life (Deuteronomy 17:18–19). How inspiring for every new generation!
We live in a momentous time. Respect for the Bible is in full flight. As pilgrims in an alien world, modern believers sense their isolation more than ever. Our views are despised, while the wise men of pharaoh’s court and the mighty men of Canaan become ever more boastful about their gods. So we have a choice, just as Moses’s generation did.
Will we look at the walled cities, well-equipped soldiers, and giants in the land? Or will we see through the eyes of faith a beautiful land flowing with milk and honey, where God has already promised victory?
Our challenge every issue is to encourage readers to meditate on God and His greater purposes, as revealed in His Word, so they can confidently communicate their faith. That requires us to think big, much like God called the Israelites to do—to think heavenly thoughts not earthly thoughts.
When people attack our beliefs from their arsenal of worldly arguments, our job is not to respond in kind.
When people attack our beliefs from their arsenal of worldly arguments, our
job is not to respond in kind. Our job is to find God’s way of presenting the
truth about Himself—to give answers that direct their gaze heavenward to the
majesty and authority of the Lord of lords, that they might know that “
Himself is God; there is none other besides Him” (Deuteronomy 4:35).
Consider two examples from this issue. If people tell you, “The Genesis Flood is just another myth,” how do you respond? When the media trumpets another “transitional fossil” like a “seal with legs,” what do you say?
You could confess ignorance or question the integrity of the experts or spout some factoid you read somewhere in creationist literature. Or you could pray for wisdom and think back on what the Lord has taught you about Himself through Scripture.
Our articles suggest possible responses. Response to claims the Bible is myth:
“Let’s see what the Bible itself says about the Flood compared to any myth.”
Response to transitional fossils of “seals with legs”: “Let’s talk about the
reason God created the diversity of living things on earth—He filled the earth
with creatures perfectly suited to thrive in even the most unusual niches so
His glory would be ‘
clearly seen’ everywhere in creation (Romans 1:20).”
Positive, Bible-based answers cut to the heart. Let God’s Word do its work, and try to get out of the way!
This is hard to do. Indeed, it’s impossible without help to break out of our carnal mindset and think like God (Isaiah 55:8–9). But He has given us what we need—His Spirit and His Word. He has also given us other believers to encourage us to think bigger.
When we do, we can confidently expect to see God do great things and marvelous, unlike the world has ever seen.