What is written where and how
God as an author of books? A many-sided image from the Bible: the Chief Apostle took out four very different volumes from the library of the Holy Scriptures and deciphered their code in a divine service recently.
“The psalm we will be looking at today is typical: you have to read it three times to understand it.” This is how Chief Apostle Jean-Luc Schneider started the divine service in Landgraaf in the Netherlands on 23 October 2022, after reading Psalm 139: 16: “Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, the days fashioned for me, when as yet there were none of them.”
“The psalmist wants to describe the omnipotence and the omniscience of God. To do so, he uses an image that is frequently used in the Scriptures: the image of a book written by God.” The Chief Apostle found no less than four different books and unlocked their meaning.
The psalm speaks about the great book of human history:
- God is the beginning of history and He will be the end of history. He created man to have fellowship with Him, and He wants mankind to have fellowship with Him again in the new creation.
- In between is God’s plan of salvation. The whole history of mankind is characterised by the redemptive will of God.
- However, He does not just describe what He sees, no, He writes the story down, and does it in such a way that He can fulfill His plan.
- At the end of the book, God wins. He has the last word in the book of history. Let us trust Him!
The Old Testament also knows a personal book for each individual:
- God is interested in every human being. His love for us is unconditional.
- He shares in our pain and in our joy, and He makes sure that we can find salvation.
- He gives us the freedom of choice, and no matter what we decide: God always has a solution for us.
- And because He knows the future, He keeps warning us. Let us heed those warnings.
We are all familiar with the Lamb’s Book of Life:
- We believe that our names are written there when we accept Jesus Christ and are born again of water and the Spirit. You are now a citizen of heaven, you have the passport to enter the kingdom of God.
- In this book too, all the days are recorded. That means that God makes sure that every day we experience, no matter what that day may contain, is recorded in our preparation programme for the return of the Son of God.
- It is our job, of course, to experience each day that way and to be aware that this day is also part of the programme. For then we assess many a situation quite differently, and know what really matters and what should be done.
The book that the Lord will open on the day of judgement is less popular:
- “There it is written what God gave us and what we did with it,” the Chief Apostle said. Jesus Himself said: “For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required” (Luke 12: 48).
- Everything we do out of love for God and our neighbour is carefully written down. God sees everything we have done in love. He will not forget anything. Even if other people do not see it, God sees it.
- Of course, He also writes down when we have committed yet another sin. However, if we then come to Him and repent, if we regret it, if we believe in Jesus Christ, if we are willing to mend our ways, then He will forgive us and erase all the ugly things. No trace of it remains.
“This is the basis on which God will judge us,” said Chief Apostle Schneider: “He will decide: do you love Me; what have you done out of love for yourself, for Me, and for your neighbour? That remains. If your love is big enough you can enter My kingdom.”