"In the beginning God . . ."
With those words we are ushered into an experience of knowing Him, creator of the world and lover of our souls. The specificity and detail of the creation help us to know that He is a God of order . . . of detail. As He fashions man by His own hands and breathes into him the breath of life, we learn that He is personally engaged in the life of man. We get the sense that He desires something different from man than from every other creature He has created. Yes, without a doubt, the creation story is His story!
It's Not About Them
But it also occurred to me that Abraham's story is not really Abraham's story at all. If we believe Romans 12:3—"For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned"—then the faith that Abraham displayed was given to him by God. So God gave Abraham faith so that He could covenant with him. Through Abraham's relationship with God, we become acquainted with a God who makes promises and keeps them (Gen. 12:1–3, 15:5–21). He's a promise-keeping God who obligates Himself to fallen man. What a God!
Every character in Scripture is there not for their personal story alone, but to help us know God more intimately.
And in that same sense Moses' story is not really his story at all. It is, instead, a vehicle through which we come to know God as a mighty deliverer ( Ex. 19:3–6). As God delivers His people, Israel, from Egypt, we see Him as One who protects His people and prepares a place for them. He did that for Israel and has done it also for us as believers. We have been delivered from the hand of the enemy and heaven awaits us as our eternal home. What an awesome God!
And what of the story of Hagar? As she and her son, Ishmael, await death in the desert wilderness ( Gen. 16:8–13), she discovers that she is not alone. God appears and comforts her—and Hagar is able to exclaim, "You are the God who sees me!" From Hagar's story we learn that He sees those who are marginalized by the culture and rejected as outcasts. And in His seeing there is compassionate, tender care and provision. Oh, how powerfully this picture of our God speaks to women around the world who feel forsaken and forgotten!
Telling His Story
Indeed, every character in Scripture is there not for their personal story alone, but to help us know God more intimately through how He interacts and engages with them. God uses them to help tell His Story in terms that we can connect and resonate with it.
So the key question is, what story does He want to tell a watching world through your life? Is it that He is faithful . . . that He is omnipotent . . . that He is full of mercy . . . that He is the God who loves even the worst of humankind? I invite you to reflect on that thought, for if we belong to Him, our story is His story . . . and that's a story worth telling!
Not to us, O LORD, not to us, but to your name give glory, for the sake of your steadfast love and your faithfulness! (Ps. 115:1).