As I was doing my Beth Moore Daniel bible study today, I had this overwhelming feeling of just how great God is. This entire bible study has been extremely hard as it deals with very complex material (you know what I mean for any of you who have read the book of Daniel). The book and the bible study I am doing do not relate to anything that is "self-help", as many bible studies are. That is one of the key things Ms. Moore points out. The book is packed full of history and just a basic outflowing of what is to come. However, even though there is nothing in this book that really relates to how we should live our daily lives as Christians, it impacts me in more ways then one:
First, it confuses me. Now, I am the type of person that does not like to be confused. Although Beth Moore does a great job in breaking down the time tables and the language, it still leaves questions lingering in my mind. This confusion, I believe, has been good for me. It just proves to me how small my mind is; how the things of God are so beyond my understanding that my feeble mind cannot comprehend them.
Second, the confusion pushes me to desire more. This bible study has pushed me to just want to learn more about God and His word. I think the one book that Christians shy away from is the end times material (especially the book of Revelation). Why? because it is hard to understand, and slightly scary. However, reading and studying Daniel has made me want to learn so much more about what God has planned. There are times that I am reading in Matthew, Daniel, or Revelation (all part of the study) and I can't help but cry. I cry because of my frustration in understanding it, in my awe of the Lord, and in my ultimate desire to learn more. It is so tough to spend time learning more in the daily hustle and bustle of my life. I just need to focus more on this.
Third, I am in awe of the Lord. The study and reading just shows how great the Lord is. I think reading this material in its complexity has given me a greater fear of the Lord than any other study I have done. Even Paul in his attempt to understand God in Romans 11:33-36
Oh, the depth of the riches both of wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out!
'For who has known the mind of the Lord?
Or who has become His counselor?
Or who has first given to Him?
And it shall be repaid to him?'
For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen."
Part of the reading for the bible study included Romans 11 and the discussions about the Jewish people and information about the end times. I read this passage regarding the salvation of the Jewish people and it boggled my mind. It seemed so contradictory to everything I had learned before, however I dug farther and realized that it really isn't contradictory. It fits with who God is. It just shows me how God can do anything He wants and He will do anything He wants. Sometimes I try to figure things out in Gods word and this study just showed me that some things, I just need to "take in" and know that whether I fully understand them or not, it doesn't matter.
Fourth, a greater understanding of God's love for Israel. This point goes along with Romans 11 and the third point. Reading Daniel, Romans, and Matthew, just show me the ultimate love God has for His people. I think as Christians, we sometimes think that the Jews have been forgotten since they rejected Christ. However, this is not the case. The order just changed. In Romans 11:28-32 speaks of God's promise to the Jewish people (warning: this verse's interpretation has been highly debated as to what it means):
" Concerning the gospel they are enemies for your sake, but concerning the election they are beloved for the sake of the fathers. For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable, For as you were once disobedient to God, yet have now obtained mercy through their disobedience, even so these also have now been disobedient, that through the mercy shown you they also may obtain mercy. For God has committed them all to disobedience, that He might have mercy on all"
Are you thoroughly confused yet? Either way, I think this shows that God still desires and will fulfill His promise to Israel in some way or another.
Ok, enough of this post. I just wanted to get out some thoughts. I have such an appreciation for God and His love towards me. As this Daniel bible study I am doing comes to a close, I can't help but want to study even deeper into God's word.