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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The Shockingly Simple Truth

I read an article on Kryptos in one of my magazines Sunday afternoon. In case you don't know, Kryptos is an art instillation behind the U.S. CIA building. It's a big curved sheet of metal that has an encrypted message written on it. According to the article, the artist who made it expected the codebreakers who work at the CIA (and who have to look at the statue on every lunch break) to crack the code within about seven years. Instead, nearly three decades later, the art piece has one section that has yet to be decoded.

Kryptos appeals to everyone who loves a good puzzle. There is a thrill about knowing "hidden" knowledge. Puzzles and secret things have always appealed to mankind. Why is this?

I think sole mastery of something makes us feel like we have become God. Whoever deciphers K4 (Kryptos section 4, the unknown section) may feel like he or she is the Top Ace of the World for an instant, but that joy won't last long. After all, there was always one person who knew the answer already--the one who made the statue.

So why do we endlessly search for mysteries to solve? After all,
Nothing in all creation is hidden from God's sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account. (Hebrews 4:13 NIV)
Mysteries are fun, but solving them doesn't make us some sort of a god. It would be better if we sought the Maker of all knowledge, including knowledge we don't yet know.

That is one thing that troubles me today about many churchgoers in America. I have been hearing of preachers who tell congregants that they have "new knowledge, that can't be found in the Bible." While I was in college, some people encouraged me to use literary criticism techniques (like psychoanalysis and structuralism) on the Bible (I refused, by the way, because I don't accept the basis on which those theories are founded). What I'm saying is, we are always trying to read something new into the Bible--trying to find that "hidden knowledge" that everyone has always missed--but have we forgotten that God already knows all of the secrets in the Bible? Shouldn't we be seeking Him first?

Some people have even gone farther, creating traditions, prophecies, etc. that go farther than the Bible in directing our behavior, including overruling or ignoring Scripture. They often announce these ideas as prophecies. I've already talked about testing true and false prophets in an earlier post.

It just makes me think that while we are searching for deep truths, sometimes we miss the truth that is accessible on the surface. Do I think that God put depth in the Bible, for those looking for double meaning and prophetic references? Of course. I encourage anyone who wants to look closely at the intricacies of Scripture. Still, God made sure that, even if we're not the best readers in the world, we can still get the basics. They are hidden in plain sight.
At that time Jesus said, "I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this was your good pleasure. (Matthew 11: 25, 26 NIV)
The basics of the Bible, which even children can understand, are the basic truths that we all need. Children understand that we need to seek Jesus, and that we should love and obey Him. Children know how we should respond to God--with genuine eagerness. They also know to take God at His Word, instead of trying to change His Word to fit their desires.

Jesus Himself told us to take children as our examples:
He called a little child and had him stand among them. And he said: "I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 18: 2-4 NIV)
So do you want to be the greatest? Do you want to solve a great mystery? Run to Jesus with the same wholeheartedness and eagerness as a little child! As your knowledge of the basic truths of Scripture deepens, God will help you see more of the depth and intricacies of Scripture.

People keep saying, "the truth is out there," or make comments about man's "endless search for truth," but I'm telling you, the truth has been found. The truth has been revealed. His name is Jesus. Seek Him!


Anonymous said...

Amen! And just as we should be eager to gain wisdom from God, He is eager to help us understand. He says, "Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know" (Jeremiah 33:3).