No question, as these stories show, life on this earth, amid the great controversy, doesn’t always play out as we might have wanted. For instance, Adam and Eve would not have scripted, as they held their newborns in their arms, that one would kill the other.
Zipporah, when she married Moses, certainly didn’t have the future that she envisioned. And do you think Leah’s married life was what she, as a very young girl, had dreamed about? And youthful Jeremiah-whatever his hopes and ambitions-they surely didn’t include being railed against, castigated, and deemed a traitor by his own nation. And wouldn’t David and Bathsheba have preferred a different narrative than the one that ultimately unfolded (no doubt Uriah would have) ? What about Jesus? Of course, Jesus came to earth to die; that was the whole point. But from His human side, the side born out of the same clay as us, the side that cried out in Gethsemane, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me . . .” (Matt. 26:39, ESV) -getting beaten, scorned, mocked, and crucified at age 33 surely wasn’t what anyone would have hoped for. No question, life can and does do us dirty. But it shouldn’t be surprising, should it? What do you expect in a fallen, sinful world-paradise? Eden’s long gone. But it will be back and, when it is, the gap between what our lives are now, and what they will be like then, will be infinitely greater than the gap between what we had hoped for but got instead.
- What are the significant differences between the siblings who maintained faith in God and those who did not see the need to?
- When sibling rivalries and jealousies seem to overpower God’s purposes for families today, how is it possible for them to see a positive tomorrow? What can be done for the families of your church to help them see God’s bigger purpose for them?
- What can be done for the people in your congregation who feel that they are alone in the world and that their lives are meaningless and of no value?
- Even if your life isn’t turning out as you had hoped, how can the promise of eternal life help keep the disappointment from overwhelming you?