Deuteronomy 29:2-6, 29 (NRSV)

2 Moses summoned all Israel and said to them: You have seen all that the Lord did before your eyes in the land of Egypt, to Pharaoh and to all his servants and to all his land, 3 the great trials that your eyes saw, the signs, and those great wonders. 4 But to this day the Lord has not given you a mind to understand, or eyes to see, or ears to hear. 5 I have led you forty years in the wilderness. The clothes on your back have not worn out, and the sandals on your feet have not worn out; 6 you have not eaten bread, and you have not drunk wine or strong drink—so that you may know that I am the Lord your God.                            

29 The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the revealed things belong to us and to our children forever, to observe all the words of this law.

Deuteronomy 29:29 (NRSV)

29 The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the revealed things belong to us and to our children forever, to observe all the words of this law.

DEVOTION – David Fillingim (North Carolina)

When I went away to college, I discovered many new ideas.  As a very earnest young Christian, I struggled to reconcile the new things I was learning – especially in philosophy and religion classes – with the simple doctrines and slogans I had been taught in church.  When I questioned my minister about my struggles, his advice was that I should just avoid thinking about such things.

My grandmother lived with us, and one day when I was home between school terms, her pastor came to visit.  He asked how school was going.  I said, “Fine.”  But he must have sensed something in my voice because he dug deeper and engaged me in real conversation about my questions and struggles.  Finally, he quoted to me the words of Deuteronomy 29:29.

The words of this verse spoke to me deeply and suggested to me that it is okay not to know everything.  Some things are “secret things,” things that will always remain a mystery.  It is good to question, to explore new ideas, to expand our minds as far as we can.  But some questions will never be settled with a final answer.  No matter how smart we are or how educated we become, we will reach a point where intellect can take us no further.  At that point, we can rely on faith, hope, and love to carry us the rest of the way.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: God’s majesty is beyond human understanding.

PRAYER: Dear God, grant us wisdom as we explore the mysteries of your universe, and help us to be faithful in following you.  Amen.

PRAYER FOCUS: CHRISTIAN SCHOLARS

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