What a great summer – and autumn as well, and I am still making the most of this mild weather to go on in the garden. However the winter evenings have drawn in and so back to the blogging.
I have a very good Bible commentary by David Pawson and I was struck by what he had to say about the book of Daniel, which I have been reading lately. We all know (I hope) about the Lion’s Den, but do we know anything else much about Daniel? Pawson says this: ‘Daniel makes unique predictions that are so detailed, so dated in sequence and so accurate in the light of historical evets that it’s simply history written down before it happened. So every reader is faced with the question of whether the future is known by God. The Bible makes it clear that God not only knows the future but also shapes it.’
Thus we are faced with that knotty old problem of predestination. How much is predetermined? We must not say that everything is, as if we are robots. As Pawson says, there’s a delicate balance in Scripture between divine sovereignty and human responsibility. I like his idea of imagining that one is playing chess against a master player: he would win, but I am free to make any moves I want to . So every move I make he can match, and he will win.
God has more free will than we do, so our freedom is limited by His. It is important to know that there is a flexibility in God’s sovereignty that we should hold very precious, lest we slip into the idea that everything is predetermined, and we do not matter. Would we not become rather passive and probably lazy if we felt that we were just here on earth as puppets? Of course we have to make our own decisions. So that brings us to the important matter of choice.
I seem to remember that Margaret Thatcher, when asked what she thought was the most important question about religion/spirituality, apparently without a second’s hesitation said ’choice’. Perhaps she is right. But there are other things too. Maybe we will explore them in my next blog, but I have lovely story to tell – a true one so I hope it doesn’t have copyright restrictions. Watch this space.
Since I wrote this, ten days ago, I have been so busy outside that I never posted it. Now the frost has come which is rather good; we need some cold weather to kill the bugs.