God and history

I have been reading The Message for my daily Bible reading this year. Eugene Peterson brings a fresh perspective to Scripture and I recommend it for devotional reading.

A hidden gem in this work is Peterson’s introductions to books and other sections of the Bible. He catches my attention in nearly every one.

I have just read his “Introduction to the History Books” of the Bible. Peterson points out that we often view history from an economic or political or some other point of view. For the Hebrews, every bit of history was about God and how He worked through the events of that day.

That got me to thinking about how even we Christians generally miss the boat. We talk about current events, even historical ones, as though these things are totally separate from our faith. If we would think more like the Hebrews we would spend more time deciding how we, as God’s people, ought to respond to things like terrorism threats, or hurricanes, or elections. God isn’t some “secret power” behind these things. He has given us free will and won’t compromise that even to stop people from doing bad things — and, Jesus made it clear that it “rains on the just and the unjust — sometimes hurricanes just happen.

However, God is definitely at work in and through history making events.

Where are His people in all this? Are we just watching the news or are we seeking a response that puts us in harmony with a God who is never just a bystander in history?