|No, I don’t accept it all on
faith. The God of the Bible does not expect you to chuck your reasoning
powers at the sanctuary door. Rather, we read of Paul’s admonition to the
Thessalonians to “test all things; hold fast what is good” (I Thessalonians
5:21 NKJV), or as the old King James has it, “Prove all things.”
“Prove” can mean lots of different things. Writers such as Lee Strobel offer proof of God through rules of evidence which he presents admirably in his “Case For” books – The Case for Christ, The Case for Faith, and The Case for a Creator.
Geniuses such as Isaac Newton saw the laws of physics as proof of an ordered universe and thus the need for a supreme lawgiver.
Apologists such as Josh McDowell brilliantly answer questions skeptics often raise regarding authenticity of Scripture and, as he says, evidence that demands a verdict.
Those thinkers deserve every accolade they receive, but there is another type of proof that the Bible heartily endorses and indeed enjoins upon us. It revolves around what that word “test” means as used in I Thessalonians. We find exactly the same word translated the same way in Luke 14:19, where a man refuses an invitation because he just bought a team of oxen and he wants to “test” (NKJV) or “prove” (KJV) them.
How would a farmer prove his team of oxen? Would he research his dictionaries and biology texts to see if they are really oxen? Rather, the farmer would “prove” or “test” his oxen by taking them into the field and put them to the test.
In the book of Malachi we see a gauntlet thrown down before the people of God. “Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. And prove Me now in this, … if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you such a blessing that there will not be room enough to receive it.” (Malachi 3:10 NKJV)
The idea is to try it out and see if it works, and there can be no better way to prove what God says than to do what he says. Try living the lifestyle that we find in the teachings of Jesus, such little things as going the extra mile, forgiving others for wrongs done to us, and avoiding the greed and lust for stuff so endemic in today’s world. Do these things and all the rest. Then watch as both you and the world around you are transformed.
Excerpted from The Sabbath Morning
Companion, June 22, 2007, by Lenny Cacchio. All rights reserved.