eMeditation on the Bible
Question: What is the spiritual history of the human family?
Story of the Bible
When the story of the Bible is combined with historical information about the development of humanity, a universal history of spiritual development unfolds. In the beginning, the human family possessed an intuitive knowledge of the Creator, who is worthy of worship and the obedience of living in social harmony and justice. Various names for the Creator have been found among different people groups, such as Sky God, High God and God of heaven. The name among Native Americans is Great Spirit. In ancient China it was Lord on High (Shang Di:.
However, the original knowledge of God was primitive and incomplete, and faded over time. God became distant, often forgotten and usually replaced by tribal deities and idols (statue images of God worshiped by people). The human family took the path of separation from God by failing to become a community of social harmony and justice and worship the true God of heaven.
However, God sent messengers and teachers of wisdom to the human family to remind people about the true Creator-God of heaven. These men included Hebrew prophets of the Bible, Greek philosophers such as Plato, and Chinese teachers such as Lao Tzu and Confucius. They told the people to return to God and explained how to live in harmony with God, especially through reciprocity: treating people the way they wanted to be treated by others.
These prophets and teachers prepared the way for the arrival of Jesus. The earlier knowledge of God and wisdom for living in harmony with heaven were brought to completion in the life and teachings of Jesus. The lifeless and powerless idols made of wood or stone were replaced by the presence and power of God in Jesus, who is the “living image” of God in human form. The human history of religious sacrifices (for example, the Border Sacrifice in ancient China) to become right with God and receive God’s blessings were replaced by the sacrificial death of Jesus on the cross. The universal human history of spiritual development culminated in Jesus.
In Jesus, we are able to see and hear the invisible High God of heaven:
(1) Jesus’ life and teachings show us:
(a) the nature of God as our loving heavenly father and
(b) God’s template for living in harmony with heaven: prioritizing love for God and others.
God is not hidden or distant from you. In Jesus, God has come near to appear and speak to you. And you can see and hear God through the life and teachings of Jesus as preserved in the Bible. You can know who God is and God’s purpose for your life by learning about Jesus. You can begin a relationship with God as your loving heavenly father by following Jesus as God’s authority over your life.