Background Scripture: Revelation 22: 1-5
Focus Passage: "Now I know in part but then shall I know even as I am known." 1 Cor. 13:12
There is a rather trite old saying that states, "Whatever goes around, comes around." Well, first let's assert that, had it not been for the overwhelming love, grace, and mercy of God, we wouldn't be reading about humankind "coming around." In fact, we wouldn't be reading about people in God's heaven at all. But, thankfully, while we were yet sinners and separated from God, Christ died for us. Because of that, God brings His story around quite well, thank you. When a student of the Bible has reached the point at which we find ourselves now, the picture becomes clear. On the other hand, trying to figure out life without the Bible (in its entirety) is akin to putting together a jig-saw puzzle without the picture on the box top.
But, there is a wonderful fullness and completeness that jumps out at us when we consider God's Word from a macro lens. That is what is especially important about reading through God's Word in a year or any other length of time as long as we do it. Let's just consider the first and last books of the Bible to get a glimpse of the amazing coherence of scripture. This is in no way intended to be an exhaustive list of comparisons.
Genesis - The Eden Sanctuary, the river that flowed out of Eden and the Tree of Life. (Gen. 2: 4b-17)
Revelation - The Sanctuary of the New Jerusalem, the river that flows from the Throne of God, and the Tree of Life (again). (Rev. 21:9 - 22:2)
To be fair, I think we should balance the above comparisons with some contrasts between these two "bookends." Here are some of those:
Genesis is a book of beginnings and Revelation is a book of the end.
In Genesis 1:16 God gave the sun to govern the day. In Revelation 21:23 we see there is no need of the sun.
In Genesis 1:5 the darkness is called night. In Revelation 22:5 we find that there is no night there (The New Jerusalem).
In Genesis man was forbidden to eat from the Tree of Life. In Revelation 22:14 he is given a "right to the Tree of Life."
In Genesis 3:17 sorrow and suffering enter the human experience. In Revelation 21:4 there is "no more sorrow."
It could be rightly said that God has not left any loose ends in His word or His plan. All things will come to pass just as He ordained them in perfect harmony, justice, and righteousness. If this is still not enough for you and you crave more detail, you're probably not alone in this desire. Craving to know more about God and His plan is the work of the Spirit. Take consolation, however, in our focus passage and remember what Mark Twain said of Bible knowledge...
“It ain't those parts of the Bible that I can't understand that bother me, it is the parts that I do understand.”
Keep and Defend the Faith,