Mysteries of the Bible – Isaiah 55
Most of us love a good mystery, don’t we? We want to solve problems and we want to figure out why things happen. Even the Bible itself is a mystery to some, but is there anything unexplained in it? Tonight we took a look at the question of whether there are any unsolved mysteries in the Bible.
Tonight we looked at three sub themes:
- God’s knowledge vs man’s knowledge
- What HAS God revealed?
- What MYSTERIES has God revealed?
When we read a mystery novel, we know that no matter how puzzling it may be at the beginning, by the end of the book we’ll have it all explained, especially when all the pieces come together. Is the Bible written the same way?
God’s knowledge vs man’s knowledge
In Isaiah 55, we saw something fundamental revealed to us about how man thinks. God’s thoughts are far above natural man’s thinking. His ways and thoughts are not the way we think naturally. To put it another way, mankind can’t on his own understand God. We need God’s word, which reveals his ways and character to us, teaches us how to comprehend his plan and helps solve those mysteries. We read the Bible not to show how smart we are, but rather to acknowledge that without the wisdom that God shares with us, everything about Him is a mystery to humanity.
What Has God revealed to us?
What does the Bible mean when it talks about mysteries? The word Mystery in the original Bible language means a hidden thing that is not obvious to understand, but that can be understood by those that understand God.
Here are a few key verses that teach this idea:
- Isaiah 55:8-10 – God’s ways and thoughts are not mankind’s
- Deuteronomy 29:29 – God has secrets that he reveals
- Mark 13:32 – There are things that God has NOT revealed about his plan, like the day of Christ’s return to the earth
- Amos 3:7 – God has revealed details of His plan to us in His word
- John 17:3 – God has given us everything that we need to know to be able to receive eternal life
What Mysteries has God revealed to us?
So what does the Bible say when it talks about mysteries? Let’s look at some of the occurrences of the word in the Bible to understand what God means when he talks about them.
- Mark 4:11 – God has revealed the mysteries of the Kingdom to those willing to apply themselves to believe.
- Romans 11:25 – God doesn’t want us to be “ignorant” of the mysteries He has revealed in the Bible. For example His plan for His chosen people, Israel.
- Romans 16:25 – God revealed the secret teaching of the gospel of Jesus in New Testament times so that we can believe and obey it. There’s no excuse not to believe and obey it!
- 1 Corinthians 2:7-8, 10 – Ignorance of the mysteries that God has revealed in the Bible lead the world to crucify Jesus. God has revealed the marvellous wonders awaiting those who are faithful to His teachings in the Bible so we aren’t ignorant of His wise plan.
- 1 Corinthians 15:51 – the Apostle Paul shows the mystery of the resurrection, demonstrating that a mystery in the Bible is not something that cannot be known, but rather something that had not been clearly revealed until that point.
- Ephesians 1:9-10 – It pleases God to reveal the mystery of His will to us as it enables individuals to share the kingdom with His son.
- Ephesians 3:4-6 – One of the mysteries that God has revealed is that non-Jews can share in the Hope of the promises revealed in God’s word.
- Ephesians 5:32 – God’s institution of marriage is revealed to be a symbol of the unity that will exist between Jesus Christ and the faithful believers.
- 1 Timothy 3:16 – The great mystery of godliness is shown in the life, death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Other Mysteries talk about:
- Ephesians 6:9 – the Preaching of the Gospel
- Colossians 1:26 – Christ being preached to the gentiles
- Colossians 2:2, 4:3 – The Preaching of the Gospel
- 2 Thessalonians 2:7 – The Mystery of Iniquity – A warning of a coming system of false religion
- Revelation – The explanation of the Mystery of 7 stars … revealed
- Revelation – The explanation of the Mystery of God being finished (revealed)
- Revelation – The explanation of the Mysterious False religious system “Babylon the Great” revealed
- Revelation -17:7 – The Mystery of the Woman on the Beast being explained and revealed
We get a pretty clear and consistent message about mysteries in the Bible don’t we? Whether the Bible is talking about the kingdom, God’s son Jesus Christ, Forgiveness, the Gospel preached to all nations, the Restoration of the nation of Israel, the Resurrection from the Dead, or the mystery of Christ and his church, when the Bible talks about mysteries, it goes on to explain and reveal them.
There are secret things that belong to God, that he keeps to himself, but there are also mysteries that God reveals to us. While we aren’t expected to act upon things that aren’t revealed, we are asked to both believe and obey the things that God has revealed to us. It is His pleasure to give us the kingdom, and to help us he has revealed the mysteries of His will to us in His word.