When I was twelve or thirteen years of age, I walked outside my house and noticed a strange flying object in the air. I knew it wasn’t an airplane because it hovered in the sky, but I also knew it wasn’t a helicopter because it made no sound. The lights at the bottom of the object moved back and forth like waves in the ocean.
After watching it float away, I ran into the house and called the local police department. Of course, my report wasn’t taken seriously, but I’ve never forgotten the experience.
Was it a UFO? I’m not sure. But I’m not alone in reporting a UFO sighting.
Since 1987, Unsolved Mysteries has appeared on American television in various forms. Originally hosted by actor by Robert Stack, the program explored unexplains criminal cases, lost loves, alternative theories of history, and paranormal matters like UFO sightings. The video above reports on a few recent UFO reports.
Why has this program lasted for over 23 years? In part, because something in us longs to explain the unexplainable.
Please join us in today’s Bible conversation as we explore unsolved mysteries in the Bible.
INSIGHTS AND EXPLANATIONS
1 Thessalonians 1:1-3:13. People in Thessalonica were giving their lives to Jesus through the ministry of Paul, Timothy, and Silas. Unfortunately, their efforts were prematurely curtailed when persecution hit and the men were forced to leave in the middle of the night. You can read the background on this epistle in Acts 17. First Thessalonians was the men’s attempt to bring some closure to their ministry in Thessalonica and answer some of the people’s questions, especially concerning the resurrection.
Notice in 1 Thessalonians 1:3 that Paul refers to faith, hope, and love, which he also uses to conclude 1 Corinthians 13 (1 Corinthians 13:13, the love chapter). It’s no coincidence that he most likely wrote his letter to the Thessalonians from Corinth.
Psalm 79:1-80:19. Psalm 79 was obviously written long after David—most likely following the invasion of Babylon.
Proverbs 24:30-25:5. In yesterday’s post, I intimated that the idol which tempts me most is the one involving working too much. Well, earlier in my life I wrestled with workoholism’s nemesis: laziness. Years ago, I was unemployed and unsure what I wanted to do with my life. I sensed a strong call to pastoral ministry but felt unmotivated to take action on anything. But whenever I laid down on the couch to take a nap, Proverbs 24:33-34 rang through my head: “A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest— and poverty will come on you like a bandit and scarcity like an armed man.” Immediately I would jump up and continue my job search. God used this Scripture passage to motivate me.
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THE WORD MADE FRESH
Unidentified flying objects are just one of the many mysteries that garner our attention. Attempting to explain the unexplainable has resulted in countless scientific breakthroughs, especially over the last 150 years.
“It is the glory of God to conceal a matter,” Solomon wrote in Proverbs 25:2. “To search out a matter is the glory of kings.”
Did you catch the first part of the proverb? It is the glory of God to conceal a matter. Why is it the “glory of God”?
Because exploring unsolved mysteries proves to us how little we know about ourselves and creation. Unsolved mysteries force us to accept the reality that we will never completely understand everything, a reminder that God is God and we are not.
And when we finally make a discovery? We realize the depths of God’s wisdom. Scientists frequently acknowledge how ordered our universe is. So our discoveries ultimately lead us to our creator.
Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out!
Some unsolved mysteries will never be solved, mysteries like senseless tragedy and unexpected pain. In that respect, those mysteries afford us the opportunity to draw near to God for solace and meaning. And even in those moments, God can give us a glimpse of how great, how loving, how just he is.
So I encourage you, make peace with the fact that mystery will always be around us—but don’t hesitate to explore those mysteries, which can ultimately lead us to God.
- What spoke to you in today’s reading?
- Describe a time when your exploration of an unsolved mystery led you to God?
- What mysteries exist in your life that still need to be explored?
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Michael co-pastors The Neighborhood Church with Eugene Scott in Littleton, Colorado.