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Nowhere Else To Go

By heath - Posted on 29 March 2006

I am a critical person. I am an open-minded person. For better worse, there are very few thoughts that I have not entertained. This includes serious doubt about my Christian faith. My most recent bout with doubt was probably about a year ago.

In my regular Bible-reading, I read Hosea 11:1. The phrase, "out of Egypt I called my son" rang a bell, so I read more closely. The "son" described was very clearly Israel. It seemed as thought Matthew was employing some fancy hermeneutics that I considered at the time almost lying. I could I trust a this saying when it was so obviously manipulated.

This is when the real doubt set in. What if I can't trust this verse? Can I trust the rest of Matthew? Can I trust any odd-seeming application of OT scripture? If I can't trust these verses, what I can I trust. With this, I was catapulted to a height of doubt I rarely face. The free-fall lasted about two days. I could barely think about anything else. I got advice from friends, but nothing seemed to satisfy my questions. I clung to this one verse, John 6:68, "To whom shall we go, Lord, you have the words of life." Peter expressed my desperation. Everything in me was causing me to doubt, but when I looked beyond Christ's words, there was only an abyss. I had looked other places. There was nowhere to go.

The reality was that his words had changed me and brought new life to my broken spirit. The last three years are a testament to God's grace in my life. I could not ignore this. One night I broke out a commentary and some theology books and decided to see if anyone else had ever faced this.

Not surprisingly, they had. My premillenial dispensational history had influenced my understanding of the limits of he interpretation of prophecy. I obviously had not fully integrated the reformed perspective. I learned that references to the Messiah and Israel were often conflated. In a real sense, the Messiah was Israel. One writer puts it that OT prophecy is not literal but Christological.

My mind was satisfied with what my heart knew. The words of life come from him who lived, died, and lived again for a people that he would draw to himself. Thanks be to God, I am one of those people. Repent and believe, and you will be too.

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I was having trouble following the problem with Hosea 11:1 and it's link to Matthew. After a little cross-referencing I found that you must be referring to Matthew 2:15 in which Matthew is doing one of his many connections with Old Testament prophecy. That info seemed to be missing from your entry, so I thought I'd fill in the gap for any other readers who may have also been confused.

Indeed some of Matthew's prophesy fulfillments seem a bit of a stretch, and I have struggled with them as well. Thanks for the insight.

I meant to do that, but I must have revised it out accidentally.

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