I am always fascinated by the “gaps” in the Bible. The span of time between recorded episodes. The ones where we are left to guess or imagine what was going on.
This is not to say that what we have in the Bible (i.e., special revelation) is insufficient or not enough. It’s thoroughly sufficient for everything that we need.
But it’s the gaps as well as the explicitly stated that interest me.
For example, when reading through the narrative of Abraham in Genesis 12-25, we really only are privy to a few episodes, even just conversations, of the patriarch and his dealings with God. There’s a lot left unspoken in-between.
We are introduced to him in Genesis 12 as at that point a relatively elderly man, living with his wife in his father’s household. When he goes the way of the departed in Genesis 25, we are told that he died in a “good old age” surrounded by his children over the years.
And in Genesis 24, when he sends his servant out to find a wife for his son Isaac, we are told that the servant is sent out with ten camels, a remarkable display of Abraham’s wealth.
Now, for those reading the story, we are allowed to see a few episodes of how Abraham accrued such wealth. But there are decades left blank in between those few recorded aspects of Abraham’s life.
What was going on in the gaps?
I’ll tell you.
Abraham was living an ordinary, mundane, but striving for faithfulness kind of life.
Too often, we fixate on just the episodes that are “revealed” when teaching the Bible. And what can happen is that someone identifies with that particular story, and hears the call of God to go and leave his particular situation and follows God not knowing where exactly (think overseas missionaries responding to a sermon on Genesis 12 after a missions conference), and others don’t (think about a school teacher, or doctor, hearing the same sermon at the same event).
All Scripture is tied and connected to Jesus as the true and proper fulfillment of it’s meaning. But God’s Word also speaks to how we respond to that particular aspect of His revelation and Christ’s fulfillment.
Perhaps we need to take some time, and with a sanctified imagination, allow some of the “gaps” to speak just as clearly as that which is clearly revealed in Scripture.
Maybe the takeaway isn’t always – “leave and go” (Genesis 12)
Maybe there are times and season where it’s – “stay and remain faithful to the One who is faithful to you!” (the gaps between Genesis 12-25).