I’m not sure why I see God as a writer using old writing tools that are more recent than the Bible, but that’s how I imagine it. Sometimes it seems as if God is sitting at long table in the manuscript room of an abbey adding the brilliant colors and gold leaf that are going to illuminate a page so it will leap out at me.
That’s how I felt when I was reading in Second Kings. I could see God’s skillful hand leaping out behind the text and as a writer, it just delighted me.
The story describes a wretched time in the life of God’s people, when Israel’s king Hoshea “did evil in the sight of the Lord, only not as [evil as] the kings of Israel who were before him” (2 Kings 17:2) As a result, Israel was brought into captivity in Assyria and eventually Assyrians would overrun the land of Israel.
God describes the sins of Israel in detail and in many ways: she
“walked in the customs of the nations …
did things secretly which were not right …
burned incense on the high places as the nations did …
did evil things provoking the Lord …
served idols …” (2 Kings 17:8-12).
The Lord warned Israel:
“Turn from your evil ways and
keep my commandments and my statutes,
in accordance with all the law which I commanded your fathers …”
Israel, however, did not listen.
“They despised his statutes,
and his covenant that he made with their fathers,
and the warnings which he gave them.
They went after false idols,
and became false,
and they followed the nations that were round about them,
concerning whom the Lord had commanded them that they should not do like them.” (2 Kings 18: 13-15)
Wouldn’t you love to write so beautifully? The rhythm, the repetition, even the careful distinction between an evil king who was not as evil as his predecessors. God tells stories so well!
Of course, I can’t really “envy” God as a writer. Every good quality I have as a writer simply shows God’s image as a creative communicator, planted in me and imperfectly reflected by me. Every bit of skill I have demonstrates my willingness to invest and multiply the gift God has given; every bit of skill I fail to develop represents the potential to face God’s sorrow for failing to use what God has given me.
How has God gifted you? How have you “invested” those gifts? How can you improve your “investments” to better honor God?