This post is a little different from my usual type of study. In Linear or Cyclical, I want to know how you see God’s interaction with His people and humanity. Now, here is the catch-you need to explain your answer by giving an example or stating a biblical reference.
The question is this-Does God move us/history (His Story) along in a line, going from point A to point B, or are His movements with us in a cycle or spiral (I will say an upward spiral)? Please note that I said His directing us. Not what we are to do before Him. So, saying or using the word straight may not work because in the Bible that normally means level not linear.
I will throw out an example and not give an opinion about it. In Genesis, there is a garden. Revelation also has a garden, with some of the same elements in it as the first one-a river, and trees of life. But there are gardens in-between those two. A linear path or a cyclical one, which is it?
You may leave a comment. Exactly how all of this will be reported, I am still working with some options.
A “bend” in a road is often a literary signal for a change, either good or bad. Adventure is waiting, danger and destruction are lurking, or a golden opportunity awaits the noble wayfarer who is on the journey of a lifetime. Contrast this to the “straight” road where things are peaceful and the future is visible, if only you will lift your head and look.
David in Psalm 4: 8 is asking for just such a straight road because of his enemies. It is interesting that we want a straight road from God but we always want the bend if means adventure and excitement. A contrast here is Isaiah 40:3 where WE are to make straight paths for God. Part of this “preparing” is to knock down hills and fill in valleys.
Hills, valleys, bends in the road, and straight paths so many paradigms and graphic images. All the words preached and ink spilled on paper using these icons can they be combined? Maybe! I tend to think horizontally and probably need to think more vertically (ah, more graphic images). If Jesus is in control and I do not purposely choose to bend off of His path why should our paths be anything but straight to God? WELL, what about all the tough times we encounter?
Join me now in a vertical look at a straight road that goes through hilly country. Do you bend down to go into a valley and then bend up to go to a hilltop? But I can’t see everything in front of me on that road! No, God never promised that you could always see everything in front of you He just said, “Follow Me.”
What about Isaiah 40: 3? Since the command there is that we make level paths so that God’s glory will be revealed; may I suggest that as we knock off high spots and fill in the low spots on the path for people behind us, it will be smoother and a little more level for them.