The Berean Expositor
Volume 45 - Page 181 of 251
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Purpose, Promise and Performance.
pp. 221 - 225
The present Study arose out of an attempt to help a Bible Class leader to show how
rational was the principle of "Right Division", by asking at the outset of any Bible study
the questions Which? Who? When? and Where? but found that when the question
"Why?" was put, a different category involving the question of Purpose was introduced.
This is a matter for the most careful research, much exploration and illumination, and it is
not at all unlikely that when we reach that last page we shall not have arrived at a
complete answer. However, the Scriptures have been written as a revelation of all that
may be known or should be known of the Divine Purpose. Providing we realize our
limitations and avoid the attitude against which the Apostle warned the Colossians of
"intruding into those things which he hath not seen", we cannot but be pleasing to our
gracious God if we manifest a desire to understand something of His wonderful purposes,
even though we limit our investigations to that phase which belongs to the dispensation
of the Mystery.
Let us open our study with a salutary reminder or two. Zophar, one of Job's three
friends, said:
"Canst thou by searching find out God? Canst thou find out the Almighty unto
perfection?" (Job 11: 7).
We quote next the A.V. and Moffatt's translation of Eccles. 3: 11, because of its
ambiguity in most English versions:
"He hath made everything beautiful in His time: also He hath set the world (Heb.
olam `age') in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the
beginning to the end" (Eccles. 3: 11).
"He assigned each to its proper time, but for the mind of man He has appointed
mystery (olam Heb. a period of undefined limits, an age), that man may never fathom
God's own purpose from beginning to the end" (Eccles. 3: 11 Moffatt).
The Scriptures themselves lead us to expect to be baffled, especially regarding the
beginning and the end of God's purpose, but we remind ourselves with much comfort and
assurance that Christ Himself is "the Beginning and the Ending", and to know Him will
provide keys to unlock the hidden purpose of God.  The Apostle also warned the
Corinthian saying:
"For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him?
even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God" (I Cor. 2: 11).
"For we know in part, and we prophesy in part, but when that which is perfect is
come, then that which is in part shall be done away . . . . . for now we see through a glass,
darkly; but then face to face."
Or as Moffatt renders the passage:
"At present we only see the baffling reflections in a mirror, but then it will be face to
face" (I Cor. 3: 9-12).