每日诗歌: Hallelujah Chorus
Revelation 22 [Read]
What is the Book of Life? What exactly is recorded in this mysterious yet utmost important book? Nobody knows for sure, but its existence is a certainty based on the testimonies of the Bible.
The Book was first hinted by Moses in his conversation with the LORD. After the Israelites made the golden calf in rebellion, Moses pleaded with God: “but now, please forgive their sin-- but if not, then blot me out of the book you have written” (Ex 32:32). God’s answer confirmed the existence of such Book: “Whoever has sinned against me I will blot out of my book” (Ex 32:33). God is sovereign, and he alone decides whose name gets recorded in his Book.
The Book was also hinted by God through the prophet Malachi. In this last prophecy of OT, the LORD pointed out the despicable things Israel did against him, including sacrificing blemished animals (Mal 1:8), marrying daughter of a foreign god (2:11), breaking faith with the wife of their youth (2:15), and robbing God’s tithes and offerings (3:8). However, God remembered those who feared him and honored his name, and they were recorded in a scroll of remembrance (3:16). God remembers his people, and their righteous deeds are like the fine linen they wear at the end.
The Book is also mentioned by Apostle Paul. There were conflicts between two women in Philippians church, and Paul exhorted others to help them because “these women who have contended at my side in the cause of the gospel, along with Clement and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the book of life” (Phi 4:3). Serving together in the Lord is the way God ordained to build our characters and maturity, and such growth often comes through facing conflicts and disagreements. Without those trials, we hardly see our deficiency and our need for the gospel. God is forgiving, and he allows us to grow through mistakes and repentance.
Finally, the Book is mentioned by the Lord himself in John’s apocalypse. There will be tribulations in the last days, and the saints will be put through harsh trials. All those who overcome will be in the Book of Life, and the Lord shall acknowledge them before the Father and angels (Rev 3:5). The Book will also be used during the final judgment (20:12), and only those whose name is in the Book will be allowed into the New Jerusalem (21:27). God is faithful, and he will honor those who honor him before the world.
Even though we don’t know the exact content of the Book of life, we were given another “Book of Life” which testifies for the source of eternal life (Jn 5:39). Through diligently reading the Bible, the word of God, we may get to know the one whom God sent for our sake. And knowing Him IS eternal life (Jn 17:3), and having eternal life is the evidence that our names are in the Book of Life.
On this last day of our Bible-in-one-year reading schedule, let us rejoice with humility. We have indeed accomplished the task of reading the Bible from cover to cover, but our knowledge about the living God is still superficial. We have indeed tasted the sweetness of his word, but our understanding of his revelation is far from complete. We have indeed memorized a few stories and teachings, but our pursuit of the eternal God has just begun. Let us rejoice for a little while. But starting tomorrow, let us dig deeper into his word in our daily quiet time. Let this “Book of Life” continues to recover God’s image and likeness in each one of us. Amen!
Your humble pastor is very proud of you.
Keep on reading next year.