I was about to write; but I heard a voice from heaven say, “Seal up what the seven thunders have said and do not write it down.” Revelation 10:4
I quite like watching Agatha Christie’s mysteries. Good mysteries end with the bad guy being exposed, the good guys being exonerated and justice being done. It’s irritating when the last instalment is delayed and we are left with an unresolved mystery. However as Christians, we live every day with an unresolved mystery—we believe in a good and powerful God yet daily we see tragedies that God could have prevented. If we want to have peace it is necessary to accept that some things will remain a mystery, God isn’t going to tell us everything. This verse in Revelation makes it clear that some things are kept from us.
We are waiting for the final instalment. Yet we can live comfortably with this mystery because we know a greater mystery—why would God send his only Son to die for sinners? It’s a mystery that causes us to sing: “I know not why God’s wondrous grace to me he has made known, nor why, unworthy, Christ in love redeemed me for his own … but I know whom I have believed.”
In the film, Keeping Mum, Rowan Atkinson plays the part of a minister who delivers a surprisingly good sermon on God’s mysterious ways. He quotes Isaiah, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways” (Isaiah 55:8), then remarks “God is saying, ‘I’m mysterious. Live with it!’“
Though God sometimes seems mysterious, our confidence can rest in God’s character. We know God is all-good. He is full of compassion and grace. We also know, in his time, he will reveal the final instalment.