The wisest man on earth during his time wrote the title line in the book of Ecclesiastes.
“That which has been is what will be… and there is nothing new under the sun.” Ecclesiastes 1:9
Numerous times the Bible reveals pre-determined truth that was declared before the foundation of the world, or before time began. Therefore, there is nothing new.
The Hebrew word for ‘reveal’ in the Old Testament has several synonyms including ‘disclose’ and ‘uncover.’
The Greek meaning for ‘reveal’ in the New Testament similarly means to remove the veil of that which was previously hidden. Again, the content of any revelation was pre-written, but kept hidden until the exact pre-determined time set by God before the creation of man.
Let’s examine several truths about God’s progressive revelation of Himself relating to the preparation of His highest creation for eternal life.
Shortly after redeeming His chosen people from Egyptian bondage God began to reveal His required standard of conduct.
“The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but those things which are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.” Deuteronomy 29:29
This passage explains what God would reveal to man; in this case His law or standard of righteousness is to be observed forever. It is also stated that God’s ways and thoughts are not the same as for those created in His image, and He reveals only that which is necessary for man to fulfill His plan and purpose.
Very early in man’s odyssey he failed to live up to God’s required standard. Such disobedience required an act of deity to reinstate man in God’s purpose.
The remedy for fallen man required a Savior who could satisfy God’s standard.
Such a Savior (Substitute) was revealed numerous times, generations before His appearance.
“Thus says the LORD: ‘Keep justice, and do righteousness, for My salvation is about to come, and My righteousness to be revealed.’”
God told the Israelites to maintain the effort to obey His law; however, knowing man’s impotence He announced the future arrival of the Savior. Notice that salvation for man was to be revealed. The Savior had been pre-ordained before the foundation of the world but wasn’t revealed until the exact pre-determined time.
And so it was.
“…when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law…” Galatians 4:4
Several significant points: the Savior would be born under the law which would enable those under the law to be freed from the law’s condemnation. The Greek word for ‘fullness’ is also significant with synonyms including ‘complete,’ ‘accomplishment,’ and ‘end.’ The fact that God’s Son would be ‘born of a woman’ fulfills the declaration made in the garden that the ‘Seed’ of the woman would destroy the devil.
Matthew recorded Jesus thanking His Father for the revelations concerning Himself which would manifest truth to believers but remain hidden to the worldly wise.
“…I thank You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and prudent and have revealed them to babes.”
Paul confirmed that the righteousness of God had been revealed in Christ. Note again ‘revealed.’ Recall revealed means unveiling truth that was kept a mystery from the beginning.
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes…For in it the righteousness of God is revealed.” Romans 1:16-17
And Christ was foreordained to be the Passover Lamb from the foundation of the world. The following verse describes those who have not been written in the Book of Life.
“All who dwell on the earth will worship him (anti-Christ), whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.” Revelation 13:8
This column has focused on the dual issues of Solomon’s words in the title and confirmed by progressive revelations of God’s truth thru the ages prepared before time began.
More next week.