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Part of the FBCS 2010 Read Through the Bible Project: Enter the Story. Join the Song.

No Idle Tale

Luke 24:1-12    Genesis 43    Psalm 34

“But these words seemed to them an idle tale, and they did not believe them” (Luke 24:11). An idle tale. Other translations include: An incredible story; making it all up; sounded like nonsense.

It is difficult to believe something that makes no sense . . .”He is not here, but has risen” (Luke 24:5) . . .  Joseph isn’t dead, he is prime minister of Egypt and we are dining in his home (Genesis 43) . . . “When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears, and rescues them from all their troubles” (Psalm 34:17). . . What is it that makes such words so hard to believe? And how is it that we conclude they make no sense? Is it a matter of expectation? Experience? Explanations of a more reasonable nature? Made-up Minds? Fear??? And just how much of what God is doing do we miss as a result?

The story of God is no idle tale. Joseph was rescued from his troubles and saved his people. Jesus rose from the dead just as he said he would. And, as Joseph’s brothers and Jesus’ disciples soon discovered, these things were true whether they believed them, or not. And, incredible as it sounds, the psalmist is not making things up when he promises, “Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord rescues them from them all” (Psalm 34:19). The only open question is whether I recognize it when it occurs.

Lord, I believe, help me in my unbelief!
I sought the Lord, and he answered me,
and delivered me from all my fears.
— Psalm 34:4


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