Monday, September 6, 2010

A banquet of grace, part 4

A concordance locates approximately 40 references for "fatherless," depending on which translation is being searched. I can find 4 references for "orphans".   And there are 6 for "adoption."  I have been taking some time to look each of these up and I'm finding them in their contexts quite interesting to chew on.  I will attempt to articulate some of my thoughts next week, but I have time constraints keeping me from doing so for the next few days.

As helpful as it has been to meditate on these verses that mention the fatherless, the orphan, and adoption specifically, I find this reminder by Paul David Tripp (found in his book What Did You Expect?) important to keep in mind: "We mistakenly treat the Bible as if it were arranged by topic -- you know, the world's best compendium of human problems and divine solutions. So when we're thinking about marriage, we run to all the marriage passages.  But the Bible isn't an encyclopedia; it is a story, the great origin-to-destiny story of redemption.  In fact, it is more than a story.  It is a theologically annotated story.  It is a story with God's notes.  This means that we cannot understand what the Bible has to say about marriage by looking only at the marriage passages, because there is a vast amount of biblical information about marriage not found in the marriage passages."

I think concordance searches can be instructive, but they aren't exhaustive by any stretch and Mr. Tripp's comments, relating to marriage, apply to our topic as well.  Jacob claimed Joseph's two sons for himself in Genesis 48; Moses became the son of Pharaoh's daughter in Exodus 2; orphaned Esther was brought up by her Uncle Mordecai; Hannah's son Samuel was raised at the temple by Eli, Jesus was raised as the son of Joseph...none of these stories came up in the concordance search by topic.  And in the concordance search for "adoption," the references all relate to God's adoption of us so we know there is a vast amount of biblical teaching that relates simply as God reveals who He is (Father) and who we are (His children by adoption).

I'm out of time for now, but looking forward to continuing this banquet of grace as God enables...


  1. Love the topic.... and title. ;)

  2. I love that the Bible isn't an encyclopedia. So much more LIFE in a story.

    I was also thinking that the dynamic you were referring to earlier (adoption is something a family does in order to build "their family" rather than the ministry of the church community) has a lot to do with our view of children in general. That they are something we have (if having children biologically) because *we* wanted them. Not because we see them as something we do for the building of God's kingdom. Because either way, the raising of a child isn't totally JUST for the benefit of the child and our own pleasure, but because we can be an answer to the prayer "Lord raise up workers for Your harvest."