Morning Bible Study – 10/8/13 Incomplete Portions

We know only a portion of the truth, and what we say about God is always incomplete. But when the Complete arrives, our incompletes will be canceled.

I was sharing with Ken about this verse yesterday. As I was sharing, I came across the perfect analogy – The Blind Men and the Elephant. (I’ve included the poem at the end of this post in case you’d like to read it, it’s a very fun read.)

But that’s how we are, isn’t it? As I read that each of us knows only a portion of the truth, I see so many of us, bickering over who is right, with our only knowledge being the portion that we see.

Even worse is if we teach our portion, without acknowledging that other portions are just as valid. The only question is, which portions are the elephant and which aren’t.

I do believe that the answer comes in the verse, “My sheep hear my voice and they know me.” If we know how to recognize God’s voice, then seeing clear doesn’t matter. Being blind doesn’t matter. If we know and love His voice, we turn towards it and follow, trusting Him, whether or not we can see clear and whether or not my beliefs are different than yours. And if we’re both following the same voice, does it matter if we give the voice a different name? Does a rose by any other name smell as sweet or does a name change the essence of an item?

It’s easy to believe sometimes that because we read our Bible frequently, we know the entire truth. And yet, I am in my 40’s and not only have I never stopped finding new truths in it, but every few years, I come across a truth that completely revises my entire belief system.

Learning about Grace was like that. In fact, I now mark the time when I learned about Grace as the beginning of this journey. There have been other revisions through the years, but Grace was the most complete, mind-blowing experience I’ve lived through yet.

 

The Blind Men and the Elephant
John Godfrey Saxe (1816-1887)

It was six men of Indostan
To learning much inclined,
Who went to see the Elephant
(Though all of them were blind),
That each by observation
Might satisfy his mind.

The First approached the Elephant,
And happening to fall
Against his broad and sturdy side,
At once began to bawl:
“God bless me! but the Elephant
Is very like a WALL!”

The Second, feeling of the tusk,
Cried, “Ho, what have we here,
So very round and smooth and sharp?
To me ’tis mighty clear
This wonder of an Elephant
Is very like a SPEAR!”

The Third approached the animal,
And happening to take
The squirming trunk within his hands,
Thus boldly up and spake:
“I see,” quoth he, “the Elephant
Is very like a SNAKE!”

The Fourth reached out an eager hand,
And felt about the knee
“What most this wondrous beast is like
Is mighty plain,” quoth he:
“‘Tis clear enough the Elephant
Is very like a TREE!”

The Fifth, who chanced to touch the ear,
Said: “E’en the blindest man
Can tell what this resembles most;
Deny the fact who can,
This marvel of an Elephant
Is very like a FAN!”

The Sixth no sooner had begun
About the beast to grope,
Than seizing on the swinging tail
That fell within his scope,
“I see,” quoth he, “the Elephant
Is very like a ROPE!”

And so these men of Indostan
Disputed loud and long,
Each in his own opinion
Exceeding stiff and strong,
Though each was partly in the right,
And all were in the wrong!