Keeping the Main Thing the Main Thing

If you've ever been backpacking, then you know how easy it is to get lost in the wilderness.  One wrong turn and a few hours of hiking in the wrong direction can mean trouble.  Whether it's exposure to the elements or running out of food and water, getting lost in the forest is a real danger.  But as easy as it is to get lost, it's just as easy to stay on the right path; you just have to have the right perspective.  For a hiker, the right perspective means either having a map and compass or paying attention to landmarks like mountains and streams.  It's never enough to only pay attention to what is right in front of you - you've got to "see the forest for the trees" as the expression goes.

In Scripture it's easy to get lost in the trees and not have a sense of the forest.  With thousands of verses, many different stories, numerous lives and events over thousands of years it's easy to forget the point.  It's hard, sometimes, to keep the main thing, the main thing. 

So what is the main thing when it comes to the Bible?  This question has been debated for centuries.  Yet if one looks at Scripture as the Story of God, there does seem to be one emergent theme - The Redemption of Man.

It began shortly after Adam and Eve sinned.  God covered their nakedness, symbolizing the covering of their sin.  Fast forward to the time of Israel's exodus from Egypt and redemption was very physical in nature - they were redeemed from their slavery.  Each of these examples and many more are like "sign-posts" along the trail of Scripture.  These signs all point to one destination: The Cross.

So how do we get lost?  By missing the meaning of the sign posts and getting on the wrong trail.  By getting hung up in obscure passages or debates about non-essential theology.  By seeing "the Law" as only an end in itself and not for what it was - another sign post pointing to the Cross.  In short, by losing the forest(the Big picture - Redemption) for the trees(the individual people, events, revelations, truths). 

So keep the main thing the main thing.  The good news that the Creator has provided redemption for our sin and offers restoration of our relationship with Him through the Son's death and resurrection should never get old or passe.  Let us proclaim it and live it because it is The Main Thing!