Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.
-- Isaiah 43:19
Of all the words that describe the Bible, timeless is one of the best. After all, a repeated lesson in Scripture is that there are certain truths and principles that are as relevant today as they were 2,000 years ago. For example, it's hard to argue that we don't reap what we sow in life. If we spend our lives loving our neighbors as ourselves and otherwise make a positive difference among friends and strangers alike, good will result in one form or another. On the other hand, we can expect a more negative outcome from a lifestyle that embraces habitual theft, lying and cheating.
Nothing has changed in God's eyes over the centuries. But while His truths and principles remain constant, another ongoing Biblical theme is our Father's willingness to spring a surprise or two on those who think they know it all. Every once in a while, God likes to do a new thing. And He tends to carry out His plans in some unexpected ways and places through the most unlikely characters.
We can see this throughout the Old and New Testaments. Moses, called to confront the powerful Pharaoh of Egypt, had a speech impediment. King David was a just a shepherd boy when he killed mighty Goliath. Jesus--God's own Son--was born into poverty and spent His ministry in an obscure corner of the Roman Empire. Christ's disciples were a disreputable bunch that included fishermen, a tax collector and even a terrorist! And Paul, the great missionary who penned several books of the Bible, initially persecuted Christians before he literally saw the Light. It's no wonder that the respected religious authorities of the time were astonished by it all. It just wasn't what they expected!
A new year is upon us. And as 21st Century Christ-followers, we're modern-day reminders of how God continues to join unexpected people, places and circumstances to achieve the greater good by doing a new thing.