Girl rejection and Bible codes

Published 11:26 am Saturday, April 26, 2014

When I was in high school, I had a crush on a girl in some of my classes. The only problem: I was a bit socially awkward. I just didn’t have an easy time talking to girls in person.

So I did the next best thing; I contacted her over the Internet. There was a program we all used back then called AOL Instant Messenger. It was a program where you could chat with another person over the Internet.

We chatted a few times, talking about other kids at school, the classes we were taking, etc. I waited anxiously each time for her to spontaneously profess her undying love for me — which never happened. But after a while, I began to notice that every time we stopped talking, I felt a little deflated. I felt empty inside.

In order to find out why this was happening, I decided to go back and look at some of our previous conversations that I had saved (which sounds a bit creepy now, but seemed totally normal at the time). As I read back through them, I began to notice patterns forming. Certain things appeared over and over again. And, in the end, I realized something: she just didn’t like me. It had been there right in front of my eyes the entire time, but I couldn’t see it. I didn’t want to see it.

I should have known something was up when, every time we would start talking, she would suddenly need to go and take a shower. Either this girl was avoiding me, or she had some serious odor issues — neither of which was good for me. But I couldn’t see it. I didn’t want to see it.

The truth is this same sort of thing happens when we look to the Bible sometimes. God places these patterns before us, these “codes” of sorts, that teach us who we are, what to believe, and how to live. Yet no matter how many time we see them, or how obvious they are, we miss them. We just don’t see them. Maybe we don’t want to see them.

For instance, Lot’s wife has been warned in advance that God is going to destroy the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. She is among the few to be given the opportunity to flee with her life. Yet despite all of the evil she would be leaving behind and all of the hope God places before her, she turns her back on God and her family, longing for the city she’s fleeing and the old life she’s abandoning.

Samson is a man blessed by God with incredible strength. He is going to deliver his people from oppression. Yet despite all of the blessings God has bestowed upon him, he turns his back on God, abandoning God’s laws and God’s people.

The Israelite people have countless tales of when they find themselves oppressed by an outside nation, only to be rescued by God in the end. But time and time again, as soon as life gets easier and they begin to prosper, they turn on God, worshipping other gods and placing their faith in foreign idols.

As you read through these stories, you see a pattern forming, a code materializing. In each of them, you notice that when people turn away from God, their lives fall apart; but when people remain faithful, or when they turn back to God, they find peace, prosperity and purpose. And you begin to realize what the Bible is trying to teach us: that if we truly desire joy, hope, and fulfillment in this life, the only option is to invest ourselves and our lives in God.

We see this clearly in the Bible. We may even know it in our hearts; but often we struggle to exercise it in our lives.

That’s why for the next month at Courtland United Methodist Church, we will be hosting a sermon series called “The Bible Code,” where we look at these codes of living found in the Bible, these things that we may have seen hundreds of times but never noticed, and explore what they mean for our lives. We’re going to uncover hope in the Bible that we have never seen before, reveal truth that we have never fully understood, and experience meaning and purpose for our lives that we never knew existed.

So may you take a look at the Bible through a new set of eyes. May you notice the codes, the patterns that God has placed right in front of you. And may you allow them to teach you who you are, what you should believe, and how you should live, so that you might experience the different, better life that awaits you.

BRANDON ROBBINS is the pastor of Courtland United Methodist Church. He can be contacted at 653-2240 or