jimmyakin.com/wp-content/uploads/prophet-1-300x225.png“Revelation” is a mysterious-sounding word.
Sometimes it conjures visions in our minds of the end of the world. That happens when we think of the last book of the Bible—the Book of Revelation.
But even when the word isn’t being used that way, it suggests something powerful and mysterious.
This is a bit of a paradox, because of what the word “revelation” actually**means.*
Revelation is something that is**revealed*—something that is now known. If I reveal what I’m doing or thinking, that’s a revelation.
Since the term refers to what is known, it’s ironic that it would have such mysterious overtones.
Human vs. Divine Revelation
If we only used the word “revelation” to refer to ordinary, mundane,humanrevelations—the kind of things people reveal in their Facebook status—then it would never have acquired such mysterious overtones (indeed, it would soundtrivialto us rather than**momentous*).
But we also use it for things that God reveals to us, and God is very mysterious indeed.
For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways, says the*Lord.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts [Isaiah 55:8-9].
It’s understandable that, by its association with the mystery of God, the word “revelation” itself would come to sound mysterious.
Despite the fact that we can never fully grasp God, never fully comprehend an infinite Being like him, we can understand something about how he reveals himself to man.
More Than Words Can Tell
In the past, some theologians have conceived of divine revelation as if it’s just a matter of words—as if everything that God has revealed to man could be stated as a proposition, like these: