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Back to the Future

Oct 21 2015. Back to the Future day. For those who are not aware, this was the day that Doc Brown took Marty McFly into the future to deal with the problems his children were having.

As we look back on the predictions the film made as to what life thirty years into the future would bring, we see that largely the predictions were missed: our cars do not fly, rain can’t be turned off and on, and we don’t rehydrate our pizzas.

A few predictions were correct: 3D films are back, film sequels are commonplace, and many of us use a Skype-type phone system.

What makes the Back to the Future franchise so appealing, even thirty years after the first film was released? I suspect that besides the great cast, the story-line appeals to most people: who hasn’t longed for a time to go back in time and correct a mistake that has affected our lives, or to go forward in time and look at how things turn out and make any necessary corrections.

Even Job longed for the past. Notice what he said: “O that I could be as I was in the months now gone, in the days when God watched over me, when he caused his lamp to shine upon my head, and by his light I walked through darkness; just as I was in my most productive time, when God’s intimate friendship was experienced in my tent, when the Almighty was still with me and my children were around me; when my steps were bathed with butter and the rock poured out for me streams of olive oil! When I went out to the city gate and secured my seat in the public square, the young men would see me and step aside, and the old men would get up and remain standing; the chief men refrained from talking and covered their mouths with their hands; the voices of the nobles fell silent, and their tongues stuck to the roof of their mouths” (Job 29:2-10 NET).

Job longed for the days before his calamities overtook him, when everything was going right for him. He then knew God was in his life and his children were around him, too. He was wealthy and respected by all those around him. If he could only go back in time to those happy days.

But Job couldn’t go back to the way things were. What was in the past was in the past and there was no way of changing it. Flux capacitors and flying DeLoreans are products of science fiction and not part of reality.

Rather than going back in time, Job needed to prepare for the future. He couldn’t get his wealth and children back, but he could remain faithful to God. God had not left him, although to Job it seemed that he had. If Job continued to serve God, his future was secure, whether or not God chose to bless him again with wealth.

We often long for the past, as well. How many of us can look at the photographs of our children as they were growing and not long to go back and change something to make their lives better now, whether to prevent a divorce, save a life, or to do something so that they would still be faithful to God?

Although we can’t go back to the past, the real question is what are we doing today? What are we doing to right the wrongs of our past? To lead those who have forsaken God back to him? To try to make the future better?

We cannot go back in time or even forward into the future, but we can live each day, one day at a time, for our Saviour.

Bible Reading Schedule
19 October – Job 30
20 October – Job 31
21 October – Job 32
22 October – Job 33
23 October – Job 34

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Jon Galloway

After graduating from Freed-Hardeman College and teaching school for three years, as well as preaching for small congregations in West Tennessee, Jon & Arlene moved back to her home of Glasgow, Scotland. Since 1985 Jon has been involved in evangelistic work in the Glasgow area, currently serving the congregation in East Kilbride. They have three grown children. Besides writing 'Bible Bytes', Jon is also one of the editors of the "Christian Worker," a news magazine for congregations in the UK, and is a teacher and governor for the British Bible School.

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