The Bible is unlike any other book. Even a casual reader of the Bible soon discovers he/she is reading a most unusual book. Although covering thousands of years of human history and written by more than forty human authors, the Bible, God’s Eternal Word, is not simply a collection of writings, but one book, with amazing continuity. Its unusual character is due to the fact that it is indeed the Word of God even though written by human authors. The Supernatural character of the Bible is seen in the fact that it deals as freely with the unknown and otherwise unknowable as it does with that which is known.
It describes eternity past including creation before man was even in existence. The Bible, God’s Eternal Word, described with clarity and authority things of both heaven and earth, things seen and unseen. The Bible reveals facts about God, angels, men, about time and eternity, life and death, sin and salvation, of heaven and hell. The nature and works of God are revealed. In biblical prophecy the whole program for the world, for Israel, and for the church is unfolded, culminating in that which is eternal. On every subject presented, its statement is final, accurate, and timeless.
The human authorship of the Bible has not resulted in prejudice in favor of man. The Bible unhesitatingly records the sin and weakness of the best of men, and graphically warns those who rely on their own virtues of their ultimate doom. Although recorded by human pens, it is a message from God to man rather than a message from man to man. Above all else, the Bible is a supernatural book revealing the person and glory of God as manifested in His Son, Jesus Christ. Such a person as Jesus Christ could never have been the invention of a mortal man, for His perfections could never have been comprehended by the wisest and holiest of this earth. The supreme character of the Bible is supported by its revelation of the supreme character of history in the person of Jesus Christ.
In every era of history there has always been a spirit of the age that challenges the acceptance of the Bible, God’s breathed and eternal Word. The temptation of human tendency is to remove or alter those portions that seem old-fashioned and outdated for the times in which we live. Whether it’s the doctrine of hell or God’s view on sexual behavior, many feel pressured to reject part of the Bible. Inevitably, some truths will always be offensive in every day and age.
The book of Jeremiah records for us centuries ago, regarding a Jewish king, who was handed a scroll with a message from God. As the document was read aloud, the king took offense (as many do today), and with a small knife he cut out a portion of the scroll and threw it into the fire. Eventually the entire text was thrown into the flames, yet the king and his servants who had heard the words of the Lord “were not afraid” (Jeremiah 36:24). However, in the end, the king lost his kingdom because of his disobedience.
The point to this post is that when we selectively edit the Bible to suit our own fancy, or when we neglect its teachings, we show that we do not fear God, our Creator. Rather than submit to what He says, we exalt our own finite reason and fallible conscience above the inspired text. Thus, when you’re tempted to overlook or ignore altogether a portion of the Word of God, remember, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God”.
Thomas Mann an internationally acclaimed novelist wrote a whole series of books on Joseph, the person who is the focus of Genesis, chapter 37 through 50. Thus from his writings, we know that he had more than a superficial acquaintance with the Bible. Yet, his biographer records that on Christmas in 1940, Mann read aloud from the Bible for the “general amusement” of his family. At one point he said, “This book is a harmless diversion, exactly what I need.” One can only wonder why the family was amused and what Mann meant by calling God’s holy Word “a harmless diversion.” While the Bible does contain humor, it message speaks about matters that are deeply serious and of eternal importance to every person.
My brethren, because it is the Word of God and therefore the Word of Truth, the Bible is to be read with reverence. Its timeless teachings should elicit a response of heart felt gratitude and obedience, but certainly not amusement. It was given by God’s inspiration and is His revelation to man. My beloved, on its pages we find everything we need to know to receive salvation and to live for the Lord Jesus Christ. The apostle Paul declared that it “is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness”.
When we read God’s precious Word, let’s not get sidetracked by interesting statistics, or unusual facts, or as Mann put it “harmless diversion”. We must read them as a precious and priceless source of light, truth and hope. So, let’s carefully and most prayerfully study the contents of the Bible to discover what God is saying to us about Himself and His plan for our lives. When we do that, it will make our Bible knowledge most profitable.
In a changing world you can trust God’s unchanging Word.