Sunday, November 26, 2006

The Treasure of God's Word

Psalm 138:2 (Amplified Bible)

2I will worship toward Your holy temple and praise Your name for Your loving-kindness and for Your truth and faithfulness; for You have exalted above all else Your name and Your word and You have magnified Your word above all Your name!

How easy it is to read the Bible "routinely," by which I mean taking it for granted--reading it like a familiar novel. I try not to, but sometimes I do. When I think about what I'm reading and pay attention, its like the difference between someone who notices a sunset and one who doesn't.

At the moment I'm reading the book of Numbers. I discovered that it was written approximately 1,400 years before the birth of Christ. That would be about 3,400 years ago. How mind boggling is that? The people whose names are written there and the lives I'm reading about really existed, over three millenniums ago. I'm getting a view of their lives and individual spiritual journeys as well as the spiritual journey of a nation. I think that's very cool and interesting.

It's fascinating that because of the vast distance of outer space, and the speed light travels at, what we see if we look at the sky through a strong telescope is the stars and galaxies as they were and not as they are right now, in fact we may be looking at things that no longer exist.

That's how it is when I open the Bible. Although they lived long ago, people of the past live, breathe, walk and talk--flesh and blood human beings--and their stories are gripping and real.

We tend not to see ourselves in the context of history, the vast span of eternity. Our lives are truly mere grains of sand in the desert of time. The Bible helps bring that perspective to us. Without it we inflate our own importance and are blind to our mortality.

In the gospels I see a radical creed for living that is counter culture. It challenges me to examine and rethink my values. The Holy Spirit speaks to me through the Word, encouraging, guiding and correcting me.

What a rich book the Bible is to read; historically, sociologically and as a piece of beautiful literature. Most of all, it's the Living Word of God. What a precious treasure.

Hebrews 4:12 (New International Version)

12For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.

No comments: