Imagine talking to someone who has never read the Bible before. Literate, intelligent, intrigued with the Scriptures, and knowing of your interest in The Book, the person asks, “how do you read it’?
Which of the following do you think you might, or definitely would not say?
I read every word as the Word of God.
I read it literally for what it says
I read every word as if it were written to me
Until I find words that apply to me
As if all of the promises in the book are mine to claim
As a handbook for success
As a book of timeless truths
As God’s love letter
As my connection with God
As a means of prayer.
I read it as a story
To see how the story can help me know God
To see how all parts of this story can help me understand the Good News of Christ
To learn from the mistakes and success of others
For daily inspiration.
As a book of hope.
Then, imagine meeting that same person 10 years later. Recalling the earlier conversation, you ask the questions this time. “How did you do with The Book? Did you ever learn to make sense of it?
As if ready with the answer the person says, “It took a while, but eventually I learned to read it as if…
Every good thing I found in The Book
Every bad thing
Every true need
Every expression of noble desire
Every imperfect prophet, priest, or King
Every imperfect parent, child, master, servant, neighbor
Every idolatrous view of God
Every misrepresentation of God
Every misinterpretation of life
Every true or false word
Every temporary provision
Every note of a fleeting moment
Every indication of what is good, true, beautiful or honorable
Every misunderstood idea
Every lost hope
Every broken dream
Every broken promise
Every wonderful vision
Every hint of a new day
Every lack of justice or mercy
Every cruel judge
Every example of wisdom I found in this Book…helped me see my need of The Word of God…. and to believe that,
1In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He existed in the beginning with God. 3 God created everything through him, and nothing was created except through him. 4 The Word gave life to everything that was created, and his life brought light to everyone. 5
He came into the very world he created, but the world didn’t recognize him. 11 He came to his own people, and even they rejected him. 12 But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God. 13 They are reborn—not with a physical birth resulting from human passion or plan, but a birth that comes from God. 14 So the Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son. (John 1:1-3; 10-14 NLT)
What would you think?