The Bible Puzzle

I don’t think there’s anything more important than understanding the Bible. The problem is, there’s a whole lot that seems confusing, contradictory, and if we’re truly honest, boring.

I mean, have you read this passage in Numbers 7?

13 and his offering was one silver dish whose weight was one hundred and thirty shekels, one silver bowl of seventy shekels, according to the shekel of the sanctuary, both of them full of fine flour mixed with oil for a grain offering; 14 one gold pan of ten shekels, full of incense; 15 one bull, one ram, one male lamb one year old, for a burnt offering; 16 one male goat for a sin offering; 17 and for the sacrifice of peace offerings, two oxen, five rams, five male goats, five male lambs one year old.

The thing is, this exact same list is repeated eleven more times, one for each of the twelve tribes of Israel. Then the totals are all given for each item, just in case we can’t do the math, I guess.

So are sections of the Bible that seem uninteresting and irrelevant ones we can ignore? To the larger question, can we focus on those passages that we “get”?

That’s kind of like a college student saying to a history prof, Can I read about the historical figures I connect with? First, these would be ones the student already knows about. Second, they would be ones he approves of or agrees with. How, precisely, would this be considered learning?

When it comes to the Bible, I think a lot of people approach it with the idea that it is full of material they already know. And what they don’t know, they don’t care about because it is outdated and irrelevant.

Why, then, would anyone want to read a tired old book over and over? After all, today’s generations want fresh and page turning. We want stories, not lists of do’s and don’ts, not verses and verses naming the sons of this man, who was the son of that man who was the son of that other man–all names that are nearly unpronounceable.

What most people don’t realize is that the Bible is a jigsaw puzzle. It all fits together to make a remarkable, unified picture. You have pieces that are full of color, and shapes that give you a hint at what the finished puzzle will look like, but you have lots and lots of sky pieces or water pieces or leaves pieces that by themselves seem uninteresting and hard to fit in with the whole.

But what would a seascape be without puzzle pieces of blue water? What would a forest scene look like without leafy trees? The hard pieces play a vital role in creating the whole picture.

So too with the Bible. Much of what seems hard connects the colorful pieces together to create a complete picture. But when we don’t read the whole, when we study only a piece here or a piece there, we get a skewered view of the Bible and of God and His work in the world.

Could this be the reason a growing number of people are following after false teachers?

Published in: on July 18, 2012 at 5:32 pm  Comments (3)  
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