What’s The Bible All About?

Shepherds005I think a lot of people have misunderstood the Bible–Christians and non-Christians alike. Some see it as a rule book, others as the Christian version of Confucius’s sayings. Many people use the Bible to prove whatever point they want to get across–sort of a handy debater’s list of proof texts. A number of folks believe the Bible shows people the way to God. Some say it is a record of God’s dealing with Mankind and others call it “His Story,” referring to Jesus.

These last two views are true as far as they go. The Bible does indeed record God’s dealing with Mankind, but what are those dealings? And the Bible does, from cover to cover, either explicitly or implicitly point to Jesus Christ. But what particularly does it say about Him?

As I have said in this space from time to time, the Bible is one book and needs to be understood as a whole. Any use of its individual parts–verses, passages, chapters, books, or even testaments–needs to be measured against the whole message of the Bible.

For example, there’s a verse that contains this: “There is no God.” Someone might point to that statement and say, the Bible claims that there is no God. In reality, that line needs to be understood in relation to the entire Bible as well as to the specific context in which it exists.

A quick scan of the Bible shows that God appears throughout; consequently the “there is no God” statement is not an accurate reflection of the Bible’s teaching. In addition, the specific context of the phrase is this: “The fool has said in his heart, ‘There is no God’ ” (Psalm 14:1).

Recently I’ve seen a number of people quoting from the book of Ecclesiastes to prove various points of debate. Again, that’s a suspect approach since much of Ecclesiastes is Solomon’s thinking apart from God’s direction–his view of the world “under the sun” as opposed to his view informed by God’s wisdom. The question should always be, Do these thoughts align with the rest of Scripture?

But that brings us back to the central question–what particularly is the rest of Scripture all about? My pastor, Mike Erre, gave an insightful and simple answer to this question, starting in Genesis.

When Adam and Eve sinned, they did two specific things–they hid their bodies from one another (covered their nakedness) and hid themselves from God.

In the cool of the day, God walked in the garden and asked Adam where he was. Of course, omniscient God wasn’t seeking information. He wanted to give Adam a chance to give up his feeble effort to cover his sin and to confess. In other words, He was seeking Adam in a much deeper way than to see where Adam’s flag on his Facebook page showed him to be.

A quick scan of Scripture shows that God continued to seek the people He made in this same way. He said in Ezekiel, “For thus says the Lord God, ‘Behold, I Myself will search for My sheep and seek them out.’ ”

ParablesfindingtreasureHe took up Enoch and saved Noah. He chose Abraham and took David away from his sheep to become His anointed one. Jesus most graphically illustrated God’s relentless pursuit of us when He gave the parable of the shepherd leaving the ninety-nine sheep to find the one lost lamb. He followed that with the illustration of the woman who looked throughout her house for her lost coin. And then there was the story of the man who found a priceless pearl, so he sold everything he had in order to buy the field hiding the pearl.

And there in is the message of the Bible–not that we seek God, but that He pursues us, giving up all that is precious to Him, even His own beloved Son, in order to bring us back to Him.

Published in: on April 29, 2013 at 6:34 pm  Comments (2)  
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  1. Becky, please elaborate or explain further how God “gave up His precious son. Some might say He did not give Jesus up, for He is enthroned at the Father’s right hand.
    A tall order, but I’m confident you are up to it. 😉


  2. I forgot to say: “Another excellent post!”


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