This was originally published about a month ago on my blog, but I thought I would share it with you. I got to share it as a devotional on a Wednesday night recently too. I love helping folks foster an ever-deepening appreciation for God’s Word. How about you, why do you read the Bible? Leave a comment! -AR
One of the arguments Christians will cite for the Bible being the only book that really is the “Word of God” is its uniqueness compared to any other literature, ancient or modern.
I thought of this when I was reading through Psalm 19 this morning. Psalm 19 was written to declare the greatness of God and his words to us. It talks about how “perfect”, “sure”, “right”, “pure”, and “true” the law of the Lord is, saying even that “more to be desired are they [God’s commands] than gold, even much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and drippings of the honeycomb” (Psalm 19:10, ESV).
Here are some quick unpolished reflections on the Bible, and which are by no means complete ones:
– If you read it you would see that it encompasses every single possible human virtue. There is not a one virtue in the entire human experience that it does not touch on. But it is not a book about moralism.
– It also deals with the core motive(s) behind every single possible human vice. Does it specifically cover, say, internet pornography? No, obviously that wasn’t around during biblical times, but since it addresses the heart reasons for all vice we can, in fact, say that yes, it does. For instance, in Job 31:1 Job declares that he has “made a covenant with my eyes, why then should I look [gaze] upon a young woman?” or Jesus said, “whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (Matthew 5:28).
– Tabloids and others love to “shock” people unfamiliar with the Bible about how “bawdy” or even “raunchy” it is (and I use their over-hyped type of words). There is no doubt some of the Bible is surprisingly candid, but it never is in a prurient way, unless you consider the idioms “know” (to have sex with someone) or “covered his feet” (go to the bathroom) to be shocking and vulgar–which they hardly are.
– Even when it does deal with explicit situations, it is being candid about even some of its heroes. It does not flinch away from its great hero, King David, engaging in a adulterous, murderous affair, and the awful generational and national effects of it. It shows characters in natural light, not glossed over into perfected historical recollections as we might think.
I read the Bible because time and time again it keeps proving itself true: It is unlike any other so-called holy book; it is unique in its consistency and revelation despite being written by over 40 authors spanning a thousand years. And, every time I come to it it teaches me more about me than any other book I’ve read–and that’s not always a pleasant thing, to be honest. But, thankfully, it also tells me about the One Who made me, and Who came to earth as a Man to save me, and how I can know him…and *that* is a book I want to read.