Monday, November 28, 2011
After a 21 year break from touching a Bible, let alone reading it, I came to the table starving for what it had to say. I spent hours upon hours reading through the New and the Old testaments. I could not get enough of it. Most of it was so exciting to me that I could not put it down; especially Genesis, Exodus, Joshua and Job in the Old and the Gospels and Acts in the New.
My hunger was insatiable. The study groups I was in helped to feed that hunger, as did the Sunday sermons and the emails I got from my missionary preacher cousin. I read and read and drank and drank and marveled at the wonderful things I was learning and relearning. I was enchanted by the fact that wherever I looked or listened, it all fit together and made perfect sense over all. I was amazed.
Then one Sunday a Missionary friend of my close friend came to visit and agreed to speak in our Sunday school class. When class was over, I happened to mention that I found it exciting to realize that what she said fit so well with the sermon that morning, almost like they had planned it. She simply replied, “Don’t we find that all of God’s Word fits together that way?”
Talk about a “light bulb” moment! Of course it does. Whatever we learn from one place in the Bible we can learn from at least one more place, and probably from more places than we can count. Our Bible is not a bunch of books put together to make a bigger book. Our Bible is a cohesive unity of thought very carefully woven together by God, Himself, to show us who He is and what He is about, plus who we are and what He is about with us.
The wonder of it all! No wonder I can know what I believe and I can be sure that what I learned in all these different study situations within my church is truth that is well grounded by the wholeness of our scriptures. If someone tries to slip something by me that doesn’t fit, knowing God’s Word will help me to discern that. Knowing the context of all that is in the Word is what sustains us as we try to discern lies and misrepresentations. Untruth becomes clearer and clearer the more Truth we devour.
How do we get there? How do we develop this discernment that we must use in looking around us as the world goes crazy? We eat and drink His Word. We Feast on it like a Thanksgiving dinner. We drink it in until we think we have covered it all and then we start over again.
Now just for fun, let me point out how important understanding the whole is to getting the part right: In a sentence above, the computer did not like the word “doesn’t” in the next to the last paragraph. I am absolutely confident that the computer is wrong. You see, I understand the context of the English language, so I can discern bad grammatical advice and ignore it. But what if I were a young person who depends on the advice of a computer to get my spelling and grammar right in my reports? I might just get an error for changing to “don’t” in place of “doesn’t.” Being young is good. Staying that way forever could get us a serious error in life. Be brave and study on, day and night, thinking and praying your way into knowledge of God’s Word. And always keep sharing what you learn.