Have you ever heard the world "Bible" used as an acronym? Have you ever heard anyone say, “B-I-B-L-E stands for Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth?”
When my kids were enrolled in Christian school, I heard this quite a bit, and, back in the day, there was even a Burlap to Cashmere song with that title. That would be great, right? It would be great to have a basic instruction manual to get us out of this life alive, wouldn't it?
I see little handbooks all over the Christian bookstores that seem to take this stance on the Bible. But is that what God's given us? Is that what the Bible is?
If it is, that certainly would make life a lot simpler. If we could just have a little glossary where we could look up a problem, then follow the glossary listing to the appropriate page, and we'd find simple instructions on how to handle every situation.
- Depressed? See page 1042.
- Child misbehaving? Page 619.
- Wife not being submissive enough? Follow the diagram on page 196.
- Bit of leprosy? See figure 11b, page 746.
- Being overrun by pagan hordes? See pages 593-615.
- Evangelizing? Consult the flowchart on page 1267, entitled “Soul Winning for Beginners.”
That would sure simplify things a mite. But if you've ever cracked open a Bible, you know that's not what’s there. Every time you read the thing, it seems to be saying something different to you. It’s so rich and lyrical that it speaks to you differently depending on the day of the week, the level of your research, state of your mind, and the condition of your soul. It describes itself as “living and active” for a reason.
It’s both simple and complicated, which implies that the one about whom it speaks is likewise both simple and complicated, both unfathomable and understandable. Which is why we can view him with both awe and love - both fear and longing - which seems, at least to me, like the perfect qualifications for worship.
Series Title: 7 THINGS
Message Title: God isn't political
Main Passages: Matthew 17:24-27
Some questions for reflection or group study (or please comment on them, below):
- How much do you think God gets involved in the affairs of man?
- What does it look like for God to respond to our prayers?
- What do you believe about the Bible? Is it without error? Is it written by men or God or both?
- Why do you think the Bible's not more specific? Why does it sometimes seem contradictory?