"Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD: And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the LORD, and shall not find it". (Amos 8:11-12)
This prophecy is understood by some to be duel in application. This occured to Israel, but also presents a type of a greater fulfilment in the future. What if there were NO Word of God? What if it could not be found? What if there was NO ONE who was familiar with the true Word of God? In other words, what if there was no Bible, and no one to expound it?
Even worse, what if no one even cared?...
There is no substitute for God’s Word: the written Word, the Bible! The words of the Bible are living - they are alive! Jesus is the Word (John 1:1-3): He is God’s Word incarnate and personified. When we open God’s written Word, the Bible, something very profound should happen - we should sense that we have come into the presence of Jesus Christ. We should truly feel and KNOW that we are walking on "holy ground"!
If the Bible is not so critically important, then why has it been preserved so miraculously, through sword and fire, and the blood of martyrs, through so many challenges and attempts to stamp it out, to corrupt it, to demean it, to discredit it over and over again. Satan has apparently used friend and foe sometimes to surreptitiously put it in a bad light. As far as the supposed "errors" in God’s Word, we must understand that God used humans to record the moving of the Holy Spirit. God did not and does not "perfect" fallible humans as they recorded what the Holy Spirit urged upon their hearts and minds (2 Peter 1:19-21). We all live in a world in which God has allowed humans to BE human. ALL, except Jesus Christ, are fallible.
There is an often overlooked wisdom of God in doing this: by allowing all us to be human in our fallen state, He gives us an "out". If someone wants an excuse not to believe, or to reject the Bible, a justifiable reason (to them) will be there. This is one way the wheat is separated from the chaff. God allows a mixture of right knowledge and wrong knowledge (error), which functions as a test for all those involved. Also, in doing this, God is continuously reminding us of our fallibility and fallen condition as humans in a fallen world. This being said, God never lets the humans involved get to far off the track. Whatever "error" in transition or translation down through the centuries that have occurred, will not deter His providential calling, the preaching of the gospel, or be a stumbling block to anyone whom God the Father is drawing to His Son, Jesus Christ (John 6:44)! Nothing happens unless God allows it, and He allows what happens - HE is in control!
Searching for a fatal flaw in God’s Word is much like evolutionists striving to prove evolution. If someone is living in the darkness of this world, the light is blinding and incomprehensible, so they avoid the two-edged sword (John 1:4-5; 3:19-21; Hebrews 4:12).
There is something alive about the words themselves on the paper on which the Bible is written. If you are a new Christian and you somehow are not inclined to at least read the Bible, you are missing much comfort, many solutions to problems, and much joy that God really desires you to have! Some of course, are not able to read the printed word for various reasons - poor eyesight, blindness, etc. However the Holy Bible is one of the MOST accessible books in the world - it is available at libraries, waiting rooms of hospitals and clinics, hotel rooms. It is available in print, on tape and CD recordings (which can also be checked out at many libraries). It is also available in brail at many libraries. Do not worry too much about translations - at least at first. Just find one that is reputable, and the most literal and comfortable enough to not be a hindrance to your desire to continue reading it. Do not worry about where to start reading, although beginning with Genesis (which means "beginnings"), or the book of John, the first book of the New Testament are popular choices.
If you truly love God; if you love your Savior Jesus Christ who is the LIVING word, it is difficult to understand someone’s lack of desire to read His word. Although we all have our strong suits and weak points, we should make a dedicated effort to listen to what He has to say to us! Try to think of the Bible this way: when you open it, say to yourself "Our Father, I know what I am about to read is written to ME - personally. Not to someone else I can think of, but to ME. I know you are living in these words. Please open my mind and my HEART to what you want to tell me..." There is only one reason why He would want you to do this - HE LOVES YOU! More than you can ever fully understand or comprehend in this life.
Jesus makes a very all encompassing statement: "The Spirit is the one who gives life; human nature is of no help. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life" - John 6:63 (NET). Since all the Bible is inspired and imparted to mankind by God through the Holy Spirit, this includes all the Bible. The words of the Bible are "Spirit" and "Life" - that is about as important as anything can be...
There is a tendency among some today to put the Word of God, the Bible, in a place of very low priority. Many feel that just believing what they may heard about Christianity, or what someone has told them is enough for them to endure and to "get to heaven". They may even call Jesus "Lord" (Luke 6:45). In the age in which we live there is no other anchor, there is no other touchstone, there is no other authority that will always be up-to-date, relevant, dependable, trustworthy but GOD’S WORD - the BIBLE! All else, when all has been said, when all opinions and reasoning has risen and fallen, there will always be the Word of God. Jesus the Living Word is alive forever. His written words - the Holy Bible - will also never die. They are eternal. They ARE life (2 Timothy 4:12)!
One of the greatest rewards of reading and studying the Bible is PEACE...when we really and truly open ourselves up to willingly accept, and an honest desire to obey what it says, there is an aura of wonderful peace that seems to envelope us. Throughout must of my adult life, when studying the Bible I was experiencing something that I could not define until several years ago. I finally realized what it was. It seemed that God finally showed me something that I could not explain and did not know that I being given. A photograph was taken on a special occasion which caught me sitting with a Bible open on my lap. Upon looking at the picture, I suddenly realized what God was giving me when I study His Word - it was PEACE! No matter what the problems of the time, or the cares and concerns pressing in upon me, when I pick up a Bible (I realize now...) Jesus Christ sends peace - not the peace like the world gives and understands, but HIS PEACE!
Through all those years, why did I not understand - after all, that is what He promised to do....
"Peace I leave with you, MY PEACE I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid" - John 14:27.
If you are not a Christian, or are just reluctant to read and study the Bible for any reason, please...let me urge you to begin now. Peter said when asked by Jesus if he and the other disciples would discontinue following Him, he answered by asking where could they go - only Jesus spoke the WORDS of eternal life (John 6:66-68)! My prayer is that you will drink in of the water of life that flows from God’s Word - the Bible. And that you may believe in the Author, the Living Word, Jesus Christ.
Then you may have peace - eternal peace...
"So also you, when you see these things happening, know that the kingdom of God is near. I tell you the truth this generation will not pass away until all these things take place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away" - Luke 13:31-33.
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