Author: Thomas White | Editorial Department, Living Church of God
Mr. Gerald Weston’s recent assembly provided a fascinating “speed run” through the Old Testament, noting each book, its highlights, and the affect it has upon the overarching flow of the Bible’s storyline.
He recommended taking a “swiss cheese” approach to the Bible—accept that there are holes in your comprehension of it, but appreciate what you do know, the understanding you have been given, and use that to piece it together and grow in knowledge.
Not an Easy Read
That was encouraging to me, because it can be easy for us to feel like we’re hopelessly ignorant when it comes to the Bible. Growing up in the God’s Church, I’ve heard several people admit to being afraid to talk about the Bible with brethren, because of how “stupid” they think they’re going to sound.
I get it—I’ve felt that way, too. The Bible is a thick, complicated book, and that’s before you get into all the translation issues.
It contains seemingly countless names of people, places, and things, goes into a shocking amount of detail in some places, contains a puzzling lack of detail in others, and just when you think you’re following what’s going on, it whips out a genealogy and fast-forwards a few hundred years. The Bible is beautiful, terrifying, comforting, and confusing, and anyone who claims to have read it cover-to-cover without at least once going, “Wait, what?” is probably lying.
But how could it be anything else? God wrote a book.
Sometimes I have to let that statement sink in. The more you think about it, the more it kind of blows your mind: God, the Eternal Family who knows all that could ever possibly be known, who is intimately aware of truths no puny human brain can even begin to fathom, wrote a book explaining the deepest secrets of life, the universe, and everything—and you and I actually kind of understand it a little bit. I mean, we get the gist! Even though Isaiah and Jeremiah lose us sometimes, Paul’s run-on sentences occasionally leave us blinking perplexedly, and our brains go numb every so often from all the numbers in Numbers, we still recognize characters, principles, laws, examples, and poetry that God Himself wrote.
Grateful for the Chance to Know
That’s not a reason to brag—without God’s Holy Spirit to help, any of us might think Ezra was a name from a Star Wars episode. But if the Lord of the Universe wrote a book and has gifted us with even a cursory understanding of it, we shouldn’t feel afraid to discuss it because we’re ashamed of not knowing it better. We should feel excited to discuss it because we have the chance to know it better. And we should be incredibly grateful to our Creator for whatever knowledge we have of the most important thing ever written.
Truly knowing the mind of God is just about the entire purpose of human life, so we should probably expect it to take a lifetime. Don’t be discouraged by what you don’t know. Be encouraged by what you can know—already, you probably know more than you think.