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Why such a voluminous book?
|Created by Gerard de Vos|
Category: Bible related
Wouldn’t it have been wonderful if God gave us a short Bible, about the size of Matthew, with 40 pages? That would have made reading it so much easier and faster. In it God could have given His message clearly and precisely:
Man is a sinner. Jesus is the Redeemer.
Accept that He died on the cross for your sins. Be filled with the Holy Spirit.
Read the short Bible, live a good life, and go to heaven.
Wouldn’t it have been wonderful to have such a small volume, especially in the twenty first century? We live in the fast lane and time is limited. Our bulky Bible might have been suitable for people a thousand years ago when time was much more leisurely. As God is omniscient, surely He should have given people in our time a much shorter version, something like the condensed Reader’s Digest books. What was God’s intention with such a large volume that takes so much time to read and understand?
Let us try to probe God’s mind.
In some way God had to let us know that the origin of the Bible is supernatural. How could He do it? As omnipotent God, He interacted with people in history and He had this interaction recorded. Thus we have the history of the Jews, written down by several writers inspired by the Holy Spirit. They lived at various times, and we can read what God did and said during those times in various circumstances. God couldn’t just take a short historical episode and give it to us in writing. He had His whole story recorded for us. He created the heavens and the earth and began the Jewish race. Then He gave us their subsequent history. In this is interwoven the genealogy of Jesus (He did not fall out of the air, but has a human genealogy). We can check the truth of this history by going to Israel, buying an atlas and even using secular sources like the history of the Egyptians, the Assyrians and other nearby nations of that time. Through all the historical books and other writings in the Bible, God demonstrates His gracious and trustworthy character and teaches the gospel of salvation.
We can easily misunderstand that Jesus as Saviour is only interested in saving our souls, but that the problems we experience as His followers do not interest Him. That is not true. He has been busy saving people out of difficulties since Adam’s time, right up to the present. Children of God live as aliens in a foreign country (heaven is their real country). People experience many calamities. The Bible is filled with examples of how God intervened and saved people in various situations. These can be used in prayer. We can remind God that He saved Paul or Peter, or Hezekiah or Gideon or Hannah in various dangerous or troublesome situations. God tells us that He has no favourites. Therefore He can save us as He helped them. It is almost a legal action. We remind God of what He did in the past so that He can help us in the present. Jesus demonstrated the use of a Bible verse when He was tempted in the desert. Every time the devil tempted Him to sin against God, He answered by saying: ‘It is written....’, and quoting a Bible verse. The devil acquiesced and did not try to argue against the Scripture, but left. The devil has to obey God’s authoritative words even if we as followers of Christ use them. That is the power and beauty of the ‘lengthy’ Bible: it contains examples that can be applied in any possible situation we can find ourselves in where we need God’s help. This is one of the reasons the devil would like people to be so busy that they do not read the Bible and pray. He knows the value of the Bible, and tries to keep people away from this ‘weapon’ against which he is powerless.
There is a reason why the world is unified in its attack against the Bible. There is no unified resistance against the Koran, the Mormon Bible, the writings of Buddha or of Confucius, but against the Bible. It is a powerful book, given to us by a wonderful God to help us on our way to eternal glory. Love it, read it and use it in prayer.