Impoverished souls see nothing of value in the Bible
Some people look at the Bible and stand amazed at “the wealth of [God’s] kindness, forbearance, and patience” Rm 2.4 NET. It’s a humbling experience, one that, as Paul says, ought to lead us to the change of repentance.
Other people look at the Bible and see a bunch of stories with no meaning. It speaks more of the poverty of their souls than about the content of Scripture.
Some days ago I ran across a website that listed a huge, huge number of the greatest literary sentences of all time. Not a single Bible verse was included. If you can’t find at least one great literary sentence in all of the Bible, not only is your soul impoverished, but your sense of literature as well.
Feel free to list in the comments below one or more sentences that strike you as being great literary statements. You don’t even have to quote the KJV to get one.
They’re on nearly every page of Scripture. You can start with Gen 1.1. Hear Adam’s amazement at seeing Eve for the first time. Nearly any part of Job. Or Psalms. Lots of Proverbs. Ecclesiastes 3. Oh, and the prophets!
Then when you get to the words of the Lord Jesus himself, you have a problem deciding among so many, even if you narrow it down to the sermon on the mount.
The apostles Paul, Peter, and John are not sloppy writers either. Brother James is pithy and powerful as well. Those chapters on love and faith!
Of course the best part of the Bible is not just pretty words, but life-changing truths that keep us from going to everlasting perdition in order to usher us into the glories of heaven. The Bible has more hope, faith, love, passion, imagination, strength, and joy than anyone can ever explore in a lifetime. Riches for sure!
¶ How many times and in how many ways can one give glory to God? Dunno, but I’m working on a few. Some men seem to lead the same prayers over and over again, repeating phrases that fire few neurons in the brain. And in public prayers they have the whole gamut of supplications, intercessions, thanksgivings, confessions, and praises to run, not just glorifying God. How unpracticed we are in this kind of speech!
Yes, one can glorify God in other ways besides doxologies. Do we not need, however, to learn the language of praise? Shall we leave it to false religions that insert so much false teaching in it? Are not the true people of God those who ought to say it best?
On this, we truly must swim against the tide, now more than ever, as language shrinks down to txt msgs 2 yr bf.
¶ If we have a God who has organized the universe down to the microscopic DNA, shouldn’t we be a people well organized? If God has created time as the stuff of life, shall we not work to take advantage of every minute? If this life is preparatory for that one to come, are we not beholden to squeeze from it every possible lesson, every opportunity for service and glorifying God, every chance to save a soul for eternity?
I confess to not being the most organized person in the world. With confession must come change. I’m working on that change right now.
How about you?
¶ When I was a child I wrote childish poetry. (The writing and poetry bugs appeared early in my story.) After I became a man, I destroyed those childish works. Little did I know that people were making millions off that kind of stuff. I still dabble now and again in the sing-song kiddie language. It pains me to think of the valuable gems I threw out.
¶ See the chiasmus in Romans 2.6-11? Verse 6 corresponds to verse 11, verse 7 to 10, and verse 8 to 9. The middle element (verses 8 and 9) puts the emphasis on judgment, appropriate for the demonstration that the Jewish people need salvation, too.
Instead of Where’s Wally?, I play the where’s-the-chiasmus game. More profit in that.
¶ Alan Loy McGinnis wrote in his book, Bringing out the Best in People, “People do not like being lethargic and bored.” That’s a good general statement. But I know a few exceptions to his rule. My mom used to find us work to do when we complained about boredom, so I soon discovered the benefits of finding something interesting to do. I still find it today.
How about you?