Tuesday, December 27, 2011

"The Book"

"Thy Word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of my heart" (Jeremiah 15:16).

What might be our reaction if all literature and printed material ceased to exist except for the Bible?

Disappointment would not be an improper response. God Himself determined and allows the voluminous library of humanity to exist. Thereby illumination, inspiration, information, encouragement, entertainment, comfort and strength grace our minds (along with the many expressions of darkness that come through books). We cannot conceive the history of humanity without its literature, or to fathom our own lives apart from the impact of the printed word.

On the other hand, born again believers in the Lord Jesus Christ would in fact have cause for much joy if one book, the Book, became our only source for reading material. We would doubtless approach Scripture with an attitude of greater appreciation, gratitude, and perhaps keener attention to detail since all reading application would flow to and from one literary river. It is hard to imagine that we would be the worse in such a scenario although, again, we would not argue that the existence of many books rather than just one has a place in the Divine purposes.

Perhaps most to the point, there is a sense in which there is only one book. Indeed, Scripture occupies such a vital and eternity-consequential place in our lives that we must give it a place no other literature can occupy. There are books, and then there is the Book. While other volumes may shed light upon our lives, the Bible is light. We open the sacred Volume in the awed knowledge that the Divinely breathed and inspired Word of God graces its pages from Genesis 1:1 to Revelation 22:20. We do so in confidence of a perfection that no other literature possesses, and we recognize that the Bible is God in print just as the Lord Jesus was (and is) the Word of God in person. Furthermore, we understand that Scripture will illuminate, encourage and challenge our hearts, always resulting in change for the better or worse (depending on our response).

There are books, and then there is the Book. We give thanks for the former, and rightly so. But we fall to our knees and faces for the latter, realizing that the holy source of the Word of God is the love of God. Yes, we open the pages of Scripture to discover the very heart and mind of its Author. Of no other literature can this be said, and if we were left with the Bible alone, we would not and could not be the poorer.

"I will worship toward Thy holy temple, and praise Thy name for Thy lovingkindness and for Thy truth: for Thou hast magnified Thy Word above all Thy name."
(Psalm 138:2)

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