When was the last time you read your Bible? After reading today’s devotional, I hope you will begin reading it daily.
The one book for all ages and all nations, for all classes of men and all states of society, for all capacities of intellect and all necessities of the soul!
(Daniel March, 1868)
The Bible is the oldest and the newest of books. It surveys the whole field of time–and it looks farthest into the infinite depths of eternity. It lends the most vivid and absorbing interest to the scenes and events of the past–and it keeps us in the most active sympathy with the time in which we live. It gives us the most reliable record of what has been–and it affords us our only means of knowing what is yet to be. It is strict enough to denounce the very shadow and semblance of sin–and it is liberal enough to save the chief of sinners. It is full of God—and must therefore be read with a pure heart or its true glory will not be seen. It is full of man–and must therefore always be interesting and instructive to all who would know themselves.
The Bible is the plainest of books–and yet it has depths of wisdom which no created mind can fathom! It is set up as a beacon to show all wanderers the safe way–and yet its light shines forth from thick clouds of mystery and from abysses of infinite darkness. It describes all conditions of life, and it gives utterance to all desires and emotions of the soul.
It sparkles with the fervor and gladness of youth, it celebrates the strength and glory of manhood–and it bewails the sorrows and infirmities of old age. It sympathizes with the poor and lowly, it lifts up the fallen, it delivers the oppressed, and it breathes the blessing of peace upon the quiet homes of domestic life. It describes with startling clearness the seductions of temptation, the conflicts of doubt, and the miseries of skepticism. It searches the secret chambers of the heart, and brings to light its purest love and its darkest hate, its highest joy and its deepest grief. It compasses the utmost range of thought and feeling and desire–and it sounds the utmost depth of motive and character and passion.
The composition of the Bible was extended through a long course of years; it was carried on under a great variety of circumstances; it bears the impress of every diversity of individual character. And yet the spirit of inspiration speaks with equal fullness through all the times and circumstances and characters. Thus in the Bible, God and man, earth and Heaven, time and eternity–speak with one voice and teach the same truth. Thus the Bible is made to be the one book for all ages and all nations, for all classes of men and all states of society, for all capacities of intellect and all necessities of the soul. It sets forth the most spiritual and heavenly truths–in the lights and shadows of earthly scenes and human characters.
This life is very complex and challenging. Understanding God’s perspective takes prayer, reading, study, and sensitivity to the Holy Spirit of God. I would suggest you begin in Genesis. It is very hard to understand the New Testament without understanding, at a minimum, chapters 1-11 of Genesis. The doctrines of creation, sin, redemption, the flood, languages, and migration of people are all found in these chapters.
Tom Stearns, WASI Chaplain, 907 715-4001