When you open your Bible

Lord willing, tomorrow morning—or at some point in the day—you will open your Bible to read. Or at least you want to. Or plan to. Or think you should. For many of you, this reading will be a source of delight and spiritual edification. For many others, your daily Bible reading is a duty that hangs like thick fog, devoid of all joy and expectation. It feels like drudgery. Just get this done so you can open Facebook without guilt. This post is for the latter group. I want you to be filled with wonder at the very idea of the Bible.

When you open your Bible to read, you are reading the very words of God. I know it sounds familiar, but just think about what that means. We are talking about the God who thought up snow-capped mountains, deep-raging seas, lizards, and the ant colony. The God who gave us flowers and bees and declared they should work together to give us honey. The God who dreamed up birthday cake. The God who went to great lengths to create a world under water that few humans will ever glimpse with their own eyes. The God who spoke galaxies into existence so far away that no human will ever glimpse them with their own eyes in this life. The God who decreed the ecosystem of insects in the Amazon. The God who decides whether today’s clouds are puffy or flat or shaped like an elephant.

We are talking about the God who is Lord over all things. He has raised up great men like Moses, Constantine, and George Washington. He adorned women of valor like Ruth, Mary, and Lottie Moon. He stealthily planted quiet men and women of honor and dignity in obscure places—visit your church’s senior adult Sunday School class to meet these heroes. Kings and presidents and dictators and Congress are alike streams of water in his hands. All of history’s kingdoms, democracies, republics, and federations are under his thumb. No civilization has or will ever escape his gaze—and none would want to.

And this God wrote a book.

He wrote a book and gave it to us. He gave it to us in our own language. He gave it to us for our own good. For no higher good exists than to know this God. The means by which we may know him are the sixty-six collected books of Holy Scripture.

If God had not spoken, if he had not written a book, if he had not revealed himself to us, we would not know him. Sure, we could look at the sunset over the water, the Amazon insects, or the heights the Alps and know that God exists; we could know that he is creative, powerful, and deserving of our thanks. But from nature alone we could never know that he is a Trinity, that the Father has a Son. We could not know that this Son took on humanity and offered himself as the once-for-all sacrifice for all men. That he was raised from the dead to be the first fruits of the future resurrection of all who believe and, indeed, the whole creation. No, he had to write a book to reveal these things. The wonder is that he did so. We certainly do not deserve this book.

But here we have it. Deep mysteries of the universe, ancient wisdom, practical instruction for daily life, comfort for seasons of suffering, and a telescopic look into the eternal future are all at your fingertips: atop your nightstand, at your desk, on your smartphone. You have been given access to an eternal library. History, biography, poetry, songbook, pithy quote book, sermon collection, personal letter, and apocalypse. These have been given to you for your good, instruction, and knowledge—your knowledge of this God who loves, creates, speaks, governs, writes.

So, duty? Drudgery? Drudgery?! Oh, wake up sleeper. You have the very words of God.

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