The tales we are told as children are handed down, generation to generation, because they reflect something in us, that is universally true of humanity. Cinderella, the mistreated girl whose cruel step-mother keeps her from happiness, is saved by the prince. That tale resonates with us because it is one of hope in the middle of injustice. Beauty and the Beast works so well because innately we desire a love that sees us deeply, underneath our flaws. Aesop’s fables teach us lessons of character. They are clearly just stories, riveting for children, intriguing when seen through adult eyes, but tales none the less. The tales, sometimes horrific, told by Hans Christian Andersen, who is possibly most famed for the story of the Emperor’s New Clothes, a warning of the deceit of vanity.
Some read the Scripture as a collection of fables. Those who approach the Bible, the accounts of Moses, Joshua, David, and even Jesus, as just great teaching stories, may see them as foundational in shaping our understanding of the world, but less than what they really are. If we read the Bible with those eyes, it is not the ‘word of God’ with the power to save us, nor is it compelling Truth that requires obedience.
The Bible is a revelation, not just a tale. It is a ‘living Word,’ that finds us in the confusion of competing voices and shows us the Way, the Truth, and the Life found exclusively in the Majesty of our Savior. Peter writes to remind us of the compelling nature of the Gospel of Christ, putting his own credibility on the line.
“We did not follow cleverly invented stories when we told you about the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. For he received honor and glory from God the Father when the voice came to him from the Majestic Glory, saying, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.” We ourselves heard this voice that came from heaven when we were with him on the sacred mountain. And we have the word of the prophets made more certain, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts.” (2 Peter 1:16-20, NIV)
Peter tells us that he saw and knew Jesus Christ; heard the voice of God and, was an eyewitness to the actual events that confirmed the words of the ancient prophets. He asserts this about the Scripture – “Above all, you must understand that no prophecy in Scripture ever came from the prophets themselves or because they wanted to prophesy. It was the Holy Spirit who moved the prophets to speak from God.” (2 Peter 1:20-21, NLT)
When you open your Bible, do you seek to hear God speak?
Do you read the words as a revelation of His will, His purpose, His salvation?
Does the Scripture call you to change, to humility, to life?
Yes, this demands diligent study, careful interpretation, grasp of context, and the Holy Spirit to guide. There are passages that are difficult, parts that when robbed of the full context of the Truth are abused. But, in the whole, the Word is a precious gift to us, one that we demean or discard at our own peril. Have you let your mind be infected with the skepticism of this age? Do you argue with the Bible, refusing the plain truths about sin and salvation, about love and redemption, about life eternal?
May this word from the Word help us to return to the foundation of Truth – reading the Word for what it claims to be – God’s truth given to us as ‘words of life.’
“But you must remain faithful to the things you have been taught. You know they are true, for you know you can trust those who taught you. You have been taught the holy Scriptures from childhood,
and they have given you the wisdom to receive the salvation that comes by trusting in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is inspired by God
and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It straightens us out and teaches us to do what is right. It is God’s way of preparing us in every way, fully equipped for every good thing God wants us to do.” (2 Timothy 3:14-17, NLT)
By faith, may those words become ‘beautiful words, wonderful words, wonderful words of life.’
Abba, I thank You for Your Word.
The arrogance of the ‘wise’ insists
that Your revelation is just a myth,
that Your word is nothing but a collection of legends.
Speak to my heart. Open my eyes.
Let me see the desperate state of the world,
Your desire to redeem me,
the amazing extent of Your love.
I would see Jesus, to know Him,
To love Him, to find eternal life through Him. Amen.