Better Than A Pot of Gold
March 15, 2023
“All people are like grass,
and all their glory is like the flowers of the field;
the grass withers and the flowers fall,
but the word of the Lord endures forever.”
And this is the word that was preached to you.
-1 Peter 1:24-25
“I wish there was a way to know what God wants me to do.” “I wish life came with an instruction manual.” “How can we know a God and Savior who are invisible and up in Heaven?”
You’ve probably heard a friend or family member say one of these statements at sometime or another. Perhaps you’ve even said them yourself. I know I have. Well, there is, it does and you can…by reading God’s Word to us, His love story for all of mankind. In these 66 little books bound up into one big book, we find God’s purposes for us, His creation. We find His wisdom and commands on how to live our best lives. And we come to understand His attributes, qualities, and as much of the purposes, will and personality of the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit as it is possible for any mere human to comprehend. It’s all in there. And just in case we might find it helpful, there are also numerous stories of real people with real problems and challenges having real feelings and struggles about how to stay faithful in a faithless world, how to serve God with their whole selves, and how to endure hardship in a godly way.
And so, if this bestselling Book which is widely available and translated into nearly every language humans speak is so edifying and awesome, why is the world such a mess?
In my many conversations about the Bible, I cannot count how many times I’ve heard people, even some Christians, say “How can I trust the Bible when it was written by a bunch of Bronze Age men in languages that have been translated and re-translated so many times, and twisted to say what those in power wanted it to say?” They end there as if they’ve made an incontrovertible statement. But that is just an argument that Satan started. There’s so much to say on this subject, but I’ll just mention three things that convinced me.
- Historical Evidence. How do we know how ANY history happened? We have libraries dedicated to ancient history, but the reality is that it is all based on VERY LITTLE actual historical ‘proof.’ Stone pillars, tombs, tablets, skins, scrolls and bits of papyrus are all that are left of ancient civilizations. Did you know that there is more historical evidence for the existence of a person called Jesus of Nazareth than for Julius Caesar? But ancient people went to a lot of trouble to copy, protect and preserve the Holy Scriptures and we have a lot of very old editions of the books of the Old and New Testament.
- The Dead Sea Scrolls. I always wondered what the fuss was about these. The truth is amazing. When they discovered these scrolls of the Old Testament books in a cave in the 1950s many were in very good shape, and when they carefully unrolled them, they found that they were remarkably close to our modern version. This was possible because of the painstaking way the Jews copied the Scriptures. (Remember all of those ‘scribes?’) Fragments of every book of the Old Testament were found except for Esther, and the entire book of Isaiah was preserved. So, for at least 2000 years, those Holy Books were not changed or mis-translated.
- God says so. In Matthew 5:17-18 Jesus says, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.” In Matthew 24:35 He says, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.” And, of course, 2 Timothy 3:14-17, “But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
In the end, it is a matter of faith. It is an exercise of our spirit responding to the call of the One who made us and has given us everything we need to become our best selves and live our best lives. As we study God’s Word with the help of the Holy Spirit, eternal truth and wisdom are opened up to us. When our whole self is dedicated to His service, then our eternal ‘instruction manual’ and ‘love story’ from God will be more precious to us than a pot of gold or any ‘thing’ on earth.
Blessings in your reading and study,
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