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Sunday, August 5, 2018


If you look at Genesis 3:8 (here @ Bible Gateway), you will note that Adam and Eve had a personal relationship with God.  They walked with Him in the garden.  They knew His sounds.  The cadence of His stride.  The sound of His voice.  They probably knew His scent.  It was a close personal, somewhat casual, relationship.
When they disobeyed; when they violated His trust; when they heard their close friend, their creator, their Lord, coming; they hid.

In Exodus 20:19 (here @ Bible Gateway), when that same Lord continued His self-revelation through giving His Law, again the people, His chosen people, hid.  They wanted Moses to deal with God for them.

In what ways are we doing the same thing today?  During the time that the Bible was being written, those who wanted to follow the Lord were dependent on others, prophets, apostles, and others to whom God spoke directly.  They were dependent on circular letters that apostles wrote.  By the end of the first century the gospels and epistles were treated as a whole.  By the end of the second century all but 3 John had been quoted as Scripture.  By the end of the fourth century the books we have now are widely mentioned and recognized.

The point?

For the last 2015 years we have had the Word of God.  Now in our time, we have unbelievable access to that Word.  I have 27 different physical New Testaments.  I have over 3000 books about the Bible on my computer.  I have a program that will tell me all of the Greek or Hebrew words that are in any passage.  I can export that list to Excel and sort it anyway that I wish.  I can point at any word in the text with my mouse and find out the part of speech, the pronunciation, and with another click, get a hyperlinked list of all of the resources in my library that will give me insight into the development and use of that word.

That does not begin to address the resources we have on the internet.  There are free programs available that will do much of what I just described.  Further there is an uncountable number of messages ranging from extraordinary to heretical available in our browsers.  In church many are no longer carrying a Bible because they use the app on their phones.

So with all these incredible resources we should have incredibly Biblically literate believers, right?

I work primarily with leaders.  Both here and overseas.  That is not the case.  Many if not most of the pastors that I have worked with overseas spend more time reading books about the Bible to craft their messages than spending time in the Word of God.  Many download messages that others have given and share those.  Why?  They do not know how to study the Scripture, or do not have confidence that they are able to do so with any degree of accuracy.

If they do not know how, will the people in their communities?

The answer to that should be obvious.

I have had members of good, no great, churches tell me that they do not want to study the Bible for themselves, it’s too much work.  They want someone to tell them what it says, what to believe.  They are committed to allowing others talk to God.  Like the Israelites at Sinai hid behind Moses, to a great extent aren’t we, those of us who are not personally engaged in the Word, hiding behind pastors and teachers?

If this isn’t true of you, awesome!  If it is and it’s because no one has shown you how, let me know, I will.

That is what gets me out of bed in the morning.

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