Have you ever questioned the validity or truth of God’s Word? Now don’t be hasty and give the “Christianese” answer, be honest. We all have at one time or another questioned the goodness of God, and whether the Bible is true or not. Many people find the Old Testament confusing, and question how can the God who seems to be doling out vengeance left and right, be the same God who is all about love in the New Testament. Truth be told, though it may appear that the two don’t align, I assure you that God is the same in first book of the Bible (Genesis) as He is in the last one (Revelation). The problem is a lack of understanding and knowledge of both the Old and New Testaments. You may be wondering what does this matter? I saw this graphic that was illuminating…
Only 9% surveyed actually read all of the Bible, and the bulk of those (30%) who do read it only read several passages or stories. As I have read the Bible over and over, I see the love of God all over the pages of the Old Testament, but I also see how stubbornly God’s people rejected Him and refused to keep the covenant that God made with them thousands of years ago. As a result of that willful disobedience, the people suffered the consequences. You see unless you have studied the whole Bible, the casual reader or Sunday morning attendee will misunderstand and judge God for punishing the Israelites for their sin. That is why you will see on this website, the importance of reading and studying the entire Bible, not just the coffee cup or bumper sticker verses that make you feel good. But unfortunately, many people just hear the passages of God’s wrath and write off the possibility that God could be good. But first and foremost, it is important that we establish that the Bible is the Word of God. The Apostle Paul, arguably one of the most influential writers of the New Testament penned these words in 2 Timothy 3:16-17 (NLT) which I would like to start off with:
“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 corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.”
“All Scripture is breathed out by God” and was intended to be a road map or instruction manual for how to live. In the post called ★ “Back to the Basics” – Follow-Up to Can 1 Conversation Change a Life? ★, I shared this passage and this life lesson from Charles Stanley on how the entire Bible is true, he said:
“The truth of God’s Word applies to all men and women in every culture, in every age, in every walk of life…Through the ministry of the Holy Spirit; the Bible enlightens each individual to recognize personal sin, the need for salvation, and the best possible life course.”
For me, the Bible is the anchor of my life. I believe that every person has the potential to live a victorious life where you can annihilate anxiety and fear, overcome the past and move ahead in a completely new trajectory of freedom if that Bible on the nightstand or bookshelf would just be opened! Proverbs 1:7 (NLT) says:
“Fear of the Lord is the foundation of true knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline.”
I read a commentary on this passage that explained…
“This fear of the LORD is not a cowering, begging fear. It is the proper reverence that the creature owes to the Creator and that the redeemed owes to the Redeemer. It is the proper respect and honoring of God.”
So honoring God is the foundation, or the starting point of true knowledge, how do we follow this command without honor reading His Word in totality? Last week, I was reading Jeremiah 14:19-22 (NLT), in which the prophet Jeremiah is beseeching the Creator of Heaven and Earth to relent from giving the people exactly what they deserved. It is such a powerful prayer that I believe we would do well to keep in mind for ourselves today. Jeremiah does something pretty amazing, he appeals to the very character of God…Not that God needs to be reminded of His faithfulness, but Jeremiah asks some silly questions that he knows the answers to starting in verse 19:
“Lord, have you completely rejected Judah? Do you really hate Jerusalem? Why have you wounded us past all hope of healing?”
Let’s stop for a second so I can give you some background on the previous chapters. God has been telling Jeremiah how far the people have gone away from Him, and what He was planning to do in response. Perhaps these questions were in earnest, but I believe that Jeremiah knew something that we need to understand today, that God is good and He loves His people. Jeremiah then flips the prayer to one of repentance, but not just for Judah and Jerusalem but he includes himself as well, although I doubt that the Lord’s prophet would have been considered wicked. He prayed:
“We hoped for peace, but no peace came. We hoped for a time of healing, but found only terror. Lord, we confess our wickedness and that of our ancestors, too. We all have sinned against you.”
If you read Jeremiah 15:6-8 and Jeremiah 16:10-13, you will find a very clear justification of the wickedness that God spoke to Jeremiah. The truth is, we ALL have sinned against God! It does not matter your sex, race, political affiliation, economic or socio-cultural background, EVERYONE has fallen short of God’s glorious standard! (See Romans 3:23). But my favorite part of this prayer is the argument Jeremiah gives of “why” God should heal the land! He prayed:
“For the sake of your reputation, Lord, do not abandon us. Do not disgrace your own glorious throne. Please remember us, and do not break your covenant with us.”
Why should God intercede for His people? Because not healing them would ruin His reputation of being a God who is faithful. He made a covenant with the People of Judah and so Jeremiah is praying to God to not break it because of the evil His people had done. The final part of Jeremiah’s prayer that is a great model for us, is to just exalt God for how majestic and powerful He is!
“Can any of the worthless foreign gods send us rain? Does it fall from the sky by itself? No, you are the one, O Lord our God! Only you can do such things. So we will wait for you to help us.”
That final sentence is just perfect! Jeremiah is just trusting that God will indeed do what he just asked for! What boldness and faith! As you read the Bible in totality, you see the faithfulness of God on every page.
Robert Morris preached an incredible series called “God is…” in which he went through some of the major attributes of God. The one that hit me particularly hard was called “Beyond You”, in which he talked about how God is faithful and worthy of our trust. He said:
“Faithful means “full of faith.” The root of faith is “trust,” and the root of trust is “true.” The reason we can trust God is because He is full of truth. The more we know God, the more we can trust Him. Even when we don’t think He’s being faithful, He is, because He doesn’t lie.”
“The more we know God, the more we can trust Him!” And the only way to get to know Him is through the reaching His Word. Jesus made this profound statement in Luke 21:33 (NLT)…
“Heaven and earth will disappear, but my words will never disappear.”
The Bible has been an anchor not only for individuals, but for our country as a whole. I just read The American Bible Society’s “STATE OF THE BIBLE 2019,” which was conducted by Barna Group. They found:
“Four out of five adults (80%) agree that the values and morals of America are declining…As a follow-up question, adults who said they believe morality is on the decline were asked to determine what they thought was most responsible for declining values from a list of three options…26% attribute the decline to a lack of Bible reading.”
You can see that the percentage among those who believe morality is declining has spiked in regards to Bible reading as opposed to other secular aspects which has dropped since last year’s survey. I know I don’t have to tell you that morality is on the decline, but to see the correlation with bible reading was an eye opener. So how do we stem the tide? The answer can be found in 2 Chronicles 7:14 (NLT) says:
“Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land.”
How different would the world be if everyone humbled themselves, prayed, sought God and stopped sinning? The key is to…
- Humble Yourself
- Pray for guidance
- Seek God’s face
- Turn from your wicked ways
I truly feel that we can shed the baggage of the past if we would open God’s Word. But it comes back to the initial question…Do you believe in the validity of the Word of God? I pray that you would trust in the faithfulness of God as Jeremiah did and believe completely in the WHOLE Bible. Don’t let the lies of the enemy influence the present which WILL rob the future.
To dig in more on this topic check out:
You can watch all the sermons from the “God is…” series by Robert Morris here:
In the series you “will learn the attributes of God, which will give you fresh perspective into His character and heart. You’ll be encouraged as you learn more about your heavenly Father who never changes and loves you more than you’ll ever know.”
And finally, here is a great song called “Hear Us From Heaven” by New Life Worship which ties beautifully into this.
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