“IT ain’t those parts of the Bible that I can’t understand that bother me, it is the parts that I do understand.” — Mark Twain
It is the time I prepare myself for worship on Sunday — by reading beautiful and poetic stories from the Bible.
Our knowledge of the Bible was limited to memorizing the Beatitudes, Psalms, and part of the Story of Solomon, which my mother required of me to memorize as they were among what she considered the most beautiful stories.
When I began to read the Bible for myself, it assuaged my thirst for the fulfillment of spiritual urgency and inspired my youthful soul.
Now, as everyone who has read the Bible knows, there is not a better source for story, than this collection of verse and prose, song and lamentation, love and death, sin and punishment.
It has pages of fascinating revelations of the struggles of the souls of men and women to find the sources of being, either through its divine teaching or as the purest literature in a compendium of information on suffering, strengthen, rejoice of the human nature.
All have some stories in common with other scriptures, whenever they are found.
The Virgin Birth is not unique to Christianity and loses nothing of its importance, thereby; the story of the great flood tells of how the Lord smelled the sweet savor of Noah’s offering and was pleased with what was in the good man’s heart. He vowed that he would never again curse the ground of punished man and destroy all life on Earth. Then, he caused a great arc of lovely colors to vault the sky, as a token of the vow between them, the rainbow.
Of David, the singing shepherd by who was to be the mighty king of Israel. From David’s family came the Saviour of Mankind, a baby born in Bethlehem. Ruth, the kind Moabite woman who believed in the God of Israel, gave lift to an Israelite family that led down through the years to Mary, Joseph and gentle Jesus.
A city named Babel — where a tower was built — was the site of the Lord as He confused the language of all the earth, and from there, that the people scattered to the far corners of the earth to form separate nations, each with a language of its own — their pride is sufficient sin.
The Sermon on the Mount, where the people were astonished at the Word, is where He taught them with authority, and not as the old scribes who quoted the old laws: and not strange things as “Love your enemies, Bless those who curse you. Do good to those who hate you. Turn the other creek. “ These ideas were new to them, unlike the preachings of the Pharisee. The sayings of Jesus truly sounded as though they were the wonder of a merciful and loving God.
And there’s a lot more.
The Bible is a whole library of many books, within a single volume, a huge repository of history, law, religion, poetry, philosophy and either for information, comfort, inspiration, for sheer reading pleasures, with the length of smoothly flowering narratives and complexity of its nearly 1 million words. It has inspired words of God in written documents. It is a form of literary expression — of marvelous and stirring events, linked to divine wall and purpose, compelling tales of men and women, caught up in a courageous effort to live good and godly lives, as every spiritual sage agrees.
The Bible was written for the heart, as well as for the mind and the will. It was not written to us but was written for us. It can enlighten, enable, enrich and encourage us if we let it.
Remember the reaction to the writings on the wall at Belshazzar’s feast? Old fashion, Old Testament — fear took the fun out of the feast.