Reading the Bible can be a lot of trouble.
- We don’t understand its original language.
- We’re far removed from the lands and peoples it includes.
- It’s confusing.
- It wasn’t even written directly to us.
And just because it says it’s true, that doesn’t make it true.
“It all seems very far away. It all belongs to that world, not to this world. We feel that we are, so to speak, on the outside of the Bible world, looking in.” – J. I. Packer
Packer sets up some of these arguments in chapter 7, “God Unchanging,” in Knowing God. Surely we’ve considered a few of these ourselves.
So why is reading the Bible worth the work?
It’s not because we’ll discover our own world there. It’s because we’ll find the same God there. The God spoken about in the stories of the Bible is the same God we can know today in our own time, in our own lives.
“The link is God Himself. For the God with whom they had to do is the same God with whom we have to do.”
Our languages change. Our cultures change. Even people change.
But God stays the same.
Packer quotes A. W. Pink as saying,
“[God] cannot change for the better for He is already perfect; and being perfect, He cannot change for the worse.”
What was true about God in Bible times is just as true of God today. Packer gives this list . . .
- God is everlasting.
- His character is always merciful and gracious.
- His truths stand forever.
- His purposes remain the same.
- His Son Jesus is also the same yesterday, today, and forever.
The details of our stories will differ, the characters move in and out, but the Creator who guides us through the events never changes.
God is always love, always mighty to save. Read it in the Bible. But live it now.
* * *
Do you ever find the Bible hard to understand? What makes it worthwhile reading to you? Please share in the comments.
We’re reading through Knowing God via Challies. Grab a copy and read along.
- Why do you want to know God? (chapters 1-2)
- What does it mean to know God? (chapters 3-4)
- You know God & Jesus. But the Holy Spirit? (chapters 5-6)
- You know God and Jesus. But what about the Holy Spirit?
- Are we ever the persecutors?