I’m sure that Faith and I are the only ones who this has ever happened to.
When the kids were young, Faith would say, “go to tell your [brother / sister] to come here.” This was a general statement, often in a non emotional tone of voice. The sibling took it upon themselves to convey the message, in an elevated tone of voice, and with Simon LeGree intentions, “MOM SAID TO COME HERE RIGHT NOWWWW.”
The message was conveyed. The words were used. The interpretation? Not so much.
This could be why so many today do not trust the Bible. The ones presenting the message are not conveying the words of God accurately.
For many, this becomes a watershed moment. If someone can mishandle, misuse, pervert, twist, change, the written word of God; God’s book, doesn’t that poison the water hole? How can we ever really believe anything in the Bible to be trustworthy?
I’m certainly not a Bible language expert. I’m not a linguistic or language expert. I’m not really an expert at anything. Maybe its time to stop reading. Or maybe you can be encouraged by an average person observing something beautiful in the scriptures.
God is ok with the written record as it is; even if it wasn’t written perfectly.
Yes, you read that correctly. The beauty of God’s wonderful message of salvation and love came to us through the hands of imperfect men. If you were God, would you do that? Here’s why I know we can trust the Bible.
- God only personally wrote a small section. Moses destroyed the first set of the ten commandments that God had carved into stone. When we use the phrase, “well, nothing’s carved in stone,” we mean that when it is carved in stone, nothing can change it. BUT MOSES BUSTED THEM UP. So, God had to write another set.
Film maker Mel Brooks pokes fun at this episode in “The History of the World Part One,” that Moses has three tablets, with a total of fifteen…but he trips and breaks one. The truth is, there are way more than ten – there are more than 600, and we frequently trip and break them all. The ten “words of God,” as Israel often called them, were considered the main truths of which to build life upon – and God made them breakable, intentionally.
This is why David, (a really messed up guy. more about him later), said with all confidence, “Oh Lord, your law is within my heart,” Psalm 40:8. This is where the word of God; the trustworthiness of the Bible, is most effective – when it is written upon our heart.
When we know something, really know something, we know it “by heart.” Isn’t that where knowledge is most effective? I mean, when you go to the doctor, would you feel more comfortable or less comfortable if the doctor consulted a medical journal when you told him what was wrong? I’d prefer to see a doctor who knows the books inside!
2. God included things in the Bible that shouldn’t be there. What? He did what? Here’s what I mean. Imagine writing a love letter to your sweetheart, “Dear sweetheart, I have loose bowels. I have bad breath. I often have a hard time controlling my emotions. I have a gambling problem. I love you. Please write back.” Or imagine applying for a job, and on your resume, you include: I have poor management skills. I was fired from my last three, uh four, oh who’s counting jobs. I punched the boss out… If I were trying to win my sweetheart, or get a job, I would not include any of the bad stuff. I’d let them find out later! (like I did to my wife! 🙂
God starts out the story of redemption with a man who won’t obey him, who lets the devil hang out with his wife, who ruins the whole paradise, who can’t keep his kids in order. Murder in the first few chapters. By the time we get to the end of Genesis alone we have organized adultery, incest, sodomy, cheating, rape, war, drunkeness; not to mention the earth being destroyed by flood.
That’s just Genesis! Then God enlists men of questionable character to write this book. Moses was a murderer. David was an adulterer and a man of war. Solomon; how he got the tag “wise” is a mystery: he had 300 wives and 700 concubines.
If I were God, I wouldn’t include such embarrassing stories. I wouldn’t include how families of eternal promise still got jealous and hated each other. I wouldn’t include or allow people that couldn’t control their sexual appetite could be given an opportunity to repent, and worship at my holy throne.
That’s another reason why we can trust the Bible.
3. God’s word is so powerful that it endures misinterpretation Its in vogue now to besmirch the reliability of God’s word. Ironically, fundamentalists and atheists are strange bed fellows in this regard; Both groups cling to the notion that if one thing is out of place in the written record, that none of it can be trusted.
When Joshua told the sun to stand still, was that a lie? I mean, the earth revolves around the sun, but the Bible reads that the sun stood still. God understood what Joshua was calling for, and the phenomena happened. Why didn’t God punish David when he committed adultery? The law demanded death. David repented. What about words that are added into the text? There is no language on the earth that translates word for word.
When my kids yelled, “MOM SAID COME HERE NOW,” they were misinterpreting the message. This is what people often do. The message wasn’t wrong, but sometimes the interpretation is wrong, and perhaps humans feel the need to defend God.
The Apostle Paul was so certain of the overarching message of the gospel, he said, “it is true some preach Christ out of envy and rivalry, but others out of goodwill…but what does it matter…in every way…Christ is preached.” Philippians 1:15-118.
Marjoe Gortner is a former performance preacher. He did a documentary in 1972, and even won an academy award, chronicling his life of being a charlatan. He freely admits it. In spite of this, people genuinely came to salvation, were healed, and had a true experience with the Lord.
God’s word, His story, is so powerful that even when people intentionally try to mess it up, or take advantage of other with it, the truth still comes out.
I am reminded of Billy Graham’s encounter at Forest Home Conference Center in Southern California. Mr. Graham recounts his struggle of being challenged by Charles Templeton, a contemporary of his who vacated the faith. Templeton had allowed the horrors of World War II to ruin his faith in God, and of course, the Bible. Graham met with the Lord and came to the conclusion that although he could not scientifically prove everything, that he would take the Bible, by faith.
You and I can trust the Bible as God’s word… not as God, but as His written record of salvation to humanity.