Thursday, November 20, 2014

Lessons from an Old Book

Recently I was thinking – as is my habit, and also the title of this blog – about people that talk about how antiquated and irrelevant they perceive the Bible to be. It’s a thousands-of-years-old book, they say, written and compiled in a totally different time, culture and environment. It no longer relates to contemporary living, they contend.

That’s interesting, because many of the values and principles we’ve embraced as a society – even today – can be traced to the Scriptures. Consider:

People are quick to say, "Love your neighbor." Where does that come from? The Bible, found in Mark 12:31. By the way, when Jesus made this enduring declaration, He described it as “the second greatest commandment.” What was the first and greatest commandment? “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength” (Mark 12:30). With that established, He then said, “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

People are also not hesitant to say we should, "Do to others as you would have them do to you." Where does that come from? The Bible, quoted in Luke 6:31.

We hear heart-touching stories about "good Samaritans," people who go out of their way – and sometimes risk considerable danger – to assist complete strangers. Where does that come from? The Bible, as part of Jesus’ parable of the Good Samaritan, recorded in Luke 10:25-37!

From time to time we hear or read about someone straying away the strong values and practices of his or her family, but then returning after a time and being restored. We commonly refer to this person as a “prodigal son” (or daughter). Where does that come from? Of course, the Bible, a touching account also known as the parable of the lost son, told by Jesus and recounted in Luke 15:11-32.

Even in the entertainment world, movie titles unflinchingly use the term “sin,” and Las Vegas is nicknamed “Sin City.” Where does the notion of sin come from? The Bible, from front cover to back cover, describing humankind’s rebellion against God and proclivity for defying His laws that were intended for our own good.

There are many other examples I could cite, but I think I’ve made my point. It amazes me how easily – and in my opinion, ignorantly – people can choose to dismiss the Bible as being archaic, no longer applicable for life in the 21st century. There are many books we consider classics today, and while they remain good to read, they don’t relate to life as we know it.

But the Bible? Even though some would vehemently argue to the contrary, I’m convinced it’s as timeless and eternal as the God who inspired its writing. “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17).

No comments: