Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Psalm 19

The Bible doesn't give its treasures away to glib readers. For instance, it often records surprising things that people said and did, but without comment; we are puzzled, and must become more thoughtful if we hope to solve the riddle. The Bible says things that seem to contradict other things; we are challenged, and must stop to study if we want to have understanding. The Bible says some things in such a way that if we're looking for an easy, shallow way to believe about God, we can seem to have found it. If we insist, the Bible will remain a small book to us.

But the Bible is, in actuality, a deep treasure mine, while at the same time it is a vast library. The glib reader, though he intends to dig deep, will miss the treasure because he misses the contexts, the wide references, the wonderful continuity. Or, the glib reader will browse here and there from the wide library but never dig deeper, never get the big picture, because he's busy with only bits and pieces. And so he too will miss the treasure.

But the one who's given up glibness... the one who's begun to tremble at this word... roams far and wide, up and down, throughout the vast library. Night and day you'll find him there, poring joyfully over the volumes. He has a pickaxe; he often stops to dig deeper for the treasure that the volumes say lies beneath the surface. He sometimes weeps at the aching beauty of what he finds. Pickaxe in one hand, open reference in the other, he'll spend his life mining for this treasure, for the truth that is more to be desired than gold. (Yes, than much fine gold.)


Laurie M. said...

Very wise words. Paul and I were just talking the other day about how easy it is to use the Bible as a book of rules, or an instruction manual....when, really, if that were the intent, it would not be full of poetry and historical narrative which is often so absent of moralizing commentary that we barely know what to make of it. Scripture is truly intended to be so much more than a checklist. It is a place to experience the person and personality of God.

You've spoken so eloquently.

jeri said...

Thanks sister. The Bible is truly breathtaking! I do so want God's people to see that.