I like the Bible. That might seem like an obvious thing to say, especially in a Christian newsletter, but I believe it bears saying because, let’s face it, there’s a lot in the Bible that’s unlikable.
Original sin, for one thing, sort of bums me out. Adam and Eve had everything they could ever need or want, but they threw it away because – incredibly – they believed God was holding out on them.
Then there’s the Flood. Civilizations wiped out, thousands upon thousands of people killed, and why? Because mankind was so ruthlessly violent, God felt the need to start over. And that’s just the first six chapters.
There’s the rape of Tamar, Jacob’s little trick with his father-in-law’s sheep, the Plagues of Egypt, the lukewarm ineptitude of the Judges, the Exile to Babylon . . . the list goes on and on, right up until God Himself dies, crucified by the very people He created. But, thank God, He didn’t stop there.
On the other side of all of this pain and hurt, there was a Resurrection that paved the way for an end to suffering. More than that, though, it paved the way for you and I – and the whole world, if they would only believe – to be free from sin, because, as the Scriptures point out, we are sinful, enslaved in prisons of our own design. But when Jesus sets us free, we are free, indeed.
When I first set out to write Flood Legends more than a decade ago, I did so with the motivation of proving that the Bible is trustworthy. I wanted to prove to the skeptics, the atheists, and the agnostics (or anyone who didn’t buy into the Bible, for that matter) that the Bible shouldn’t be dismissed just because we might not like what it says.
I suppose, in a way, I was naïve enough to think that, somehow, the Scriptures needed my help. In the five years since its publication, however, the Scriptures themselves have proven to me, over and over, that the Bible truly is the inerrant and inspired word of God.
My life has played out the reality that people are sinful, and God is good. God has patiently revealed the awesome Truth contained within the pages of the Bible that He loves us, even though we don’t deserve it. It is a love that was proven at the Cross when God died, not just for my sins, but for the sins of the whole world. It is a love that was proven when Jesus got back up and, later, rose to sit at the right hand of the Father.
This is why I like the Bible, because the bad news makes the Good News all the more amazing . . . I don’t stay bummed out; I can’t stay bummed out. I may not like the fact that we all sin, but it’s the truth, and God handled it when He nailed it to the Cross. I may not like the fact that we all die, but it’s the truth, and God handled it when He left it in the grave on that Sunday morning so many years ago. Every time the Bible highlights some person’s sin, what it really does is highlight my own sin, but then it goes on to highlight how generous, loving, and patient God is. And that is a Love that needs no proof.
That is a Love that proves Itself.
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