When I read the book of Genesis, I understand the beginning of the universe and I discover my roots and the roots of all my relationships. When I read Exodus, I begin to understand the wonder of redemption. When I read the books of the Law, I begin to see what God is like in His moral character and in what He expects of us in our moral and ethical behavior.
When I read Joshua and Judges and the historical books of the Old Testament, I learn how, in the providence of God, a nation was being prepared to give the world a Savior and how the Most High rules in the affairs of man. When I read the book of Job, I know how to respond to sorrow. When I read the book of Psalms, I learn how to worship. When I read the book of Proverbs, I know how to control my tongue and my temper.
When I read Isaiah, I see a Suffering Savior who tells me how to mount up with wings as eagles, how to walk and not grow weary and how to run and not be faint. When I come to the Gospels, I stand amazed in the presence of Jesus the Nazarene, and I ask in wonderment, “What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the waves obey Him?” When I stand at the foot Mount Calvary I see One hanging there upon a tree. But then I turn the page and I’m there in the Garden at the very moment when the Savior of the world rises from the dead and bursts from the tomb, saying, “Because I live, you will live also.”
Coming to the book of Acts, I’m caught up in the adventure of taking the Good News of Christ to the uttermost part of the world, and I find passion and purpose for life. I proceed onto Romans and learn what it means to be justified by grace through faith alone, and on to Ephesians where I study a catalog of my riches in Christ, and on to Philippians where I can rejoice in the Lord always.
The letters of John give me a new commandment but it’s still the old one—to love one another. Brother Jude tells me to contend earnestly for the faith once for all delivered to the saints. And then I come at last to the book of Revelation, and I have a panorama of the future and a sure and earnest hope for a trip I’m soon taking and a city I’m soon to inhabit, even as John said, “I see a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away.” I come to the last promise of the Bible and hear Him say, “I am coming quickly,” and to the last prayer of the Bible, and I pray, “Even so, come, Lord Jesus.”
And this book is a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our pathway.
PS – This is from last Sunday’s sermon, available here.
PPS – Today I wrote a very rare “letter to the editor” of Time Magazine regarding their cover story of saving America’s newspapers. The text of my letter, for what it’s worth: “Dear Sir: I read with interest your article about keeping newspapers alive. I’ve enjoyed daily papers since I was old enough to read—and I’m 56 now. But I have enjoyed them less as the editorial page has increasingly become the front page. I want balanced journalism, which I no longer get in Time Magazine or the New York Times. Believe me, this is one of the reasons for the loss of print readers. Yes, I use the web for my news, too, but nothing beats the cozy comfort of a good newspaper over a hot cup of coffee. But for those of us who aren’t liberal in our political philosophy, it’s becoming a lukewarm experience.”