Monday, February 9, 2015

What's the Bible Really About?

Or rather, Who is the Bible really about?

In Women of the Word:  How to Study the Bible with Both our Hearts and our Minds by Jen Wilkin, the author shares some of the ways in which she studied the Bible incorrectly before realizing how to study it correctly.  Here's one:
The first thing I got backwards seems so obviously backwards that it's embarrassing to admit:  I failed to understand that the Bible is a book about God.  The Bible is a book that boldly and clearly reveals who God is on every page.  In Genesis, it does this by placing God as the subject of the creation narrative.  In Exodus, it places Him in comparison to Pharaoh and the gods of Egypt.  In the Psalms, David extols the Lord's power and majesty.  The prophets proclaim His wrath and justice.  The Gospels and Epistles unfold His character in the person and work of Christ.  The book of Revelation displays His dominion over all things.  From beginning to end, the Bible is a book about God. 
Perhaps I really did know that the Bile was a book about God, but I didn't realize that I wasn't reading it as if it were.  This is where I got things backwards:  I approached my study time asking the wrong questions.  I read the Bible asking "Who am I?" and "What should I do?"  And the Bible did answer these questions in places.  Ephesians 2:10 told me that I was God's workmanship.  The Sermon on the Mount told me to ask for daily bread and to store up treasure in heaven.  The story of Kind David told me to seek after the heart of God.  But the questions I was asking revealed that I held a subtle misunderstanding about the very nature of the Bible.  I believed that the Bible was a book about me.  (p.23-24)
Sometimes, I find myself reading the Bible "backwards" just as Wilkin did, thinking that it's a book about me to help me.  But it's not; as she says, it's a book about God, and we must remember that while reading and studying it.

Do you fall into this trap, too?

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