|Photo Credit: Meadow Scott
Wait a minute… Aren’t you the girl who doesn’t believe the story of Job actually happened? Well yes that’s me, but just because I don’t think all parts of the bible are historical events, or that everything is to be taken literally doesn’t mean I don’t love the bible. Here’s why I love it:
I love stories
The bible is a book bursting with story. From Adam and Eve to Ruth to the story of Jesus birth. Stories and not all happy ones. Ruth’s and Naomi’s story is one of extreme sorrow and hardship. Both widows in a time when a woman’s value was wrapped up in the men of her family. Ruth leaving behind everything familiar, with nothing except the guidance of Naomi and her new found God to rely on. It is also an adventure story. A courageous woman who seeks out provisions for herself and her mother in law. Gleaning from a stranger’s field where she doesn’t know how she will be received. Will the men of the field harm her?
And then there’s that crazy time that she sneaked on to the threshing floor. A place full of men, most of them drunk and passed out by that point, being a lone woman in a place where the floor is covered in inebriated sleeping men is a dangerous thing even today!
And what about laying at the feet of Boaz? Bold and brave that Ruth I tell ya.
In the end Ruth is redeemed… she married Boaz… has a wee baby boy named Obed and eventually becomes the great grandmother of King David.
A great story right? And there are many others that I love to read and learn from.
It’s the best resource we have to learn about Jesus
Matthew, Mark, Luke and John… although they might not always agree with one another… they’ve got the skinny on the life of Jesus. The gospels tell us about the ways Jesus taught, how He treated His fellow man, the things that were important to Him. They let us glimpse the constant closeness Jesus has with the Father. And they allow us to imitate these things as much as we possibly can.
The text is rich and deep
I once followed a reading plan of read the chapter of Proverbs that falls on whatever date of the month it is. For example on January 17th you would read Proverbs 17. I did this for maybe 3 months highlighting what stood out to me and scribbling notes along side the verses I highlighted. I found that even though I had read the same words over and over I discovered new things each time I read them.
It’s also very interesting to slowly dig down into the layers of scripture. Take the parable of the prodigal son. There are so many themes that could be explored here.
The ungrateful son asking for his inheritance and insulting his father (breaking commandment number 5 by the way). Lesson we take from this? Don’t break your father’s heart.
Then he squanders his money on things of no lasting value and ends up broke… so broke that he has to eat pig slop. Lesson learned from this? Be wise with what you have.
Then he decides that it would be better to be a servant of his father’s than to live in the squalor he’s in. There are so many lessons from that one little part. Being humble, returning to where you are loved and cared for, not expecting to take the easy road back into someones heart.
And if we compare this part of the story to heaven, it is better to be a lowly servant in the presence of God than to be without him.
The parable of course goes on and there are other lessons to glean from it because it is so rich and deep.
There is a peace that enters my heart when I read the bible. Praying psalms is comforting and it gives me the words to say when I have none of my own. Reading about the love of Jesus and the miracles he did sometimes send me over the moon. I literally raise my open hands and close my eyes and offer silent prayers of thanks at times. These words fill me up.
Do I still struggle with the bible? Yes, but it’s a bit like a marriage, because there is great love the struggle is worth it and I am willing to come back again and again to try to reconcile my discomfort with it’s words.
How about you? Tell me why do you love the bible? What are your favorite stories?