It is a very common thing to hear someone say that the Bible is just a nice book of stories. But I am here to say that this could not be further from the truth. As a homeschool mom with 5 children, we are not unique homeschoolers in the fact that we house a small library within the walls of our home filled with many many stories. None of the stories, however, tell me to worship anyone or fear anyone. None of them spend 176 verses of a chapter talking about how excellent that specific book is. The Bible could be described as many things, but a nice book of stories it is not.
If I was writing a nice book of stories, I would have left out the book of Judges entirely. Yikes. Reading through the Bible took me there, and it was not easy to get through. It was not nice. Was it Important? Yes. Powerful? Yes. Inspired? I believe so. Nice? Nope.
For exhibit b, lets take a look at the book of Psalms. No, you say, surely one could describe the Psalms as “nice” ? Right? Who hasn’t been comforted by the reading of Psalm 23 in a time of great distress. “Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death….finish it with me…..I will fear no evil” No, I will not yield. It is not nice. What is it then? Well, look with me at another portion of Psalms, 96: 2-6
2 Sing to the Lord, praise his name; proclaim his salvation day after day.
3 Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous deeds among all peoples.
4 For great is the Lord and most worthy of praise;he is to be feared above all gods.
5 For all the gods of the nations are idols,but the Lord made the heavens.
6 Splendor and majesty are before him;strength and glory are in his sanctuary.
Oh c’mon! That’s nice isn’t it? No!! I repeat. This is not nice. This, these words, can only be one of two things…..life changing or craziness. That is it.
For me, and countless disciples for over 2000 years, this, these words are life. They are miraculous. They are present, past and future. They are perfect. But they are not nice.
Let’s get real. I look at other beliefs, like those that would say you need to wear holy underwear that you can never change, and I have never thought, “oh, that’s nice” Or others that say the ant I just killed could have been an aunt from long ago, and I don’t ever think “oh, that’s nice.” I am going to be honest. I thinks it’s crazy. And you know what? If you look at me and said I was crazy for praying and singing to a God I can’t see I would actually be ok with that. It would make more sense for you to say that, then to say, “well, thats good for you, but not me”. Reading through Psalms tonight I couldn’t help but come to this conclusion. How do people not take a definite stance on this? One way or the other?
“Sing to The Lord” ?
“Proclaim His Glory”?
If one of my children’s books, had a chapter at the end, that told me to get on my knees and worship one of the characters in the book, I would not consider that nice….
I also cannot think of a story whose main character is worshipped, real time, 2000 years after walking the earth.
I am not alone in my sentiments. Revelations 3:16 reveals that God would rather we be hot or cold, anything but lukewarm.
You see when you are fully devoted to Christ, and to His word, His presence is clear, His existence undeniable. At the other extreme, however, when you hit rock bottom, explore the uttermost to get so far from who He claims to be you will see that there is no other option than His truth. But in the middle. Where we are told to coexist, and let each person have their own truth. This is the danger zone.
In the book of Joshua, he proclaimed to the people, “choose you this day, whom you will serve” Choose.
Very little of the Bible lands in the “nice” zone. It can only qualify as “change your life” powerful, or utter foolishness.
So if you find your beliefs system in the middle, here is my challenge for you. First, you have to know that everything is on the line here, everything. And next start with the words “if You are real God….” My own mothers journey started with those words, and she was blown away with God’s desire to show Himself strong.
Open the Bible, start in John.
Check out this video, of an atheist journalist who launched a two year investigation and see where it lead him.
I pray that you would “choose Life” as Joshua hoped. But whatever you do, don’t be in the middle. It is not a nice place to be.