We have a speaker from the Gideon’s coming to Grace and Truth on this upcoming Lord’s Day and I thought it would be good to reflect on the precious nature of the Bible, and the great privilege it is to have the Bible in our own language. What better way to do that than to see a video of a tribe of people who are just receiving the entire New Testament in their language for the first time. This is truly a blessing.
HT: Justin Taylor
But watching this video should cause us to ask ourselves some questions. Do we who have God’s Word in abundance value it this way? Do we long for it more than any earthly thing? Do we spend time in it expecting to find and feed on Christ there? Too often, I am afraid that we don’t. Even in the church, the Word of God tends to be diminished in its importance in our eyes. It was of Christ the living Word, of whom the prophet said of Israel, “we esteemed him not” (Is. 53:3). Sadly this seems to often be true of the relationship between the church and the written Word. Is it true of you today?
I am reminded of a story that J. I . Packer retells that comes from the life of Thomas Goodwin. Goodwin,
“having heard much of Mr. Rogers of Dedham took a journey…to hear his preach on his lecture day…Mr Rogers was…on the subject of…the Scriptures. And in that sermon he falls into an expostulation with the people about their neglect of the Bible;…he personates God to the people, telling them, ‘Well, I have trusted you so long with my Bible; you have slighted it, it lies in such and such houses all covered with dust and cobwebs; you care not to listen to it. Do you use my Bible so? Well you shall have my Bible no longer.’ And he takes up the Bible from his cushion, and seemed as if he were going away with it and carrying it from them; but immediately turns again and personates the people to God, falls down on his knees, cries and pleads most earnestly, ‘Lord, whatever thou dost to us, take not thy Bible from us; kill our children, burn our houses, destroy our goods; only spare us thy Bible, only take not away thy Bible.’ And then he personates God again to the people: ‘Say you so? Well, I will try you a while longer; and here is my Bible for you. I will see how you will use it, whether you will love it more…observe it more…practice it more, and live more according to it.’ By these actions (as the doctor told me) he put all the congregation into so strange a posture that…the place was a mere Bochim, the people generally…deluged with their own tears and he told me that he himself, when he got out…was fain to hang a quarter of an hour upon the neck of his hourse weeping before he had power to mount; so strange an impression was there upon him, and generally upon the people, upon having been expostulated with for the neglect of the Bible.” – A Quest For Godliness: The Puritan Vision of the Christian Life, p. 97-98.
May the Lord renew your appreciation for his Word. And may He also free you from the kind of worldliness that fails to long for the “words of delight” (Eccl. 12:10). And finally, may God fill you with the gospel hope that comes through the encouragement of the Scriptures (Rom. 15:4).
“Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear, and who keep what is written in it, for the time is near.” (Revelation 1:3)