The Bible is like a window.
It gives us a view of the redemption story like this picturesque scene through a large window.
Yet oftentimes, we read the Bible as if it was a mirror.
We look through the pages with the primary purpose of seeing ourselves. We approach the Word of God looking for answers about who we are and what we should do, instead of looking to see God. We have to remember that the Bible is about God for us. It gives us insight into God’s character and gives us glimpses into who we are in light of who He is. When we approach the Bible as a mirror, looking at it to see ourselves in the pages, we risk misinterpretation and misunderstanding the promises of God.
What does the Bible reveal?
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.2 Timothy 3:16-17 ESV
All of the books of the Bible are God-inspired and without flaw. God gifted us with the Bible to teach us more about who He is. When we look at how God reveals Himself to His children, we often see “I am.” It shows God is living and active. But if we dig deeper in Exodus, when God spoke to Moses, He said “I am who I am” (Exodus 3:14). He’s showing Himself as separate, distinct. He is demonstrating that He is our creator, provider, and present with us. The Bible was inspired by God to help train us in His ways. As we learn His ways, we become more capable of doing all that He has called us to do.
For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. 13 And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.Hebrews 4:12-13 ESV
God’s word is alive too. It separates the spiritual and earthly. It discerns our thoughts and the true nature of our hearts by showing us aspects of our character displayed in each story. But what’s more important is how it depicts God’s character. We get to see how God treats the person who sins, the person who repents, and the person who worships. The word of God exposes pieces of our own flaws but gives us insight into how God responds to our human nature.
Putting Things into Perspective…
When we go to the Bible expecting to see ourselves, we risk walking away with a poor perspective of who God truly is. If we fail to grasp the totality of who God is, then there is a strong possibility that we are seeing ourselves incorrectly because knowledge of God leads to knowledge of self. So when we learn that God is merciful and that we are the recipients of that mercy; it causes us to act differently when we receive it. Whenever we read the Bible we should always ask, ‘What does this show me about God?’ before we look for any life application. We need to look at the Bible as a window into this beautiful view of God’s redemptive story, instead of a mirror.
Be sure to check us out next week when we will be breaking down, Why context matters…