If you’re not studying the Bible, then what are you doing, beloved? It’s so worth it. I’d say with regards to my faith, it’s the most fulfilling thing I do. In bible study, we’re currently studying the New-Testament book Hebrews. It’s a difficult text to tackle, but I’ll let you in on my secret. As I delve into the Word, sometimes losing myself entirely for a few hours, I find myself in deep retrospection afterwards. What did I learn? Does any of it matter? What is God trying to reveal to me through His Word? What’s the point of it all? For me, studying the bible is like following a bread trail of Yahweh. He’s telling us the true story of His chosen people, and it’s an amazing narrative.
It’s an exciting book – the Bible is. Tales from far-off lands, the parting of the Red Sea, the ties of the twelve tribes, the fall of Israel and her kingdoms, their enslavement, the great return to a desolate land, the rebuilding, the coming of Christ, His birth, His ministry, His death, His resurrection, the decline of Israel, and the final conquering, the fall of the Temple, and the scattering of the people. They say that Tolkien modeled the universe of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings after the Bible, and I assure you he did. But when I read Tolkien, I didn’t come to full belief in Illuvatar, the “god” of his fictional realm. I wasn’t spurned to metanoia.
No, there’s truth to the Word of God. Historical events never contradict it; in fact, they seem to bear witness to the Truth. Jesus was real. King David was real. Ahab, Hezekiah, and Solomon were real. The Hittites, Canaanites, and Midianites were real. Archaeology proves their existence. I believe because of this evidence. If I believed just to believe, heck, I’d totally choose Tolkien’s world. I have a soft spot for the Hobbits.
What’s interesting about the Bible, though, is it tells us how this whole thing ends. It’s one of those books that sets the table, but let’s you do the cooking. Jesus will come back, descending down from the skies onto the Mount of Olives, splitting it in two. There will be a great rumble and the sound of trumpets will be blaring. He will come back, and He will save His bride, but only when she repents. For those who caused her pain, they will face judgment, and we know that to be death. What a groom is He!
The Word is preparing us; it’s our travel guide, in essence. Beware of the next turn, don’t take a left! In Exodus, God delivered Israel. By the end of Exodus, Israel was already messing up (We would’ve done the same). In Numbers, they wander. In Leviticus, there’s rules, curses, and sacrifices. In Deuteronomy, they wander some more. In Joshua, they find the Promised Land after forty years of judgment. In Judges, they fight for their land, establish rule, appoint judges, ignore those judges, get into trouble with each other, fight, call a truce, fight some more, the tribe of Benjamin gets into BIG trouble, and “every man did what was right in his own eyes.” A lot of the Bible is like that, actually, now that I think about it. God commands something. The people don’t do it. Prophets warn the people to do it. The people are punished. And here we go. Phew, aren’t we lucky to have a forgiving, merciful God? (Hint: yes, yes we are.) Again, I say, PHEW!
All our church does is study the Word, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. One person commented on our site this: “Do you people really just study? That’s it?” I chuckled. THAT’S IT! Have you ever watched a dry plant in the dead of July get watered? It needs water to survive; it needs nourishment. It needs that to grow, and my heavens, if you’re not watering yourself with the Word of God, how do you expect to grow in your faith? The bigger the plant, the more water it absorbs, because it’s been my experience, beloved, that studying the Word quickly becomes an addiction. Yes, it most certainly does. Is all we do study the Word of God? Yes, it really is, and I thank the Lord every single night that I attend the church that I do.
A few years ago, I bought a bunch of books on Hebrews, so I could sit down and attempt a self-study. I failed. I didn’t even get through chapter four. The writing was tough, and it was clear that a fundamental knowledge of not just the Old Testament but of the Ancient Hebraic culture was needed. Now, we’re studying it together in our weekly study, and my eyes continue to open farther and wider. Have you ever read the Word and realized that we’ll be studying this book for eternity? Oh yes, we most certainly will be. And I learn something new every time I open it, so this little fun fact doesn’t surprise me anymore. I’m learning so much in our study of Hebrews that when I come home, I have to hide my notebook. My mind is so jacked-full of information that I have to literally let it rest. I’m not kidding. There’s so many facts jammed in my head that I have to decompress, or as dad likes to say, “let it marinate.”
Sometimes, I become emotional wondering where I’d be without my church. We debate sometimes over differences in opinions, but they’re my extended family in a way. We’re not blood, but sometimes it feels that way. They’ve all helped me discover the true power of the Word of God, and I’ll be thanking them until my dying breath. Then, I’ll see them in glory and thank them again! Well, I’ll get around to thanking them again. I have a list of questions I need to ask a few people, primarily Jesus, Peter, Paul, Caleb, Moses, David, Abigail, Hannah, Rahab, Mary the mother of Christ, John (!), Adam, EVE, and do you know who I really, really want to meet? Abel. I’ve always wanted to meet Abel – true story. I have to get to these people before Pastor Latta, because his conversations with them will last at least half as long as eternity (how long is that?).
Our study of Hebrews is going to change my life; it already has. So, if you’re listening in by way of podcast and are looking forward to watching by way of video, know that you are more than welcome. The more ears and eyes, the merrier. The Word of God is true; it’s infallible, and it’s our honor to share it with all of you!