Have you ever sat down and attempted to read the Bible?
No, I’m not talking about flipping to random pages and picking out a few uplifting quotes to apply to your life. We can get into trouble that way, as that’s how verses are often taken out of context and misunderstood.
I’m referring to starting on page one and reading it cover to cover. From Genesis to Revelation. From “In the beginning…” to “…Amen.”
It’s a daunting task, to be sure. Depending on the size of the print and whether or not there are footnotes included, the book can be a couple thousand pages long. It took me about 29 years to purposefully set out to read it and about 18 months to actually finish it.
The Bible may be a collection of 66 books from a variety of authors to a multitude of audiences, but they are all part of one great story of God’s redemption.
What is the Bible, aside from God’s rescue operation for a fallen world and a sinful people? It serves as a guide, an instruction manual, a handbook, a rule book, a source of inspiration, a proclamation of good news, a first-person account of God’s work, and a purveyor of truth, knowledge, and wisdom.
There’s an old, famous adage, often attributed to sixteenth century philosopher Francis Bacon, that says “knowledge is power.” Benjamin Franklin, one of the great Founding Fathers of America, said that “an investment in knowledge always pays the best interest.” And there’s yet another common expression that notes that “knowledge is the one thing that can’t be taken away from you.”
With great knowledge, we can accomplish vast things. We can outthink our peers and make a convincing argument in a debate. We can figure out fixes to our everyday issues. And even more importantly, we can find solutions and discover cures for the problems and illnesses of our world.
However, as important as knowledge is to us, wisdom is what we ought to be seeking. For you see, knowledge is but an accumulation of information stored inside your head. But wisdom is the ability to process knowledge and make informed decisions based on truth and understanding.
But what is truth? It’s a question that the Roman prefect Pontius Pilate asked Jesus (John 18:38) following the Messiah’s betrayal and arrest. Jesus had just proclaimed to him, “…for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.” (John 18:37)
Bearing witness to the truth is seeking to live by God’s way. In the Old Testament, King Solomon ascended to the throne and found favor with God. As a result of Solomon’s desire for Him, the Lord appeared to Solomon and said, “Ask for whatever you want me to give you.” (2 Chronicles 1:7) Solomon sought not wealth and fortune but the ability to lead his people. “Give me wisdom and knowledge,” Solomon responded, “that I may lead this people, for who is able to govern this great people of yours?” (2 Chronicles 1:10)
God took great pleasure in the fact that Solomon asked not for wealth, but for wisdom, and he wound up rewarding Solomon with both, anyway. (2 Chronicles 1:11-12)
What does this mean for the rest of us?
As Christians, we seek to have a relationship with God and to have eternal life in heaven. And Jesus said in John 14:6, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” Jesus calls himself “the truth” and the means by which we can connect with our heavenly father.
To that end, on the way to seeking wisdom, we can find the truth in Jesus, and discover eternal life with our father.
Join me on a journey in God’s word, as we uncover the way, the truth, and the life.