Tuesday, April 02, 2019

Spouting Verses

A couple of weeks ago in worship, the lectionary reading was the temptation of Jesus. Jesus goes into the wilderness for 40 days, fasting.  The devil comes to him, and tempts him.  What was interesting to me that morning in worship was that for temptation, the devil used bible verses from the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament).

In a world where I hear so many people quoting Bible verses to make a point, this struck home with me.  I don’t think we are the devil when we quote scripture, but I think that story points us to a conclusion that is extremely important in our faith. The purpose of the Bible is not that it is to be used as a weapon. It isn’t to be used as an “instruction” manual, with verses lifted up as arrows.

So, what is the purpose of the Bible?

I'm reading a book called How the Bible Actually Works by Peter Enns.  He writes that the purpose of the Bible is to invite us to pursue a quest for wisdom.  This is how God designed the Bible; and don't you and I believe that God knew what he was doing?

If God knew the best kind of sacred writing we would need, and I believe that to be true, then what is God’s plan? His purpose for this writing? Peter Enns says that the pursuit of wisdom is God's Plan A.

Think about that the next time you are tempted to spout Bible verses in support of what you believe. Anita, in Sunday school, put it best today.  "Don't use the Bible like the drunk who uses light post for support instead of for illumination."

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