Have you ever wondered why God has chosen to speak to us through an ancient book with some parts more than 3400 years old? Is there not a better way for Him to reveal Himself to us?
Now, I would like you to use your imagination. If you were the all-powerful God and you wanted to communicate your love, your words, your thoughts, to all these people, these finite human beings, how would you do it? If you think it through, there are really only two options.
The first option is the audible, spoken word. God speaking directly to you and you hear His voice. The second option, (I am discounting audio and video because that’s only been with us for a short period of human history) is the written, or what I would call the recorded word, where you have more of a permanent record to refer to. Those are your two options.
Now, some people would automatically say, “Well, you know, God communicates and reveals Himself to us through all types of things, like creation. You see His handiwork everywhere.” And, that’s true, but that’s subjective communication. We’re talking about where He objectively shares with us His thoughts and His will for our lives. And, you really are left with two options. Let’s consider both of them.
The first option, the written record, which I, by the way, believe is the most logical. It’s the most practical. And, in the end, ultimately, it is the most loving way for God to approach us. Think about this: first and foremost, communication is most clearly understood when it’s written down. When you really want to say something clearly, where it’s completely unambiguous, you write it down. The best example of this is politics, particularly presidential politics. When the President wants to say something that the press is not going to twist, or his opponents are not going to twist, they issue a very clear written statement.
My second thought is that all law and doctrine has got to be objective and verifiable. God’s law and teaching needs to be written down so it can be studied and referred to. Ask any lawyer, what would life be like for them if our laws and our court decisions were never recorded? I mean, that’s almost a ludicrous thought. We couldn’t have our legal system; we’d have anarchy.
A third and very significant reason the Bible had to be a written document is because Christianity is a historical faith. It is centered around a historical event: the life death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Dr. Peter Moore has made a very astute statement when he said, “Christianity, of the four major world religions, is the only religion to make spiritual truth depend on historical events.” And, even the Apostle Paul said, if Jesus didn’t rise from the dead, if it is not a historical fact, then all Christians are fools.
Since history is a knowledge of the past, based on testimony, anything historical, if it’s going to be of value to us, has got to be recorded. It has to be written down so we can go back and refer to and learn from it.
Finally, we are told the Bible is living and active, it is like a sharp, two-edged sword that pierces our inner life (Hebrews 4:12). We are also told that one of the main ways God performs His work in the lives of Christians is through His word (I Thessalonians 2:13). However, God can’t do this work unless we read, study, and meditate on it daily. God speaks into our lives through His word and for this reason it is indispensable to all who seek to know Him. Having God’s word in a written document makes Him accessible to us anytime and anywhere.
In next week’s blog, we will consider that second option, the spoken, audible word.
Richard E Simmons III is the founder and Executive Director of The Center for Executive Leadership and a best-selling author.