too much of our so-called study of the Bible is an
attempt to come up with explanations or programs
that fit the Holy Trinity into our Holy Needs,
Holy Wants, and Holy Feelings." -- Eugene
Peterson, Eat This
The Bible is not about how God fits into our story, but
how we fit into His. Yet, we often get it backwards.
How often do we open the Scriptures to
understand (and help) ourselves? We want God to
clarify our lives, not highlight His. Five
principles for prosperity; three steps to healing;
six truths for parents; four keys to personal
happiness. We scour the Book for timeless tips on
marriage, family, friendship, and a settled
It's all about us. Or so we think.
How does God want to bless us, use
us, help us, heal us, guide us, and give to us? If
we study the Book at all, it's often to get advice
for our own issues ... our "Holy Needs,
Holy Wants, and Holy Feelings" as Peterson puts
verses and chapters looking for tidbits to teach
or some private guidance for today. Genie in the
bottle: God in the Bible.
But the Bible
is not a therapy textbook. It reveals His story and relentl essly asserts that
the main character of history is Christ. Everything in the
Old Testament points to Him (see John 5:39;
Galatians 3:24). Everything in the New Testament
reveals and explains Him (Gospels &
Epistles). Even the Revelation reminds us that He
remains the central figure for eternity (see
When we read, study, teach, or
preach Scripture, where do we begin? Have we too
quickly and unconsciously elevated our own needs and
self-importance, thinking that we play the leading
role in the divine/human drama?
The inspiration and
preservation of Scripture means little if we simply manipulate it for ideas
and insights into better lives.
abounds. We don't need another text to dispense
common-sense. We do, however, need a Divine Word
that opens our eyes to the cosmos and the
extraordinary mystery of God -- who He is, what He
is doing, why He does it, and where He's taking it
The drama of the Word beckons
us to join God's world,
where He takes the
initiative, has control, and determines the outcomes.
May we find more of Him and a little less
of ourselves on its pages.
In HOPE -