The sum of your word is truth,
and every one of your righteous
rules endures forever.
~ Psalm 119:160 ~
I don’t read The Word like I used to. Several years ago I opened my Bible to Genesis 1 and for what turned out to be 18 months, carefully moved through the story. I was eager, maybe even desperate that Scripture would come alive in a way that contrasted a utilitarian, academic endeavor. I had a journal to record text, thoughts, and questions.
Three specific longings burned in my heart. God, show me who You are. Show me who I am. Show me who we (humans) are. The fact that I was reading history enhanced the depth of the story. The fact that I was sitting in the company of the Author and primary character in the story was paramount. There is no other book in existence that provides the reader with a chance to experience the Author as they read. With certainty, it’s the Author’s intent that He be “experienced” through His Word. He is longing to reveal Himself.
One of the unexpected and glorious parts of that initial journey through Genesis was that God paced our time. I never felt in a hurry. I was happy to linger with Him and was keenly aware that we not move to the next bit of the story until He moved us there. I had to face and let die my consumer mind-set. I was no longer driven to study, acquire and move on… so that I could “conquer” Scripture.
When I stopped being in a hurry, releasing the conquest mentality, treasures began to emerge. The first was this: When my objective shifted so that I desired to experience the story and the Story Teller, I found myself viscerally connected to characters and details surrounding them. I was looking for God and looking for insight into humanity and into myself. I was looking to identify with the people I was reading about and looking for clues about what it means to be in relationship with God. I was looking for evidence that humanity could learn, could evolve, could become something more than what we once were (that’s another conversation).
Each time I opened the Word, I was walking through a door, entering an ancient land and context that was foreign and familiar at the same time. The Lord moved us as He saw fit. We lingered until I felt as though I was there. We lingered until I was truly sensitized to the surroundings. I had no idea such a thing was possible. Slowing down and letting God set the pace brought that possibility about.
That’s all background for this simple thought (maybe not so easy to find words for).
I believe that all truth originates within the person of God. He is truth. I also believe that the discovery of that truth is a work of God. He reveals truth; He reveals Himself. But here’s the bit that never occurred to me until I began to approach the Bible as a launch to find Him. Every truth has attached to it an eternal thread. God could put one small bit of truth in my hands and spend eternity (literally) helping me discover all that it contains. C.S. Lewis says we go “further in and further up.”
The nature of reaching for something measureless is that it will keep on giving. That’s counter to my conquering nature that wants to come to the end of a thing. God has something entirely different in mind.
How sweet are your words to my taste,
sweeter than honey to my mouth!
~ Psalm 119:103 ~
Your word is a lamp to my feet
and a light to my path.
~ Psalm 119:105 ~
The unfolding of your words gives light;
it imparts understanding to the simple.
~ Psalm 119:130 ~
I rejoice in your word,
like one who finds great spoil.
~ Psalm 119:162 ~