(Click here for a video of John reading this Catch.)
Series: Characteristics of the Jesus Movement for Today
10. There was a very literal interpretation of Scripture.
I have hidden your word in my heart
that I might not sin against you. (Psalms 119:11)
Stop and think about this. God has communicated with us. Have you ever stopped to consider how remarkable this is? That the God of the universe has had His words written down, and ensured that they would be passed on down to us today? That you and I can hold in our hands the very words of God? Now whether we hold them on our phone or as a book called the Holy Bible, it’s the same thing.
This is one time, however, when technology may have left us somewhat disadvantaged. I love the immediate resources the various online versions of the Bible have afforded us — the quick access to translations, cross references, dictionaries and commentaries. But I must say there is something to the worn hand-held Bible with personal notes that gives you a particular love for the book itself that you don’t quite get with the online experience. And even though I have almost totally adjusted to using the Bible online, I would recommend to our younger members who may not have a personal Bible that you get one, if only to join in the shared experience millions have had of holding the word of God in your hand and turning its physical pages to get a sense of the totality of the Bible and explore its contents across the full spectrum of its offerings from Genesis to Revelation.
I have a son who is a young GenX and a daughter who is an old Millennial and they both place a higher value on the book. My daughter especially. She’s by preference a book person. She likes to highlight and make notes. But it really doesn’t matter. Whether it’s a Bible App or a book, what should develop is a love for the word, because it brings the Lord to you. Like David.
King David, author of most of the Psalms, had a love relationship with the word of God. He speaks often of his affection for the word and how he meditated on it day and night. Psalms 119 has 178 verses about David’s love for the word. It is mentioned in almost every verse. He refers to it as the decrees, precepts, statutes, commands, promises, and laws of God that he hides in his heart, meditates on, rejoices in and delights himself in, finds comfort in, receives counsel from, finds hope in, gains understanding from, is sustained by, and in the last verse (vs. 178) of the longest chapter of the Bible, he mentions how God’s commands bring him back when he strays like a lost sheep. Where would David be without the word of God? Where would we be?
My zeal wears me out,
for my enemies ignore your words. (Psalms 119:139)
Great peace have those who love your law,
and nothing can make them stumble. (Psalms 119:165)
I still like to read the word of God in the Bible. I like doing that each day. So I do a little of both. Read in the Bible, read the message of the Catch on line and listen to John Fischer read the Catch on line. I like either one but, when the power is out the Bible book one can still read from with a flashlight or candle and this goes way back before we had electrical outlets. Take care, and God Bless now and forever.
I too, prefer to hold an actual book in my hands. I prefer using my printed reference material over the quick fix of Google. My bible is highlighted, underscored, with many notes in the margins. There is something comforting about opening the cover and leafing through the pages to find what I’m looking for. I believe it’s been proven scientifically, that more knowledge is gained, and retained, when written material is used. Even more so when you write your questions and comments where you can find them again. Just my thoughts.
I imagine that if King David saw people reading the Bible by turning the pages of a hardcover book, he would say that’s just not the same as opening a big scroll. Whether it’s verses online that you copy and paste, or words on pages that you mark with a pen, it’s the notes taken in your heart that make the difference.
Fantastic read! It reminded me f a book I once read many years ago. Sorry unable to recall the title & author’s name, Yet he mentioned how when you read a book, then go see a movie about it – most people walk away from the movie thinking it missed this & that part wasn’t developed enough like in the book. The author explains a few reasons why that s: holding a book and reading the words help your mind’s eyes see it & understand it better, plus to add my part there is something about holding & the smell of an old book that stirs my imagination – a lot more than reading on a Tablets…