Last week Lois and I enjoyed a quiet autumn drive over to Hillsdale County to visit family. The Interstate near Ypsilanti was backed up. I noticed just in time to take Historic U. S. Route 12. It was the old way between The Windy City and the Motor City. It’s a colorful way I like to drive. It was late afternoon. The angle of the sun toward evening is beautiful this time of year. It was fresh and clear and cool. I knew we would be returning after dark so I savored the view on the way.
It was a nice evening of conversation with the family. We did a little eating and a little laughing and we closed the evening with prayer. Then we stepped out into the night to drive home.
We all met at my niece Hillary and her husband Terry’s country home. It is an old farm house on a back road miles from any city lights. For the last eight years we have had to leave home to get a real good look at the night sky, so when I get to speak at a camp or visit friends in the country, just looking up at night is a worship experience. I was surprised by the beauty of the night sky. There are so many more stars to see in the country than there are in the city. I stood for a moment and just drank in the beauty of the night sky and the cool of the evening.
I spend a significant part of every week of my life studying to prepare Bible messages for the people of Evangel. If I had another lifetime I would spend more of it mastering the Bible. I never tire of it. It never disappoints. The basic truth of the Bible lies on the surface for any sincere reader to see, but it is a universe of truth you could spend your lifetime exploring.
You don’t have to have a telescope to gaze into the night sky in wonder. You don’t have to have a Ph.D. to enjoy the heavens. Even a small child can be thrilled with the spinning universe overhead on an autumn night.
The Bible is like that. You don’t have to be a scholar to understand the basic truth of the Bible. Any Spirit-enlightened believer can see the truth of the Bible just by faithful reading, but students of Scripture—scholars, have spent whole lifetimes studying one strand of Bible truth. They find connections, inter-relationships, mysteries revealed, themes, sub-themes, counter themes, history, literature, satire, irony, parody, poetry, narrative, lament, apocalyptic literature, and stories with plots and sub-plots that interlace through centuries of time. The Bible was not scrawled out by ignorant, uncivilized people in primitive cultures. It was formed in the mind of God, written by inspired men who were carried along by the Spirit of God. It is the breath of God. It is ignorant, unenlightened people who carelessly dismiss it.
For centuries scholars have been discovering the mysteries of the night sky. More powerful telescopes scan whole galaxies once out of reach. The Hubble Space Telescope is mounted on a satellite and it has taken pictures of things never before seen with clarity never before possible. Still you can sit on the dock at a cottage in northern Michigan on a summer evening and be moved to tears by the reflection of the moon and stars on the glassy surface of the lake and you don’t have to own a telescope or even understand what you are seeing to experience it.
The Bible is a beautiful universe of God’s truth. If you don’t believe me, see for yourself.
October 18, 2010