By Edward Thal /
The Bible is a unique, God-breathed storybook: a library of informative, instructive, challenging, heartbreaking, heartwarming, uplifting and life-changing stories.
The Bible is a storybook about people – their trials and tragedies and triumphs: stories about Adam and Eve and Abraham and Isaac and Joseph and Moses and Joshua; of Gideon and Samson and Saul and Jonathan; stories of heroes and villains and prophets and priests and kings; who endured great trials, like the story of Job, and showed great faithfulness, like the story of Ruth, and overflowed with great passion, like the story of David, and demonstrated great faith, like Nehemiah, and great submission, like Esther, and Daniel’s purity, and Jonah’s stubbornness, and Hosea’s obedience, and Peter’s failure, and Paul’s fortitude.
A common theme in all of these stories is that they tell of men and women at the crossroads: “Shall I take this road, or that?” We learn of the consequences of their decisions, how they fared, how they failed, or how they followed God. Above all we learn of the abiding presence of God and His lovingkindness towards those who seek Him.
The Bible recounts the greatest story ever told – how God became a man and dwelt among men and died a shameful death by the hands of men, then rose again.
Not surprisingly, this Man, Jesus, was himself a masterful storyteller. He told simple and powerful and timeless and colorful and utterly memorable stories like those about a farmer who sowed a seed and a pearl of great price and a son who went astray and a rich man in hell and a poor woman rich in faith.
Ultimately, the Bible is a story about you and me: it is a mirror that we hold up to ourselves that reflects us as we really are and shows us what we can be. This book is alive and its life pierces us and exposes us and searches all the deep thoughts and intents of our hearts; then heals us and molds us and begins to make us into the image of itself. It is a book so powerful that empires cannot withstand it and so simple that a child can understand it and so profound that wise men conceited in their wisdom cannot comprehend its depths.
Within this unique compendium of amazingly diverse stories about surprisingly diverse people, there runs a scarlet thread that tells with unerring consistency a single message from Genesis to Revelation: man is a sinner and God has provided a Savior! Alone of all books, the Bible has the words of eternal life. Its message is deep, yet readily accessible; and complex, yet understandable. From first to last, it is irresistible in its impact on the hearts and minds of honest, thoughtful men and women.
The Bible is a book worth reading. It is a book to master. It is a book to fall in love with. It is a book that saves! Those who reject the mercy and love of God so vividly depicted in its pages consign themselves to an eternity separated from God; those who accept the free gift of God in the Person of Jesus Christ—the heart and soul of this living Book—are surprised by joy that never ends.