The Word for today:
Psalm 78: 1-39
mark this: Psalm 78:1-2
O my people, hear my teaching; listen to the words of my mouth.
I will open my mouth in parables, I will utter hidden things, things from of old.
The Bible has been called the Greatest Story Ever Told--because it is! Do you know why it's so great?
Because the Bible is told by the Greatest Story-Teller ever, that's why.
As a Bible teacher, if I were allowed to give only one piece of advice to students who really want to understand their Bibles, this is what that advice would be:
If you want to understand the Bible, you must read it as one big story.
Today, at the beginning of Psalm 72, we hear a voice:
O my people, hear my teaching; listen to the words of my mouth.I will open my mouth in parables, I will utter hidden things, things from of old.
That's the voice of the Great Story-Teller! This we know, 'cause the Bible tells us so:
Jesus spoke all these things to the crowd in parables; he did not say anything to them without using a parable. So was fulfilled what was spoken through the prophet:
"I will open my mouth in parables, I will utter things hidden since the creation of the world."
Over the next couple of days, we are going to emphasize the importance of seeing the Bible as, first and foremost, a story. And so I leave you today with remarks excerpted from the foreword of The Jesus Storybook Bible. (1)
I hope you'll read these remarks carefully and thoughtfully. And then I hope you'll run out and purchase a copy of the book itself. Then I hope you'll read it. Then I hope you'll read it to a kid. I think that for everyone, whether child or adult, this little book serves as the best introduction to the study of scripture that I have ever found...
Now, some people think the Bible is a book of rules, telling you what you should and shouldn’t do. The Bible certainly does have some rules in it. They show you how life works best. But the Bible isn’t mainly about you and what you should be doing. It’s about God and what he has done.*******************
Other people think the Bible is a book of heroes, showing you people you should copy. The Bible does have some heroes in it, but (as you’ll soon find out) most of the people in the Bible aren’t heroes at all. They make some big mistakes (sometimes on purpose). They get afraid and run away. At times they are downright mean.
No, the Bible isn’t a book of rules, or a book of heroes. The Bible is most of all a Story. It’s an adventure story about a young Hero who comes from a far country to win back his lost treasure. It’s a love story about a brave Prince who leaves his palace, his throne - everything - to rescue the one he loves. It’s like the most wonderful of fairy tales that has come true in real life!
…There are lots of stories in the bible but all the stories are telling one Big Story. The Story of how God loves his children and comes to rescue them.
It takes the whole Bible to tell this Story. And at the center of the Story, there is a baby. Every Story in the Bible whispers his name. He is like the missing piece in a puzzle - the piece that makes all the other pieces fit together; and suddenly you can see a beautiful picture.
(1) Excerpted from The Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones.