A Brief Meditation for the Month

April 2022

Many attempts have been made throughout history to obliterate the Bible from human society but without success. Their love for God’s word powerfully influenced godly men in past generations to willingly lay down their lives, if necessary, to print and publish the Bible during times when it was banned, burned, and forbidden by Church authorities. In such times those who managed to procure a copy were often equally determined to hold on to it. When an edict issued in the fifteenth century in Bohemia (now in the Czech Republic) required all Bibles in the hands of the peasant population to be delivered up to the authorities, some of them found ingenious ways to hide and preserve theirs. When her home was searched, one woman hid her Bible in a batch of dough ready for the oven. Thus, the search party found no Bible in the house of Mrs Schebolt while it baked in the oven out of sight. When the priestly agents had left, no doubt disappointed, the precious volume was retrieved unharmed. This Bible eventually made its way to Ohio in the United States of America, to be a reminder of the love of past generations for God’s word and their devotion to the Holy Scriptures. Such examples of attachment to God’s word shame many in the current generation.

Although the Bible in a variety of versions remains the world’s best-selling publication, it has at the same time become a neglected book, even among a growing number of those who claim to have faith in its teaching. Regrettably, many possess a Bible, but it does not possess them. They have never experienced the power of the Bible’s contents, despite their claim that it is the word of God. It appears to have minimal impact on their lives. For many today, the Bible is merely a religious book from which to glean some words of comfort at a time of grief or to read as a pick-me-up when feeling depressed, or perhaps a book from which to piously read a few verses at a marriage ceremony. A genuine heart appreciation for the Bible, God’s words to us, is greatly lacking in many Christian circles within our contemporary society. Faithful exposition of Scripture is increasingly sidelined in public worship services in place of “programmes”, social events, entertainment, dramatic sensationalism, and an array of people-pleasing but unspiritual activities. Like in the days of the prophet Hosea, it can be said about so many presently, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge,” Hosea 4:6. When the Bible is lost, publicly or privately, ignorance prevails, and godliness inevitably declines.

The more secular a society becomes, the less it feels any necessity to preserve God’s word or give attention to it. In fact, within such a society, even brief quotations from the Bible become an irritant to those who consider themselves to be intellectually and academically qualified to pass judgment upon it and dismiss it. No matter how many other publications or authors we may familiarize ourselves with, we need to take seriously what this book says because the Bible is the voice of God speaking to us. If we read our bibles correctly, we will be compelled to respond when God speaks to us. The Bible demands a response from us—God requires it. We either believe that “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4), or we do not. God’s word is the divinely provided nourishment upon which our spiritual life depends. Dear friend, for your personal good, do not neglect your Bible. Prize it. Let it enlighten and move your conscience. Let it master your intellect, your will, and your affections. Nourish your mind with it day by day. Let it dwell richly in your heart and mind, Colossians 3:16. Feed and grow, 1Peter 2:2.

G. G. Hutton.