God has blessed us with his written word, and I don’t ever want to take that for granted. I own several printed copies of the word, and I have been given free access to other copies through the internet. What a blessing.
Even more, we have a further blessing: In the States, we have been granted the blessing of freedom to read, speak, and live his word in view of all without legal consequence. Yet often, we—myself included—take this freedom for granted by not taking advantage of it. Friends, neighbors, coworkers, and family could encounter us every day and not hear us utter a word of God’s word, not have a clue that it is important in our lives. (If this is the case, is it, then? Important?)
Worse yet, there are those who take advantage of it but do so in a mean-spirited way, abusing God’s word by using it to berate others and forward their own agendas rather than offering it in love. There are still others who change it, who try to soften or deny what it says to fit within their own ideal of a modern, civilized, “tolerant” society.
And yet …
Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. (James 1:17, NIV)
God doesn’t change.
God is not human, that he should lie, not a human being, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill? (Num. 23:19, NIV)
God doesn’t change his mind.
For no word from God will ever fail. (Luke 1:37, NIV)
God’s word will be fulfilled.
For I tell you truly, until heaven and earth pass away, not a single jot, not a stroke of a pen, will disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. (Matt. 5:18, BSB)
All of it.
What does this mean?
We have a God who is, who was, and who is to come (Rev. 1:8) and he has given us the gift of his word so we can understand a bit of who he is, what he has done, and what he is still doing. We have the privilege of reading the very words of God himself (2 Tim. 3:16-17) and should not presume to change them to fit our own ideas (after all, is he God, or is he not? If he is God, then who are we to tell him he is wrong?) or doubt that they will come to pass (he hasn’t failed to accomplish his purposes yet—why would he now?).
I feel like I’m preaching, and maybe I am a little bit. Yesterday, I came across a Facebook feed on my cousin’s page in which she, speaking as a Christian, defended actions clearly denounced in the Bible because God couldn’t really be like that, couldn’t really mean that. The lone voice calling her out was ridiculed while my cousin was praised. And me? I couldn’t bring myself to stand up for that lone voice. Although her interpretation was slightly off from what I understand the Bible to say, the truth is that I didn’t want to be ridiculed myself. I knew the people commenting on this post would refuse to listen to God’s word no matter how well spoken the argument was, so why put myself in the position to receive their hurtful comments. But I wonder—did I make the right choice? Was I practicing the principle of not throwing pearls to pigs (Matt. 7:6)? Or was I remaining silent merely because I was afraid of the one real consequence of voicing God’s word in the States—ridicule—to fall on me?
Lord, thank you for the blessing of your written word. Help me to always regard your word as a precious blessing, one to come to daily for nourishment (Luke 4:4) and to be shared in your Spirit, in the spirit of truth, and not to be taken for granted or hidden (Matt. 5:15-16).