By Ayodele Olatimehin
Many of us are giving less and less respect to the Scriptures, and its story, precepts, facts about nature and truth about the reality of the human life. To some it has become the book of mythical stories and fables, so obsolete that it is not relevant to this age and civility. On the contrary, it is a book of timeless truth and with timely application.
The authority of the scriptures rest on the concreteness of God, and the acknowledgement of His existence as the sovereign Lord. The Bible is God’s inspired word, the breath of God expressed through the hands of men and in human language. It is an inspired book—a truth that holds for every part of it, to the dots.
One of the challenges of this age is seeing the word of God as anything but a book of spiritual truth, but it is very right, reliant and equally never deceptive in all that it teaches and affirms. The focus of the scripture is not to teach science or technology, but to speak authoritatively about the origin of the universe, the origin of man, the purpose of man, the meaning of life, morality and eternal destiny.
What it says about the nature of man is verifiable; its truth about God is unquestionable; its verdict about the destiny of man and the end of the world is reliable; and every person ought to base his value system on all it holds true; because those who does find peace and which is not dependent on any circumstance or shallow facts of men. True peace hangs on the truth and true security on the assurance of its knowledge and that is why every statement of truth must be subjected to test of relevance.
When we are reading the scriptures, some of us think of it in terms of a myth: “God parted the red sea’’; “Jesus rose from the dead on the third day’wonders even signs and wonder in there have become like Disney’s stories of the wonderland. The mysticism or the dimension of its supernaturalness has only become vague to us who lives in an age of materialistic and scientific verifiability. Thank God for those who are going the extra length to show us their reality in history. The miracles are real; they happened in time and space.
Jesus Christ physically rose from the dead, in time and space, recorded and defended through history; it is real and not a myth. The red sea parted at the lifting of a dry stick in the hand of a man at God’s command. The supernatural is real; it is not a myth. And lest I forget, the Bible’s mystic realities is not like the Eastern mysticism; it is a reality by the Holy Spirit and according to the truth of God’s word.
Well, the danger of seeing the Bible as just a book of myth has made us faithless and its resonating effect is obvious even by the way we relate with anything sacred. Our challenge is that we are conflicting the purpose of the sacred writings. Many want to judge the scriptures as a book of science or literature. If you want to study Botany, the Bible is not the right book; but if you want to know about God, spirituality, the purpose of the universe and you, it is a sure bet that if you will open your heart to its truth, nothing is more relevant to you.
Therefore, when the Bible says, “If you have faith like a mustard seed”, it was not teaching Botany, but giving you analogy or an imagination of something very little; it isn’t telling you that mustard seed is the smallest seed. When the scripture says, “It is no harder for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God than for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle”, it wasn’t giving you a possibility that a camel can pass through a needle’s eye but rather letting you see the near-impossibility of the fact of anyone who trusted in their riches and whose wealth is their dependence to enter the kingdom of God.
The scripture must be understood from two senses:
- Literal sense
- Allegorical sense.
The allegory is also used to pass a real literal truth, and if we can read the scriptures with this mind and understanding, we will have less confusion and be more blessed to see the reality in the letters. It is important we know how to read the scriptures to bring out its rich meaning and relevance to us.