Bible Literacy and Spiritual Vitality

The One Year® Chronological Bible, NKJV (Tyndale, 2013), July 12

imagesMost children and many adults are afraid of the dark. There exists a greater darkness than the darkness that exists between sunset and sunrise. Life is dark. Only the Bible directs him through that darkness, “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path” (Ps. 119:105).

During the Creation Era man lost his way when he disregarded God’s prohibition and sinned against God. Like a high-beam spotlight God penetrated the darkness caused by sin and promised redemption, “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed. He shall bruise our head, and you shall bruise His heel” (Gen. 3:15).

Genesis 4:1-24 describes the consequences of Cain’s unbelief and rebellion, detailing his descendants and a culture of life lived outside of God’s presence. Chapter five describes Seth’s descendants, who begin well by calling upon the Name of the LORD. Over time, however, Seth’s descendants intermarry with Cain’s descendants—whose hearts and minds, blinded by sin, fill the world with darkness. God judges the world and destroyed every thing that has breath outside of Noah’s ark.

Almost immediately the light begins to dim when Ham, one of Noah’s sons, sins grievously against Noah and the LORD. It continues to dim until the Patriarchal Era, when God speaks to Abram, son of Terah, an idolator (Josh. 24:2) and lights his path with promises regarding the future. God’s Word is given during the Exodus Era to lighten the young nation’s path.

After the Conquest Era a deep darkness of idolatry and sexual immorality falls upon Israel during the era of the Judges. Like a soft wind blowing upon simmering embers, Ruth’s story keeps the light from extinguishing completely. During the Kingdom Era, David pushes back the edges of darkness by exalting God’s righteousness. Solomon’s Temple is a beacon of light. Sadly, after he falls into idolatry, he dies, and the kingdom divides into two nations, Judah and Israel. Eventually, not a smoldering coal of Bible literacy can be found in Israel, and they are carried into captivity by the Assyrians. A little over a hundred years later, the Babylonians complete God’s promised judgment by deporting Judah into Babylon. It is no wonder that God raises up Ezra to teach those who return to the land from their exile. The lights have come on, and Judah has learned a harsh lesson about Bible literacy. Truly, they discover that the Word is a lamp to their feet and a light to their paths.

C. S. Lewis famously stated, “I believe in Christianity as I believe that the Sun has risen, not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.” Scripture is the lens through which we are introduced to God, our origins, our fall, and His redemption of humanity through His Son Jesus Christ. Scripture lights our way in an otherwise dark world of occupants who think they see clearly, but are clearly blind.

Question from today’s chronological Bible reading (Ps. 119):
List a benefit of being a Word-centered person from each stanza of Psalm 119.
List the analogies used by the psalmist to describe the value that he places on God’s word.
Ask the LORD to grant you a hearty appetite for the Word that equals that of the writer of this psalm.