The Bible: The Word made Print
I remember those lovely, long sessions of prayer and devotion in the basement Prayer Room of the Bible College I attended many years ago. It was cold down there, thinly carpeted, with stone block walls. The only “furnishings” were the wood slat locker-room style benches permanently fixed along two adjacent walls. A slight dank potato smell lingered in the room from the huge vegetable storage bins in a room nearby. Uninviting at first, but soon soothed by the warmth of my body and Presence of the Holy Spirit of God.
Typically, after moments of settling and centering my soul upon Him, I would begin with a prayer…. the words of the psalmist David as he approached and extolled the Word of God: “Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law.” (Ps. 119:18). And He always did. So much so that I fully expected to hear Him each day during my morning tryst.
Sometimes He would speak reassuringly, sometimes granting His boldness, sometimes His forgiveness, and yes, sometimes His rebuke and discipline. But I always left that room knowing His love, His peace, or that lovely sweetness of soul that echoes “It is well.”
Sometimes He would give me a word, one which I was eager to discover more fully, applying the investigator’s interrogatives who, what, when, where, why, how? – exploring concordances, cross-references and commentaries until the results became repetitive.
On other days God was silent, His Word seemed dead to me, my time in it was nothing but effort, but I spent those days plodding on in it anyway. Fuel for the day ahead is needed regardless of one’s loss of taste or appetite. Not every day are days of harvest. He has promised “So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.” (Isa. 55:11). This truth never fails.
The prayerful study of the Word of God, is as precious today as it was then. It is Living. You may read it but it also reads you… convicts you, comforts and encourages you. The Word eternal become perhaps not person, but print: inspired, unchanging, transformative. What an honour!
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