For those of us who’ve been Christians for a long time, we can sometimes come to the Bible as though it’s got nothing new to teach us.
A few weeks ago, I was preparing to preach on Rahab and the spies in Joshua 2. It’s a Sunday School favourite. I’ve heard it preached before. I’ve preached it before myself. It’s hard not to skim over this chapter and think, “Oh, I know this one!”
But let’s remember what we’re told in Hebrews, ”
“For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12 ESV)
Here we’re told that the Bible is living and active, and works like a sword, aiming straight for the heart. If that is true, then we must expect even the most familiar, most simple Bible text to have profound things to teach us about the God whose Word it is, and what he requires of us who read it.
Even as I came to the familiar story of Rahab and the spies, I had to expect to have fresh insights, to learn new things, to see things that I have never seen before, and to be challenged and convicted in new ways And I did!
This is the nature of the Bible. There is nothing dead or static about it.
“The Bible is alive, it speaks to me; it has feet, it runs after me; it has hands, it lays hold on me.” Martin Luther
Martin Luther (1483 – 1546) once described the Bible using especially vivid language: “The Bible is alive, it speaks to me; it has feet, it runs after me; it has hands, it lays hold on me.”¹
Live it: As you come to read the Bible this week, or listen to it read, or hear it preached, or study it in your small group, be sure to pray expectantly with the Psalm-writer:
“Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of your law.” (Psalms 119:18 ESV)
– Clint Lombard
- John Blanchard, ed., The Complete Gathered Gold: a Treasury of Quotations for Christians, Accordance electronic ed. (New York: Evangelical Press, 2006), paragraph 974.