|Photo by Isaac McCord 2016|
Saturday, February 18, 2017
God’s Word Endures
As my husband looked inside a dilapidated trailer that needed to be cleared from a lot, there were signs of neglect, decay, mold and rust everywhere. A mouse scurried away through a hole in the back wall, and a menacing spider seemed to leer at him, poised to strike from the center of its vast cobweb.
Nothing salvageable here, or was there? On the crumbling remains of a countertop he spotted a small black Bible, oddly pristine in this sea of filth, intact, still bearing its original inscription, containing all its pages and even its red ribbon bookmark.
An even more poignant incident made national news on November 16, 2016, when a Dollywood employee cleaning up the rubble after wildfires had ravaged the park found a charred, yet soggy, piece of paper lying in a puddle. Out of curiosity, he looked closer and was shocked to realize it was a Bible page!
The edges were burned so that most of the text could no longer be read, but on the right sight of the page there was a legible verse, one that spoke directly to the hearts of all who were afflicted by the tragic blazes that had destroyed many lives, homes and businesses in Gatlinburg, Tennessee and surrounding areas:
Joel 1:19 O Lord, to thee will I cry: for the fire hath devoured the pastures of the wilderness, and the flame hath burned all the trees of the field. 20 The beasts of the field cry also unto thee: for the rivers of waters are dried up, and the fire hath devoured the pastures of the wilderness.
Isaac McCord, the employee who found the burnt page from the King James Bible, was profoundly moved, as were his fellow workers (who corroborated his story), and many others who found renewed faith and hope in this example of how God continues to speak to us through His Word ((Psalm 119:15-19).
God’s Word is alive ((Psalm 119:97-107) and eternal (Psalm 119:89,152,160), foiling all attempts by Satan to destroy it. Every time we read it, God can move our hearts in a new way by giving us fresh wisdom to follow Him more closely (Psalm 119:129-133). He has promised that His Word will never return to Him empty, for He uses Scripture to accomplish His perfect will (Isaiah 55:11).
His Word wins others to Himself and encourages those who have been born again (John 3:3-8) by trusting in His death, burial and resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:1-4) as the only way to Heaven (John 14:6). All Scripture is inspired by God, for it is God’s very Word, and it teaches, uplifts and corrects us (2 Timothy 3:16).
Believers in Christ are privileged to be His ambassadors (2 Corinthians 5:20) and fellow workers with Him (1 Corinthians 3:9), spreading the Good News of salvation (Acts 20:24) through our personal testimony and lifestyle (Matthew 28:19-20). We can share God’s Word (Acts 8:4) by speaking or reading Bible passages to others (1 Corinthians 1:17; 2 Timothy 4:2), passing out Gospel tracts, and even distributing Bibles as God enables us (Psalm 126:6).
While at the movie theatre on Valentine’s Day, my husband and I were blessed to encounter an old, jauntily dressed man, walking with a cane and carrying Bibles from the Dollar Store in his other arm. “Would you like a free Bible?” he offered to those standing in line, after greeting them courteously. We chatted with him briefly and encouraged one another to keep on keeping on for the Lord (2 Thessalonians 3; Galatians 6:9; 1 Corinthians 15:58).
Many ministries and missionaries distribute Bibles more formally and on a larger scale, as does Gideons International, which places Bibles in hotel rooms and hands them out to students and on street corners throughout the world.
For one local Gideons’ convention, the chapter had reserved and paid for a block of rooms in a suitable hotel. They asked if they could place Bibles throughout the hotel, but were then informed by management that it was “against policy.” A few days later, they received a call from the same manager, humbly asking if it were too late to place Bibles after all.
Of course the Gideons were delighted to oblige, and the camp leader felt led to inquire what had motivated the sudden policy change. Hesitantly, the manager explained that on the night after he had denied the Bible distribution to hotel rooms, a young man had checked in and shortly after attempted suicide by jumping from his fifth story window.
Thankfully, he landed in the branches of a tree, and was unharmed except for some scrapes and bruises. When interviewed later, he explained that he was going through rough times and had checked in hoping to sort things out and find some peace. Instinctively he reached for the Gideons Bible he was accustomed to finding in hotel nightstands, but there was no Bible there! Distraught, he took it as a sign that he was meant to end his life.
All is transient in this universe except for man’s soul, which will either spend eternity in Heaven (John 3:16) or in hell (Matthew 18:8; 25:41); God’s Word, which shall endure forever (Matthew 5:17-18; 24:35); and God Himself (Isaiah 9:6;63:16). God is an everlasting three-part Being: God the Father, Jesus Christ the Son, and the Holy Spirit (Galatians 4:6).
Jesus Christ is Himself the Word of God (Revelation 19:13), the Self-Existent One (Exodus 3:14) Who is without beginning and without end (Revelation 1:8). He spoke the worlds into existence with the Word of His mouth (Genesis 1:3-26; John 1:1-3) and He will use that same Word, sharper than a two-edged sword (Hebrews 4:12), to defeat all His enemies at the War of Armageddon (Revelation 1:16; 19:11-21).
May we always follow His Word as a light to our path (Psalm 119:105), hide it in our heart to not sin against Him (Psalm 119:11), and share it with others to bring them closer to Him!