Why Read the Bible? - It's the Answer

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Wednesday, May 28, 2014 2 comments

by Logan Ames

Over the last twenty years or so, there have been numerous nicknames for professional athletes that have been questionable at best but mostly bordered on ridiculous. One that always comes to mind when I think about ridiculous sports nicknames is “The Answer”, which was given to former NBA star Allen Iverson. I always wondered if he’s the “answer”, what’s the question? I mean, he was a pretty good basketball player, but that’s about where it ends. He clearly wasn’t the answer for championships because he never won any. He wasn’t the answer for modeling a dedicated work ethic because he famously missed team practices and then ranted about it to the media after his coach, one of the greatest of all time in Larry Brown, called him out on it. And he wasn’t the answer for a positive role model off the court because he had numerous criminal charges for drunkenness, drug possession, and illegal possession of weapons and also accrued so much gambling debt that he requested an NBA contract to help pay them off. My point of this post is not simply to bash Allen Iverson, but rather to show that when we are desperate for an “answer”, we will turn to just about anything that we think gives us hope even if it’s fleeting.

If you’re looking for an answer in your life, you’ll find it in the Bible. It may not be direct and you may have to search for it, but I promise you it’s there. I’ve had to look for a lot of answers in my life, both those that were personally relevant to me and those that others needed at critical times. I have yet to be faced with a question that the Bible doesn’t address in some way. But God and his Word are not simply the “man behind the curtain”, the monk who sits on the mountainside allowing seekers to come with their most important question, or the inside of a fortune cookie. We use the Bible to answer the questions we present in our blog posts, but it’s more than just an answer to the many questions of life. The Bible is the answer to all of our fears and all of our temptations.

One of my favorite movies in the last five years is “The Book of Eli”. The plot centers on the only remaining “book” (a King James Bible) that exists after the apocalypse and after the rest of them were forcibly destroyed. The man who has it feels it is his calling to protect it and carry it all the way to the “west”, where society is still somewhat civilized and a printing press is able to copy it for the future. There are two opposing sides in the movie who both agree regarding the power within the pages of the book, but they each desire it for completely different reasons. Eli has experienced the truth, hope, and life within its pages and wants to follow the Spirit’s leading in sharing it with the rest of the world. On the contrary, the evil enemy uses all of his available resources to try to find the book and even says at one point that he wants it because the one who has it will have all the answers, and therefore all of the power. He salivates at the thought of controlling people and using the book to force them to do what he wants. Eli faces many challenges as he is pursued by the enemy, including a surprising one that is revealed at the end. But all along the way, he reads the “book” and quotes its truth as a way of calming his fears and trusting in the faithfulness of the One who has called him. If you have fears that appear to be overwhelming in your life right now, the Bible is your answer.

Do you think you have faced some pretty intense temptation in your life? Even if you have, it likely pales in comparison to what our Lord and Savior went through. Matthew 4:1-11 and Luke 4:1-13 give us two different accounts of Jesus’ temptation by the devil in the wilderness. Yes, he was (and is) God. But he was also a man and he had to face these temptations as a physical human being to model for us how to do it. There are minor differences in the two accounts, but Jesus’ response to each temptation is the same in both places. I’ll focus on Matthew’s account. Jesus had completely fasted for forty days and nights, so he was hungry (4:2). Just for your information, it wasn’t “hungry” like you and I get when we eat dinner too early and need a snack before bed that night. He was actually beginning to physically starve. At Jesus’ physically weakest moment, here comes Satan to try to take advantage of his desperation, the same way he does with you and me.

Jesus was prepared. You’d think, being God and all, that Jesus would just use his power to make Satan disappear. Instead, he does what you and I can do in ANY situation in which we are tempted. He quotes the Bible! See for yourself in verses 4, 7, and 10. In the verses just before those, Satan tempts Jesus with food, a chance to prove his identity as the Son of God, and the power and splendor of all the kingdoms of the world (vv. 3, 6, and 9). Rather than state the obvious, which is that Jesus can find food anytime he wants, doesn’t need to prove who he is to anyone because his identity was granted by his Father, and already owns the whole world and can’t be “given” more, Jesus just rests his case on the truth and power of Scripture. In the most difficult temptations of his life at the time, Jesus finds every answer he needs in his Father’s holy Word.

Just take a minute and think about how freeing it would be to have that much trust and faith in the authority of the Bible. Satan could keep coming at you, but he wouldn’t stand a chance. You’d still have rough days, but at the end of every one you would have the assurance that you are on the side of something that cannot be defeated. Reading and knowing your Bible give you a secret weapon. It’s “secret” because it is not recognized by your enemy as an answer. But his choice to reject it has no effect whatsoever on its power and authority, and HE KNOWS IT! I urge you to begin reading your Bible today if you have yet to do so. As you start that journey, you’ll finally have an answer to every question, fear, or temptation you face.


Church Supply Store said...

We live in the world where we get more problems and less solutions. It is just a matter of endurance. There are people who want to know the answers. For those, Bible is a must read book!

Logan said...

Thank you so much for reading the post and for taking the time to share your thoughts! You are absolutely right! People are continuing to have problems and continuing to try to find answers to those problems some other way than by seeking truth in God's Word. I think it's partly because many people, including some believers, don't want the ACTUAL truth but instead are looking for something that they'll accept. It all comes back to our source of authority, something we often address on this site. If we are open to God's truth no matter how it makes us "feel", we'll get an answer to every problem we face. Thanks again for your thoughts!