Posted: 6/7/19 at 2:00pm. Column by Ed Jordan.
They say that familiarity breeds contempt; the more we are around someone or something, the more we fail to notice the value of that person or thing. We take many of the people and things that we have become familiar with for granted.
One of the things we take for granted is the existence of the Bible, which God has given and preserved, so we can understand God, life, death, salvation, and wisdom through its contents.
How many Bibles do you have in your home? How many do you open to read? How frequently are they opened to read the words God has given to us? Do you merely read or hear the words of God, or do you also put what you read and hear in the Bible into practice in your daily life?
James 1:22–25 (LEB) explains why we should be both hearers and doers of God’s word: “But be doers of the message and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves, because if anyone is a hearer of the message and not a doer, this one is like someone staring at [his own face⌋ in a mirror, for he looks at himself and goes away and immediately forgets what sort of person he was. But the one who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues to do it, not being a forgetful hearer but a doer who acts, this one will be blessed in what he does.”
Do you merely read or hear the words of God, or do you also put what you read and hear in the Bible into practice in your daily life?
We are to read, or hear, the Bible, and then do what God tells us to do in the text. Further, we need to continue to do what God tells us to do in the Bible. Believe and keep on believing God, as he is active in your life. Hear what God tells you to do, do it, and then continue doing it. A person who does so will be blessed.
What brought this subject to mind was my experience yesterday, as my wife and I went to The Museum of the Bible in Washington, DC. There were ten of us together as we spent six hours exploring the museum. I must confess that I went only out of curiosity, and I wondered what a Museum of the Bible might be like.
After spending six hours there, we were more than impressed. There were six floors of exhibits and displays. There is a children’s section where kids can explore the Bible through age-appropriate interactions. All through the museum are interactive screens and displays. The museum was in a class of the best museums I have ever been in; and having lived in Europe for many years, we have seen many great museums. It was very interesting, and very stimulating, rather than boring. The ceiling of the entryway is an exquisite, state of the art image display, which changes every minute or so. There is an introduction to the Old Testament, which is an audiovisual capsulation of the life and times that inspired the Old Testament text. It is the story of God at work through Creation, Abraham, Moses, David, the exiles, and the prophets.
The New Testament survey covers the life of Jesus and explains the spread of the gospel and growth of the church. There is also an area revealing what it was like to live in Galilee in the time of Christ, as well as artifacts, displays, works of art, and cultural exhibits.
A video tour of Europe reveals various places, events, and people who began translating the Bible into Latin, Greek, German, and English. There are visual testimonies of actors portraying leaders like Jerome, Tyndale, Luther, and others. Presentations about the invention of the printing press revealed how it was used to spread the message in the Bible all over the world, making it available to people in their own language. A section surveys the influence of the Bible on cultures around the world and includes the role of the Bible in the colonization and birth of our nation.
All of this is under a theme of how the Bible was preserved and translated in order to make an impact on the world and cultures over the years. It really brought to mind how we so often take for granted the availability of the Bible—the Word of God—that we can use every day.
From high-tech use of lasers and modern lighting to amazing bronze statues, to gigantic tapestries, this museum is awesome. I encourage you to put this on your “to do list.” It is really inspiring. May each of you become doers of God’s word and not merely hearers of God’s words!