If you have ever been to an art museum, then you have seen a variety of amazing artwork on display. The most popular art forms we view are sculptures of marble and bronze, and different mediums of paintings, which range from old oil paintings to more modern water color works.
Suppose you had the time to look at each piece of art; no doubt some pieces you would instantly understand, as in landscapes or still life paintings. They would evoke an immediate reaction like a smile, a laugh, a deep sadness or a sense of calmness. You are seeing what the artist wants you to see. You are feeling what the artist wants you to feel. Other pieces might require much more time to view, reflect and examine, as in abstract pieces. For some, they take the time to research the history of that piece to get a better understanding of what is trying to be conveyed or expressed. People want to put themselves in the artist’s shoes, and figure out what he was thinking and why, not to mention consider what their world was like at that time.
I would venture to say that reading the Bible compares to looking at art, in particular, paintings.
Some passages of scripture, whether in the Old or the New Testament, are simple enough to understand what the author was trying to tell us without much in-depth study. It is self explanatory. Other scripture passages beg us to read it over and over. We have to research it and compare it to other similar scripture, to chew on it. We need to ask questions by talking to others for their opinions on it, all to gain a fuller picture or better understanding of what we read. Sometimes you even have to read between the lines to put it into perspective, especially for living in today’s world.
I found this remarkable verse today:
“Great are the works of the Lord, studied by all who delight in them.” Psalm 111:2
Then, I read this one:
“He has caused his wondrous works to be remembered.” Psalm 111:4
How would they be remembered? By word of mouth, and by them being written down. Thus, the Bible. Let’s delight in studying it!
Don’t worry if you have questions about what you just read. That is the beauty of God’s Word. Take the time to view it, to see what the Bible is trying to say to you. The Author of the greatest book in history, the Artist of creation, desires to speak to you through His work. Studying it you just might comprehend the beautiful artwork of God throughout the ages.
Joshua 1:8: “Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.”
Romans 15:4: “For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide, we might have hope.”
Food for thought: What book in the Bible have you read the most times? Why? (For me, its Genesis 1-3.)
Fun fact: The oldest, most valuable book of the Bible is the St. Cuthbert Gospel, which is a red leather-bound book that contains the Gospel of St. John. It is 1,300 years old and sold for $15.4 million dollars ($13.4 million euros) in 2012.
Photo by: Kari Wiseman
Artwork by: Janet Wiseman – The Garden of Eden