We might speculate that all who read this paper have also in their
possession the most wonderful book that has ever been written. We call
it “The Bible”– “the book” because of its uniqueness and importance.
There is no other book like it. It was written by many persons,
differing widely from each other in knowledge and social position. Its
writers were kings and peasants, fishermen, men with limited education,
and those whose education was the best. From first to last the writing
of the Bible covered more than one thousand years. It opens with an
account of the creation. “In the beginning, God created the heavens and
the earth.” It ends with the vision of a new heaven and a new earth
into which no sin can come.
It contains messages from God, and is a book whose value is above all
price. Some indication of its value may be had by comparing countries
where it has freely circulated with those where multitudes of people
have never seen the Bible. Through the past few decades there has been
a very great change in the thought of people who claim to believe the
Bible, concerning verbal inspiration, the value of certain books and
other things. But generally there is agreement that the literature of
the Bible is worthy of thoughtful study. If interested in dramatic
writing, the book of Job is unsurpassed in dramatic power. If looking
for pathos, the plea of Judah for the release of Benjamin is a gem in
literature. If you want thrilling stories in real life you have the
story of Moses, of Joseph, of Elijah, of Daniel, and of others.
If you want forcible illustrations you may find them in both the Old and
New Testaments. “As far as the East is from the West, so far hath he
removed our transgressions from us.” How much more forcible than if the
writer had said as far as the North is from the South, for they are
fixed points; but you may travel East or West entirely around the earth
and never find either East or West “For East is East and West is West
and never the twain shall meet”.
“Though your sins be as scarlet they shall be white as snow, though they
be red like crimson they shall be as wool.” More than any other colors,
scarlet and crimson are supposed to be fixed colors. The tenderness of
God is expressed in the words “Like a father pitieth his children, so
the Lord pitieth them that fear him.”
The parables of the Bible express the truth very forcibly as the Vine
and the Bramble in Judges 9:12-15, “Then said the trees unto the vine,
Come thou, and reign over us. And the vine said unto them, Should I
leave my wine, which cheereth God and man, and go to be promoted over
the trees? Then said all the trees unto the bramble, Come thou, and
reign over us. And the bramble said unto the trees, If in truth ye
anoint me king over you, then come and put your trust in my shadow: and
if not, let fire come out of the bramble, and devour the cedars of
Parable of the good Samaritan pictures the adage “virtue is its own
reward.” “And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from
Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his
raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. And by
chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him,
he passed by on the other side. And likewise a Levite, when he was at
the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side. But
a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw
him, he had compassion on him, And went to him, and bound up his
wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and
brought him to an inn, and took care of him. And on the morrow when he
departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said
unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I
come again, I will repay thee. Which now of these three, thinkest thou,
was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves?” (Luke 10:30–36).
It is interesting to note, that although we call it the parable of the
good Samaritan, the word “good” is not found in the text, it is simply
natural to say because of the man’s goodness.
Jesus’ wonderful story of the prodigal son in Luke 15:11-32 tells of
three principle characters, a father, and two sons. One son takes what
would have been his inheritance and “wastes his substance with riotous
living.” When he has nothing he comes to himself and penitently returns
home. The father eagerly embraces and accepts his son’s return and
makes merry with the household. But despite his father’s pleading the
elder brother jealously will not join in. There are beautiful lessons
in this story that touch the broken hearts of men who seek God’s
The other parables of Jesus by the simple mention of them arouse, in the
hearts of faithful Children of God, fond memories of stirring lessons
learned by which their lives have been changed – The Friend at Midnight;
The Goodly Pearl; The Great Supper; The Marriage of the King’s Son; The
Sheep and the Goats; The Ten Talents; The Ten Virgins; The Two Debtors;
The Unprofitable Servant; The Lost Sheep; The Fig Tree; The Mustard
Seed; and all the others.
If, friend, you are interested in proverbs where can you find another
collection of proverbs equal to those in the Bible? These are terse
lessons on life given in wisdom and inspiration.
Some writers of the Bible would be great in any age. The prophet Isaiah
writing more than seven hundred years before Christ had a remarkable
conception of the ideal man when he wrote, “A man shall be as a hiding
place from the wind, a covert from the tempest, as streams of water in a
dry land.” In an age of darkness his writings are full of hope. He
warns the people of the results of sin, but inspires them with the
certainty of the good time coming if they repent.
He wrote with an unwavering faith in the coming of the Messiah: his
writings are full of that optimism which gives the assurance of better
In many books of the Bible we find the same hopefulness and the call to
rejoice in the Lord, though some of them wrote under very depressing
conditions. We have only a scarce report of the life and teachings of
Jesus but they have a value above all price. For two thousand years the
words of Jesus have brought comfort to those in sorrow.
They are full of hope and cheer. In unmistakable terms they make known
God, as our Father, more ready than earthly parents to give good gifts
to those who ask Him. Jesus speaks with certainty of the immortal life,
the life of the spirit after these mortal bodies have passed away.
In all this, and much more that might be said, Bible believers agree.
The one purpose of the Bible is that for which Jesus came; to reveal God
and to persuade men to be reconciled to God.
Jesus said, “He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one
that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him
in the last day” (John 12:48). The supreme test by which all the books
of the Bible, and our own lives are to be tested, is the life and
teaching of Jesus. Do you cherish His word and live by it?