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Our Bible
Adapted from the writings of W. M. Brooks

Published in
The Christian Informer
September  2006


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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 Lebanon.”
 
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 approval.
 
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 days.
 
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?
 

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