Why do we love Scripture so? What about Scripture is so appealing to us? I would contend that we love Scripture the way we do because it is a reflection of who we are—the way we are, warts and all.
In the movie Shrek, the ogre, Shrek falls in love with Fiona, the beautiful princess. But it’s not until it is revealed that Fiona is also an ogre that Shrek truly loves her—loves her because she is just like him; literally, warts and all.
I’ve been told that the Bible is the only ancient writing that we have that records triumphs and defeats, victories and failures. Although the Hebrews are mentioned in some Egyptian writings, the exodus is not—why? Because they didn’t record their failures, their defeats.
Do you record your failures? If you keep a journal or a diary, I dare say you may write about your failures. Though not pleasant, it’s a relatively safe thing to do. For most of us, those journals will never see the light of day.
What if you had an affair and the woman became pregnant? And further, what if you then decided to arrange to have her husband killed so you could marry her? Would you write about that in your journal? Probably not. Yet, that scenario is in the pages of Scripture. David lusted after Bathsheba, whose husband was out fighting David’s war. David had Bathsheba brought to him and she became pregnant. Calling her husband, Uriah, home, David tried to get Uriah to spend the night with his wife, to cover up the pregnancy. No dice, Uriah had more honor than that and would not find pleasure when his men were at the front, facing the enemy. So, David wrote these orders, “Set Uriah in the forefront of the hardest fighting, and then draw back from him.” Uriah was thus killed in battle. Seemingly the problem was solved, but not so fast. David married Bathsheba, but the son she was carrying died. Nathan, the prophet, confronted David and David repented.
All of this is recorded in Scripture—2 Samuel 11–12 record David, Bathsheba, Uriah & Nathan’s rebuke, while Psalm 51 records David’s lament and repentance. Warts and all.
What about Abraham, that pillar of the faith? He lied twice to save his own neck, saying of his wife, “she’s my sister.” And what about the golden calf? God had just brought them out of captivity and they decide they need a god, an idol to worship (Exodus 32). Or how about Judas? Then there’s the sad cycle of judgement, repentance, sin, judgement… that we find in Judges in particular, and is continued throughout the Old Testament. If I were writing a book to try and attract followers, I would not expose my sins to the light of day—yet, that is precisely what the Lord God does, over and over again in the pages of Scripture.
Why? I think it’s for multiple reasons, including these three:
- demonstrates that these patriarchs of the faith were ordinary men and women, just like you and me.
- shows us that, like these men and women, we’re “still a man in need of a Savior” as dcTalk sang a few years ago.
- it’s the ultimate love story.
You see, Jesus breaks the pattern. Yes, we still sin, repent and then sin again. But life in Jesus means we’re forgiven; we have direct access to the Father. You see, the Bible is the ultimate love story. Forget Erich Segal and his book Love Story. That story pales in comparison with the love story of the Bible. The Lord God of the universe loves us. This is a familiar verse, but really think of it’s implications:
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life –John 3.16
He, the Lord God of the entire universe, the cosmos, loved us so much that he sent his only Son to DIE for us to solve the problem of our sin.
If you haven’t done so recently, pick up the love story and read about yourself.
I opened up the Bible
And I read about me
Said I’d been a prisoner
And God’s Grace had set me free
–Steven Curtis Chapman, The Great Adventure