Open my eyes to see wonderful things in your Word. I am but a pilgrim here on earth: how I need a map—and your commands are my chart and guide. I long for your instructions more than I can tell. [Psalm 119:18-20 (TLB)]
Filled with law, wisdom, history, prophecy, poetry, gospel, and letters, the Bible is the basis of our faith. None of us, however, were alive in 1400 BC when Genesis was written or at the end of the 1st Century when Revelation was penned. We’re neither Jews in Judah, Egypt, Israel, or Babylon nor 1st Century Jewish or Gentile converts in Rome or Greece and we have little in common with the Bible’s original audience. Although Scripture is timeless, that difference in time and culture makes us think of Scripture as impersonal and its words as general instructions dedicated to the community of faith at large. There is, however, nothing impersonal about God’s message to us and we are not faceless nameless members of His family. Scripture penned thousands of years ago was written specifically for you and me today. There is a personal relevant message for each one of us every time we read its words.
This was made evident several years ago when our Pastor had several people share their impressions of the same Psalm. While there was no dissension about its meaning, they each found an individual message that pertained specifically to their lives at the time. The Bible is more than a message of love to all of mankind; it is a personal love note written specially to each of us. The very same verses may remind one person of his value when they reassure another of her forgiveness. While Scripture is like a general’s orders to his troops, it is also a directive sent specifically to each one of his soldiers. Some are sent to battle and others are told to wait. Scripture may be an atlas to guide us all as we journey through life but it is also a road map drawn to lead us each to our unique destinations. Some might be told to take the direct route when others are sent the long way. Scripture is an encyclopedia of life, but it is also an instruction manual designed for my specific situation just as it is for yours. I may be told to listen and you may be told to speak. While it is a Rules of the Road for all drivers, it also is a driver’s ed course taught expressly for each of one of us. Some of us have more difficulty stopping while others don’t yield well.
Today, try reading the Bible as if the words were written just for you and you alone. Instead of asking, “What does this mean for all of us?” try asking, “What does this mean for me?” I admit this is much easier to do with Proverbs and Psalms than with Chronicles or the many genealogies of the Old Testament. Nevertheless, hidden in your reading, you’ll find a message meant just for you. God sends each of us a personal shout out in His word. Read it, think it, pray it, and then claim it; His word is yours!