Wisdom shouts in the streets. She cries out in the public square. She calls to the crowds along the main street, to those gathered in front of the city gate: “How long, you simpletons, will you insist on being simpleminded? How long will you mockers relish your mocking? How long will you fools hate knowledge? Come and listen to my counsel. I’ll share my heart with you and make you wise. I called you so often, but you wouldn’t come. I reached out to you, but you paid no attention. You ignored my advice and rejected the correction I offered.” [Proverbs 1:20-25 (NLT)]
When my little grands came to play, I’d dig out the Fisher-Price “little people” village that had been their parents. Being from the early 70s, it included a free standing phone booth and I had to explain what it was and why pay phones were necessary. Phone booths are so scarce now that I suspect Superman needs to find another changing room! I can’t remember when last I dialed a phone, let alone filled a fountain pen, used carbon paper or even a typewriter. Mimeograph machines, 45s, rabbit-ear antennas, 8-track, VHS, and cassette tapes are all long forgotten. 35 mm film has been replaced by digital technology, dictionaries by spell check, and that cumbersome 26 volume encyclopedia by search engines. If you don’t understand my references, you probably don’t have a landline phone or use an alarm clock, address book, pocket calendar or travel agent. You stream your music rather than play CDs, use a GPS rather than maps, and get your news on the Internet! It’s amazing how many things have become antiquated in just my lifetime. There is, however, one thing that hasn’t become obsolete in 3,500 years: the Bible!
The Bible isn’t some old book with no relevance to our modern lives; it is filled with stories that are as relevant to us today as they were thousands of years ago. Granted we have hybrid cars and iPads rather than donkeys and stone tablets, but mankind’s nature and desires haven’t changed in all these years. Instead of Bathsheba, it could be the pretty blond down the street and, instead of an apple, it might be that Gucci purse you can neither resist nor afford. Like Samson, we’re often tempted to brag and make poor choices in sweethearts and, like Jonah, we often are given tasks we don’t want. We must learn to set priorities as did Martha and to be as patient as Job. Like him, we may encounter overwhelming tragedy or, like David, face adversity, temptation, and loss. Responsibilities that seem overwhelming and endless will be thrust upon us as they were on Moses and, like Elijah, we’ll even get depressed and lonely.
The Bible is far more than a rule book; it’s life’s instruction manual. It’s a guide to finding God and knowing His will. Moreover, it gives us the benefit of thousands of years of other people’s experience. Of course, all that knowledge means nothing if we don’t apply its lessons to our daily lives.
Time can take nothing from the Bible. It is the living monitor. Like the sun, it is the same in its light and influence to man this day which it was years ago. It can meet every present inquiry and console every present loss. [Richard Cecil]