I have recently been exposed to a group of people who have a different view of the Bible. The word bible just means book. I should say the Holy Bible. By adding Holy to Bible I set the book apart because the word Holy means separate, different, revered, hallowed, sanctified. When we say God is Holy it means that he is not part of creation, he is not like us, a created being, he is the “I am”, the pre-existing one. I have been raised and taught to believe that the Bible is God’s word, him speaking and so his word has the same qualities that he possesses, immutability, he doesn’t change, and his so his word doesn’t change. The denomination that I am a member has a Bylaw that says every church building of its denomination will have in its sanctuary this scripture from the book of Hebrews 13.
“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
Hebrews 13:8 – God does not change.
On Monday morning, after a rough weekend of harsh words, most coming from me because I felt like I had to defend God and his word. I got up exhausted after not sleeping well, still emotional and hurting and I, more out of duty than longing to hear anything, opened my bible randomly to Nehemiah 8.
To set the stage, the nation of Israel had been taken captive to Babylon. 70 plus years went by, God foretold them how long the captivity would last, then they were allowed to return to the land of Israel (Judah of Israel) and rebuild. The people had rebuilt their homes but had not rebuilt the temple of God or the city walls. One reason for this is that they had lost contact with God. God gave us his word so that we can know Him. We can’t know Him if we don’t hear and know his word. The leaders gathered the people and did this:
“all the people assembled with a unified purpose at the square just inside the Water Gate. They asked Ezra the scribe to bring out the Book of the Law of Moses, which the Lord had given for Israel to obey. So on October 8 Ezra the priest brought the Book of the Law before the assembly, which included the men and women and all the children old enough to understand. He faced the square just inside the Water Gate from early morning until noon and read aloud to everyone who could understand. All the people listened closely to the Book of the Law. Ezra the scribe stood on a high wooden platform that had been made for the occasion. To his right stood Mattithiah, Shema, Anaiah, Uriah, Hilkiah, and Maaseiah. To his left stood Pedaiah, Mishael, Malkijah, Hashum, Hashbaddanah, Zechariah, and Meshullam. Ezra stood on the platform in full view of all the people. When they saw him open the book, they all rose to their feet. Then Ezra praised the Lord, the great God, and all the people chanted, “Amen! Amen!” as they lifted their hands. Then they bowed down and worshiped the Lord with their faces to the ground.
Nehemiah 8:1-6 –
I need to know God and so I need to know his Word. I believe his word is like him, unchangeable. God is. He is always the same. I believe in, read and study an ancient book. The most recent parts of it are 2000 years old. The message is timeless. God loves us, but we are separated from him because of sin. God has sent his son to die for us to pay for that sin. Jesus death has erased the separation and when he came back to life, his life shows us God’s power over death.
We have standards of weights and measures. A pound is a pound no matter where you go in the US. A gallon in Washington state is the same as a gallon in Florida or Maine. Standards. We have number standards that are even more universal. 1+1=2. In China the math is the same. It may be written differently but the truth of the numbers is the same. Truth doesn’t change. God is truth. He doesn’t change.
Jesus, being God in the flesh said “Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.
John 14:6 – God is truth. God does not change.
I don’t like the tone of what I’m writing, the truth is there but the tone is not filled with grace. Let me end with this.
God loves us. He loves us. He loves you. He loves me. Sin, which is something we all have, has separated us from him so he made a way back for us but it is a narrow way, anyone can use it but there is only one way and that is through accepting Jesus death as payment for our sins, and believing that he did not stay dead but was raised to life by God.
This is truth and it will not change.