Did you see the story a few years back about the unexpected discovery made by Cathy McAllister?
She was a volunteer at a book sale in Phoenix, and while she was helping with their big fundraiser, she came across a copy of The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. It was not a big seller. In fact, she thought about tossing it in the trash. On a whim, she peeked inside the book. To her amazement, she discovered that someone had hollowed out the book and filled it with cash.
Cathy first thought it was Monopoly money, but she quickly realized it was real money. Four thousand dollars in real money.
The question at hand was, “What should I do with it?” To her credit, she went to the trouble of tracking down the gentleman who donated the book and retuned his money.
What should I do with it? That’s a question that people have been asking down through the centuries about another book filled with riches. It’s the “book of books” that you and I know as the Bible.
One of my earliest recollections of owning a Bible is a little New Testament that the Gideons gave me when I was in elementary school. What did I do with it? I remember reading it a little; now it’s a keepsake that I’m guessing one of my grandchildren will get one day.
You’ve seen Gideon Bibles in hotels. Thankfully, there are some hotels that still allow them. When a guest opens the nightstand drawer and sees the Bible, he or she has that question to answer. What should I do with it?
I went to the optometrist in my little town the other day. Evidently, the folks there are Christians because they have free Bibles available to anyone who wants one. Client after client is faced with the decision: Do I take one or do I not? You and I have several Bibles, but what about the person who doesn’t? Pray that they will have the courage to take one and read it.
Enough about the folks who don’t have a Bible. What about us? Are we going to pick up our Bible and meditate on what God has to say to us? It seems like a simple question. A no-brainer. But we struggle, don’t we? The evil one doesn’t want us to read it. Our flesh too often resists picking it up.
How important is the Bible? Our lips might say one thing and our actions another. That’s my struggle too often.
Do we value the Bible like Reverend Charles Spurgeon did? In an 1855 sermon, he described the Bible this way:
“This volume is the writing of the living God; each letter was penned with an Almighty finger; each word in it dropped from the everlasting lips; each sentence was dictated by the Holy Spirit.
[It] is God’s voice, not man’s; the words are God’s words, the words of the Eternal, the Invisible, the Almighty, the Jehovah of this earth.
This Bible is God’s Bible, and when I see it, I seem to hear a voice springing up from it, saying, ‘I am the book of God; man, read me. I am God’s writing; open my leaf, for I was penned by God; read it, for He is my author, and you will see Him visible and manifest everywhere.’ ‘I have written to him the great things of my law’ Hosea 8:12 (KJV).
If these words were written by a man, we might reject them; but O let me think the solemn thought, that this book is God’s handwriting—that these words are God’s!
Let me look at its date; it is dated from the hills of heaven.
Let me look at its letters; they flash glory on my eye.
Let me read the chapters; they are big with meaning and mysteries unknown.
Let me turn over the prophecies; they are pregnant with unthought-of wonders.
Oh, book of books!”
Charles Spurgeon knew there wasn’t Monopoly money stuffed in this “book of books.” This holy book contained riches - immeasurable riches. The psalmist recognized that too.
I rejoice at your Word as one who finds great treasure (Psalm 119:162 NKJV).
For us to see God’s Word the same way that the psalmist and the pastor did, we need to recognize that we need help. It’s not enough just to have a Bible. And it’s not enough just to read it. We must plead with God to give us supernatural insight.
Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of your law (Psalm 119:18).
As we approach our time in the Bible, let’s remember our need for God to bring the words to life through the Holy Spirit. Cry out to Him to show you all that He wants to show you as you read and meditate on the priceless pages of Scripture. Surely our Father would delight to answer that prayer.
Your Bible – what will you do with it?