Why The Emphasis on the Word?

-by Betty-Anne Van Rees

“Why the emphasis on the Word?”

This is a question I am asked from time to time. “There are lots of good places to turn for wisdom to help people who are struggling. It’s almost like you worship the Bible,” is how the conversation sometimes goes.

I appreciate being asked questions like this directly. Real conversation helps God’s church. I’m always glad for a chance to help people understand how I’m thinking, rather than leaving it to them to guess which will inevitably leads to miscommunication, misunderstanding and most probably, broken relationships.

Do I worship the Bible?

Well, sort of …. Here’s why I’d answer that way. John tells us that the “word (the Greek transliteration is ‘logos’) became flesh and dwelt among us and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son of the Father, full of grace and truth. (John 1:14) The author of Hebrews tells us that the “word (also ‘logos’) of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” Do I worship the pages and the ink of the Bible? No. Do I worship both the Incarnate and inspired living Word of God. Yes. My reading of the Bible leads me to believe they are not separate entities.

How Does God Reveals Himself?

An overview of the Scripture leads me to believe that God has chosen to reveal Himself three different ways. Collectively, His purpose is so that we might know Him and that this ‘knowing’ would move us to long for Him so that we might be reunited with Him for His glory and our good.

Psalm 19 is a beautiful song about God’s communication of Himself to us. “The heavens declare the glory of God.” Day and night He is proclaiming the knowledge of Himself to us through His creation. The psalm gives just a small glimpse of God’s communication to us through His creation before the psalmist turns to God’s words. This is a song of contrast. Creation shows us God well, but His Words show us Him with greater clarity leading to greater power in our lives. His perfect, sure, right and pure words have power to revive the soul, make the simple wise, rejoice the heart and enlighten the eyes. Then, in one final act of personal revelation, God sent His Son for the same purpose. He longs for us to know Him. It seems to me that to separate Him from His word is an error.

Because of these truths, I unapologetically look to God’s written revelation of Himself to know Him, to know who I am, and to know how life in our broken world works. When I am given the opportunity to speak into the lives of others, I want to offer them the same unparalleled wisdom and hope that fuels my life.

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