Yes, That’s the Book for Me!
That’s a line from a chorus I learned over 35 years ago in Vacation Bible School. I’m sure many of you are familiar with it. It’s part of a little song called “The Bible”. It goes:
Yes, that’s the book for me.
I stand alone on the Word of God.
The B-I-B-L-E, Bible!”
This little song struck an interest with me because I never heard much emphasis on the Bible. This children’s tune was one of the first introductions I received regarding the necessity of the Word of God. The church I grew up in focused on other things. We had great choirs (i.e. Senior, Young Adult, Youth, and Children’s aka “The Starlight Choir, formally known as the “Sunshine Band”), sharp and precision oriented Usher Boards, outstanding kitchen committees (hence scrumptious meals). However, there was very little emphasis on the Bible. As a matter of fact, up until my mid-to-late teens, most folks appeared for Sunday School and Morning worship with no Bible in hand.
Americans revere the Bible, but they don’t read it
When I think about it, the only Bibles I ever saw were the ones faithfully placed in hotel rooms by the Gideons or the complimentary huge one my parents received from the cemetery plot salesman. I almost shutter when I consider how many of my young years were spent in and around the church with very little exposure to the Scriptures. That, I would say, is a tragedy.
However, this dilemma is not confined to one particular church tradition. The average Christian is almost completely ignorant of the contents of the Bible. While the Bible remains the world’s best-selling and most studied book of all time; although many have a copy on their shelves, very few ever read it.
One theological professor says this, “Americans revere the Bible, but they don’t read it… we have become a nation of Biblical illiterates…today’s teenagers know less even less about the Bible than do adults…” We all have our favorite passages, but much of Scripture, especially the Old Testament, remains uncharted territory.
Yes, things have changed since my young years. I’m now surrounded by Bibles. The ESV, NIV, NASB, NKJV, KJV, etc. (each having their own respective study Bible as well). If I go to my Logos software the Bibles add up even faster.
The Bible is on the internet, on CD, IPod, and I even have a gizmo called the “Now Bible.” The Bible is everywhere! From the looks of things, you should be able to say, “Yes, that’s the Book for him”.
However, some questions beg answering when I think of the availability of the Word of God these days. Do I know and love God more because I now have the Bible at every turn? Does my life and heart reflect such exposure or potential exposure to the Scriptures? Am I more conversant with or do I explain the Scriptures better?
Time has passed. I’ve grown older. The children’s tune has blossomed into:
“The Holy Bible was written by men divinely inspired, and is a perfect treasure of heavenly instruction; it has God for its author, salvation for its end, and truth without any mixture of error for its matter; it reveals the principles by which God will judge us; and therefore is, and shall remain to the end of the world, the true center of Christian union, and the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creeds, and opinions should be tried.”
The paragraph is longer than the little chorus and the doctrine is more thoroughly expressed, but the aim is the same: teaching people to honestly sing:
“Yes, that’s the Book for me”.
15 I will meditate on your precepts
and fix my eyes on your ways. (ESV)