According to the Society of Gideons, the International Bible Society, and Wycliffe International, there were approximately 168,000 new Bibles sold, given away or distributed in some other way every day in the United States as of 2008. So it still remains very popular. That is in and of itself a great thing, but the fact that there are millions of Bibles lying around does not mean that it is being heeded.
The Apostle Paul instructed Timothy to “Give diligence to present thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, handling aright the word of truth” (2 Tim. 2:15 ASV). It was important for the young preacher to know that reading the word of God and handling it aright are not the same. Peter wrote about the self-destruction caused by the perversion of scripture by those who are “unlearned and unstable (in faith)” (2 Pet. 3:16 KJV). Without a doubt, it is imperative that we approach the Bible with the utmost care and not go about willy-nilly picking and choosing the parts we want while tossing aside those we do not.
Even in our court systems there is a standard for truth, although it is often ignored by the court itself. When someone testifies in a court of law, he or she will be asked, “Do you promise to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth?” In other words, the witness is bound by law to give a complete and honest answer to the questions asked. He cannot decide to only tell the parts he wants the court to hear. He must tell all of it.
In Psalm 50 we find God asking the wicked,
What hast thou to do to declare my statutes, And that thou hast taken my covenant in thy mouth, Seeing thou hatest instruction, And castest my words behind thee? When thou sawest a thief, thou consentedst with him, And hast been partaker with adulterers. Thou givest thy mouth to evil, And thy tongue frameth deceit. Thou sittest and speakest against thy brother; Thou slanderest thine own mother’s son. These things hast thou done, and I kept silence; Thou thoughtest that I was altogether such a one as thyself: But I will reprove thee, and set them in order before thine eyes. Now consider this, ye that forget God, Lest I tear you in pieces, and there be none to deliver: (Ps. 50:16-22 ASV).
Those He promised to “reprove” and “tear in pieces” were those who refused to receive the instruction His word contains. No doubt that the word about which He was speaking was the five books of Moses, including the law, but the precedent remains. He still expects His people to follow His word, His whole word and nothing but his word. God would deliver them and show them His salvation (Ps. 50: 15, 23) if they would obey His word, glorify and worship Him.
In order to glorify God and worship Him as he wants, we must determine how to do so from the word He has given us. We must show it the respect it demands. If we choose to do these things any other way, and in so doing treat His word with disrespect, we are the “unlearned and unstable” and we will bring about our own destruction. How are you treating the Bible?~B.W.P.