A preacher friend of mine (Alan Smith) shared a story with me about a preacher who was talking with a man, and he asked him, "Do you know the Bible?" The man said, "Yes, sir." He said, "What part of the Bible do you know the best?" The man said, "The New Testament."
The preacher went on to ask him what part of the New Testament he knew the best. The man said, "Well, I suppose I know the story of the Good Samaritan best of all." The preacher said, "Tell me that story."
The man said, "Well, as best as I can recall, there was a good Samaritan traveling down the road from Jerusalem to Jericho and he fell among the thorns and they sprang up and choked him and left him half dead.
"But a man came by feeding his swine and he said to the man, 'I will arise and go to my father.' So he took up his bed and walked. But while the soldiers were chasing him through the forest, he got the hair of his head caught up in the trees and he hung there 40 days and 40 nights, and the ravens fed him.
"Just then, Delilah came along with a big pair of shears and she cut off his hair and he fell on stony ground. But the good master of the house resurrected the man and he journeyed on his way.
"All of a sudden, he came to the wall of Jericho and there's Jezebel sitting on the wall and she mocked him. And he said, 'Chunk her down to the dogs.' And they chunked her down 70 times 7, and great was the fall thereof, and of the fragments that remained they picked up twelve baskets full, and whose wife shall she be in the resurrection?"
Wow, I think that man got his stories a little mixed up. And I sure hope that your Bible knowledge is not quite as bad as that. But it worries me to think that a lot of people in the churches today are not in God's Word as often as they should. God has always stressed the fact that his people need to know His Word. And contrary to popular opinion, when it comes to spiritual matters, ignorance is not bliss.
In the days of Hosea, God said, "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I will also reject you from being priest for me; because you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children." (Hosea 4:6).
What was the problem? It wasn't that they didn't have access to God's Word. They just simply didn't care enough about it to listen to it. Does it scare you just a bit to realize that God could possibly say the same thing about us – "my people are destroyed for lack of knowledge... because you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children." Folks, we need to once again become known as a people of the book, a people who study and know and love the Bible.
92% of households in the United States have a Bible. That's AWESOME! We have Bibles, but we don't pay much attention to them. A Gallup poll from 2000 shows that only 59% of Americans read the Bible at least occasionally. The percentage of Americans who read the Bible at least once a week is 37%. WHAT?
Contrast this with the people of Berea. Paul writes in Acts 17:11, "Now these Jews (Bereans) were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so." Do you examine the scriptures daily? Are you more Berean or are you like most Americans? Ya got a Bible, but you hardly ever pick it up?
Folks, we need to be Berean!
In His Hands,