Wednesday, May 18, 2016

The Bible: Real Places, People and Time

I have heard people say the stories in the Bible are not real stories. The stories have been referred to as either mythological or a collection of fables. Jesus walked on this earth and did tremendous things but is He really the Son of God? Was He really raised from the dead? And what about the stories in the Old Testament? Are they all just stories?

Years ago I had a conversation with a pastor about the parting of the Red Sea. I told him of my struggle to make sense of it. The pastor responded to my doubts saying, "Beth, it's only a story." Maybe I misunderstood his response. One thing I can say for certain though, the conversation led me to believe God’s parting of the Red Sea was nothing more than a story; He did not really part the Red Sea.

It has been over fifteen years since the conversation with the pastor. I now know every word in the Bible is God-breathed. Every word is truth. Every story in the Bible, Old and New Testament, is about real places, real people and real time.

Every story is a real story. The parting of the Red Sea... God did just that.

When the conversation with the pastor took place I was in the midst of the hardest time in my life. I had left my husband. I barely stood at the weight of somewhere between 90-100 pounds. If I had more bravery I would have chosen death over life. Friends, choosing life is brave. Depression and an eating disorder, which in itself could have taken my life, were my Red Sea.

What if I had been told God really did part the Red Sea for Moses and the Israelites? What if I had been told the Bible is all Scripture breathed out by God (2 Timothy 3:16). What if I had been told the truth of the Gospel right there and then?

“But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.” (Titus 3:4-7)

I needed to believe in God. I needed to believe Jesus Christ was the Son of God who died for my sins, was buried, and rose again on the third day. I needed to believe God could part my Red Sea and bring me safely over to the other side.

How would have knowing this truth fifteen years ago changed my life?

Let me be clear, I believe I came to know Jesus Christ and His saving grace in the exact way and time He intended. I might not understand why it happened the way it did but when we choose to follow Jesus it's not for logic or reason. Most of the time the call to follow Him will not make sense. He asks us to put our trust in Him and follow despite lack of logic or reason.

Here’s the truth, we are not saved by simply believing Jesus walked on this earth. We are saved when we believe in who He said He was (the Son of God) and what He claimed He would do and did (save the world). We are saved through faith in Him.

This faith includes believing every word in the Bible comes from the mouth of God. And every word gives us life and life to the fullest (John 10:10)

I no longer question the truth of His word. The question on my heart is who, Lord, in my life stands at their Red Sea wondering if You could really fight for them like You really did fight for Moses and the Israelites? Like You fought for me?

“The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be silent” Exodus 14:14.

If I want God more than anything else this must include wanting others to know Him and the truth of His Word more than anything else.

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