I closed my eyes and placed my finger on a random book in the Table of Contents in my Bible. I had been trying to decide what book to go though since the night before with no luck. If you know me, you know making decisions is not a strength of mine. I opened my eyes. My finger had landed on 1 Kings. I took a deep sigh. The prospect of reading 1 Kings did not intrigue me.
I then realized I hadn’t prayed before hoping somehow it would give me a way out. I spoke a quick prayer of divine appointment with a more interesting book and tried again. My finger landed in EXACTLY the same spot. 1 Kings it was.
You are probably wondering why I was so wary of reading 1 kings. In short: I’ve grown up in a culture that brings out my own sinful heart. One that believes everything is about me. My ethnic culture, my church culture, and my human nature all desire content that speaks directly to me and my current “season”. So as you can imagine, when I read through a book of the Bible, it NEEDS to be about me. It needs to speak into my life, speak into my heart, and encourage me where I am, because I am under the assumption that it was meant for me. I’m looking for a WORD FROM THE LORD. A divine moment. A supernatural, chill creating Scripture.
I sat with these things for a few moments. Why wasn’t I excited to read 1 Kings? Why was my automatic reaction “this will be boring”?
I wrote my first note on 1 Kings in the top right corner: “The Bible is not my story, but His.”
It just isn’t about us.
Now, don’t get me wrong. Jesus died for you. You are PART of His story. He loves this wretched world and He loves you more than even His own life.
worthy in his sight,
and very precious to Him.
But don’t get that mixed up with this book He’s given us, this story we have. We are not the central characters in it. We just aren’t. To be honest with you, we aren’t the central characters in anything.
This life is not about us.
This moment is not about us.
Our gifts & talents are not about us.
Our placement in the world is not about us.
His book is not about us.
Everything and everyone is created and sustained in order to bring Him glory and to make Him known in the earth. Nothing about this is about you or me.
How do we read the Bible then?
I won’t pretend to have it figured out or know all the answers, but I do know that this book is a story. And it’s chock full of revelation. These Old Testament stories that we often deem irrelevant (whether conscious or subconscious) are actually meant to set up what is fulfilled in the new. The more we study what we don’t understand, what seems like a lot of useless facts, is actually all pointing to Jesus. And it’s these details that makes what he came to do so weighty and culture shifting. We are pushing aside the entire plot and focusing only on the climax if we do this, and in the end we are missing out.
If we decide to study, to soak in, and to learn all we can about the whole story, we will find so much beauty and hidden gems.
“How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word. With my whole heart I seek you; let me not wander from your commandments! I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.”