In this day and age of appetite suppressants and obesity, the last thing most Americans need is an increased appetite. Physically speaking I definitely don’t need my appetite increased.
But what about spiritually? I would feel safe in saying that 90% of you reading this do not read or barely read your Bibles on a daily basis. Of that ninety percent half of you rely solely on this devotional and/or another devotional such as Our Daily Bread. Most of you have no trouble finding your Bibles on Sunday morning because it is exactly where you left it the previous Sunday.
Karen and I were driving back from Alabama on Saturday and we were discussing our family’s spiritual health and I said that my prayer for our family, me especially, was that God would increase our appetites for His Word.
When Job’s “friends” came to “help him” during his time of despair, Eliphaz accused Job of wickedness (see Job 22). In Job 23, Job proclaims God’s righteous judgments and knows that God would declare Job righteous:
“But He knows the way that I take; when He has tested me, I shall come forth as gold. My foot has held fast to His steps; I have kept His way and not turned aside. I have not departed from the commandment of His lips; I have treasured the words of His mouth more than my necessary food.” (Job 23:10-12)
Imagine if Christians treasured God’s Word, the Holy bible, more than food. If that were to happen then the revival we all seek would come to the American Church; there would be nothing God couldn’t accomplish through His people.
Before you protest and say you do love His word, let me stop you and say directly, “No you don’t.”
You don’t love God’s Word more than your favorite TV show, more than the Internet, more than your hobby, more than your favorite outdoor activity, more than a loved one, or more than sleep for that matter. If you did reading your Bible would not be the activity that takes the least amount of your time during the day, if it takes any of your time during the day.
Can you imagine your Christian walk if the psalmist’s words were true in your life?
“How sweet are Your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!” (Psalm 119:103)
Imagine your Christian walk if we approached the Bible in the manner David did:
“The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul; the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple; the statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes; the fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever; the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. Moreover by them Your servant is warned, and in keeping them there is great reward.” (Psalm 19:7-11)
How important was the Bible to our Founding Fathers? To listen to present day historical revisionists, not at all. I could list dozens of quotes disputing that fact but let me quote a somewhat historically obscure founder albeit very influential. Fisher Ames was a Congressman from Massachusetts when the Bill of Rights were being formulated. It was Ames who suggested these words to the First Amendment:
“Congress shall make no law establishing religion, or to prevent the free exercise thereof, or to infringe the rights of conscience.”
Was Fisher Ames thinking of “separation of church and state” at that time? Not in the present day vernacular. Notice his comment one month after he suggested the above words:
“We have a dangerous trend beginning to take place in our education. We’re starting to put more and more textbooks into our schools…We’ve become accustomed of late of putting little books into the hands of children containing fables and moral lessons…We are spending less time in the classroom on the Bible, which should be the principal text in our schools…The Bible states these great moral lessons better than any other manmade book.”
Fisher Ames would be excoriated in today’s press for those words. I would guess that Mr. Ames would stand solid as a rock against today’s tide to dumb down America and kick Jesus out of every facet of society. Read more of his beliefs concerning education:
“Should not the Bible regain the place it once held as a schoolbook? Its morals are pure, its examples are captivating and noble…The reverence for the sacred book that is thus early impressed long lasts; and, probably, if not impressed in infancy, never takes firm hold of the mind…In no Book is there so good English, so pure and so elegant, and by teaching all the same they will speak alike, and the Bible will justly remain the standard of language as well as faith.”
That would never happen again in America most of you are no doubt thinking. You’re right, it went away because of acquiescing Christians and it will stay away because of cowardly Christians. Am I advocating that the Bible be taught in American schools? No, government schools are too far gone for rescue in my mind. What I am advocating is that the Bible be taught in self-described American Christian homes.
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Copyright © 2010 David Jeffers
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