THE BIBLE: Look who’s talking!
Stand by for the ride of your life! Because, if the Bible really is God’s Word, then it’s not just a book about God, but a book by God. In other words, as you open the pages of your Bible and read today’s passage, you will actually be listening to God speaking to you!
God spoke through men
You often hear it said that the Bible was written by men whose understanding was limited by their own times and circumstances—and so it doesn’t really apply to how we live and think today. What do these verses say about that?
It’s a great word picture in v 21. The idea is of a sailing ship being blown along by the wind. Scripture isn’t simply man’s ideas, or man’s ‘spin’ on God’s ideas. It is God (the Holy Spirit) breathing out His own words through man. Until God ‘blew’, the men who wrote down the Bible had nothing to say; they were like sailing yachts without wind.
Some people say we hear God as we pray, or are silent. But really it is when we open the Bible that we listen to God, for it is here that God speaks definitively.
• ‘But doesn’t God speak in lots of ways?’ Yes, He speaks through creation, through our conscience, through experiences we have, even through dreams sometimes— but these are more like the teacher clapping to get the children’s attention. The Bible contains the clear, undisputed words that God is speaking to us today. So we must come, bowing in our hearts as we read, to receive everything God says.
Men spoke from God
Yes, God is speaking, but not in a vacuum! A real man, an apostle called Peter, has real concern and is writing a real letter to real Christians. To hear God’s words to us now, we need to understand what God was saying through Peter to the people then. What is it that Peter wants his readers to be sure about (v 16)?
And what is the reliable truth that Peter is telling us about Jesus? That, far from there being uncertainty about who He was, they should see He was the very person all the Old Testament was pointing to (v 19). Jesus is God’s final revelation, His last word to mankind. If they believed the Old Testament scriptures, how much more should they now receive the truth about Jesus. That’s Peter’s word as a faithful witness—and it’s also God’s word.
• Thank God that He has not left us groping around in the dark on the important issues in life.
• Praise God for the Bible, and ask Him to help you come to it humbly, ready to hear, and glad to obey.