The Bible, God's Precious Gift To Us

by Tom Wacaster

I recently obtained a copy of the Ninth Annual Shenandoah Lectures, entitled "A Handbook on Bible Translation."  It is a veritable 'gold-mine' of information pertaining to translation methods, with a review of some of the modern English translations now on the market.  There is also information on the Bible itself, with lessons on the subject of inspiration, the reliability of the Bible, and the indestructible nature of God's word.  It is comforting to know that our God is in control of all things, and that He can, and does, preserve His word.  Through Peter our God  has resassured us that His word will "live and abide forever" (1 Pet. 1:22-24).  Among other things of interest in the lectureship book, was this tribute that Henry VanDyke wrote, perhaps the most noble words ever ascribed to the Bible. I share them with you:  "Born in the East and clothed in Oriental form and imagery, the Bible walks the ways of all the world with familiar feet and enters land after land to find its  own everywhere.  It has learned to speak in hundreds of languages to the heart of man.  Children listen to its stories with wonder and delight, and wise men ponder them as parables of life.  The wicked and proud tremble at its warnings, but to the wounded and penitent it has a mother's voice.  It has woven itself into our dearest dreams; so that love, sympathy, devotion, memory, and hope put on the beautiful garments of its treasured speech.  No man is poor or desolate who  has this treasure for his own.  When the landscape darkens, and the trembling pilgrim comes to the valley of the shadow, he is not afraid to enter; he takes the rod and staff of scripture in his hand; he says to friend and comrade, 'Goodbye; we shall meet again'; and, confronted by that support, he goes toward the lonely pass as one who walks through darkness to light" (Lectureship book, page 246-247).

How grateful we should be for the precious word of God.  We should read and study it as a hungry man longs for food, or a thirsty man for water to sooth his dry, parched lips.  Here is the manna for our soul, the light for our path, and the strength for the hour.  Do not neglect it, for it will judge you in the last day.