By Debra Whittington: QCS columnist
Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth (2 Timothy 2:15).
Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path (Psalm 119:105).
Once in a while I like to watch a TV game show as I enjoy testing myself on how much trivia I remember.
The other day I was watching Weakest Link, a show in which contestants answer questions in rapid-fire rounds to build up money for the winner at the end of the show. At the end of each round, one contestant, usually the one who misses the most questions, is voted off the show. Afterwards, they comment about why they were voted off or badmouth one of the remaining contestants.
During one of the rounds, the question was asked, “Who was the oldest son of Adam and Eve?” The woman who was supposed to answer looked totally puzzled and stated she had no idea. She went on to miss other questions and was eventually voted off the show.
In the next round another contestant who in previous rounds made remarks to impress others of his great knowledge was the next to go. He was far from a gracious loser and still maintained that others were jealous of his great knowledge.
Before he left, however, he wanted everyone to know how superior he was to the woman who missed such a simple question about the Bible. He tried to make her feel bad and make himself look a cut above when he quipped, “Everyone knows that Adam and Eve only had two sons, Cain and Abel.” He was so smug at his great intellect.
Wait a minute. He was wrong as well because Adam and Eve had many sons and daughters. (Read Genesis 4:25, 5:23.) Trying to show his advanced intellect to everyone, he showed how little he actually knew.
The man’s comments stayed with me because by trying to be a prideful know-it-all, he actually showed how little he knew about the Bible. I got to thinking about my own knowledge of the Bible and, although I study it on a regular basis, I still know very little.
A few days later, I came across a quiz called “Build Your Bible Power” that appeared in the September/October 1996 issue of Today’s Christian Magazine. It gave several modern-day phrases, some that came from the Bible and a few from other sources.
Examples include “out of the mouth of babes,” which is indeed from the Bible and is quoted in Psalms 8:1-2 and Matthew 21:16. The phrase “forbidden fruit” never appears in the Bible. Although Adam and Eve were told not to eat the fruit from the tree of knowledge, it was never called forbidden fruit.
Another interesting phrase was one quoted by Abraham Lincoln when he was running for the U.S. Senate in 1858. He said “A house divided against itself…” referring to the divisions in the country caused by slavery. The rest of the phrase explains that a divided house can’t stand. As a student of the Bible, Lincoln took the quote from Matthew 12:25 when Jesus was speaking to the Pharisees.
How much a person knows and how they can discern the truth of the Bible versus false teachings depends on how willing they are to study it on a regular basis. It’s important to know what the Bible says before we are faced with false teachings. Peter tells us to be ready to give an answer, “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear (1 Peter 3:15).
Answers to all of life’s questions are found within the pages of the Bible. The word of God is a powerful weapon that reveals the wisdom of God to all who study it. Hebrews 4:12 tells us, “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”
The Bible is a book that can’t be exhausted. Even when studied for a lifetime, it continues to reveal truth to the reader every time it is read. Although many societies tried to ban the Bible and even predicted that it would soon be a thing of the past were proved wrong as the Bible continues to be a bestseller that goes on and on.
“The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand forever” (Isaiah 40:7-9).