Friday, October 5, 2012


Wednesday’s gathering of the “Read the Bible in 120 Days” class opened with an invitation to share any discoveries made thus far in the journey. The teacher then steered us into some discussion about Deuteronomy, however, and informed us that it was known by some as “The Second Law”. It seemed like I had heard that before somewhere; but forty years into the journey, my brain couldn’t remember in which mental pigeonhole it now lay. Such subtitle, though, is indeed appropriate since, after Moses reiterates the Ten Commandments in Chapter Five, he fills the rest of this book with a multitude of other statutes and judgments that would eventually stretch two stone tablets into a library full of parchment scrolls for Israel to reinterpret down through the years. To be truthful, this old man finds most of it a bit of an enigma, so many rules and regulations bringing all of life into a rigid religious system wherein God’s grace is seemingly altered into a severe penal code. Admittedly, I have often wondered just how much of it came out of the patriarch’s own spirit and not necessarily ordered by the Creator. Such observation in no way ignores all those incidents wherein the Almighty, Himself, appears on the scene in one form or another and makes manifest His alliance with Moses; but when it is written in two of the gospels how Jesus declared Jewish legislation on divorcing their wife to have been “permitted” only because of the hardness of their heart, it’s easy for me to think both humanity and culture played a bigger part in the Old Testament than we want to admit. Does such reasoning do away with a finality of standing before His throne and facing Him for the life we have lived? Christ spoke much too plainly on the reality of Heaven or Hell for us to dismiss that fact. Does it somehow turn the Scripture into a bunch of fairytales, dismissing all claim of its content being “inspired”, the volume, itself, “holy”? Not for me. It was never about King James or the highway from the start, the message not a matter of rooting out the original Greek or Hebrew linguistics and His promises not a contingent based on how much “faith” one has to “name it and claim it”. Here and there within my journey, these pages have come “alive”, His Spirit within me having somehow illuminated the sacred text and ministered to me in some way; and, when that happens, if only for a few moments, the Word and I, both, are one in Him. Beyond that, however, I remain a man and that which I read is no more than inked parchment bound in a leather cover……

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