Summary: Sometimes reading the Bible can be difficult. Why should we even read it? If if we convince ourselves to open it, where do we start.
***Open the time with all the lights out and the room completely dark. Begin to lightly toss stones up front so that the thud can be heard by the group***
The first five books of the Old Testament are called the Torah which is what the Jews look to as their Bible. The Hebrew word torah meant law, teaching, and instruction and as it taught Jews how to live their lives and, more importantly, how to connect with God and please Him.
What is really interesting about this word Torah is when you translate the word directly into English. When you do this, the word literally means “throw the rock. This idea of “throwing the rock” referenced a practice used by travelers when walking along a road at night.
See, because flashlights and things of that sort hadn’t been invented yet and not everyone always carried a torch with them, sometimes travelers would get caught walking as night began to fall. Having not reached their destination yet, they had to keep going because it wouldn’t have been safe to just lie down on the side of the road. The travelers would push on, down the roads that they were familiar with, until they came to a stretch of road that they hadn’t been down before.
When this happened, again, instead of just stopping and taking their chances, the travelers would look for a rock and throw it ahead of them. As it landed, they would listen closely for its landing. If they heard a splash, they knew that right in front of them was a pool of water. If they heard bushes rustle, they knew that the path probably bends to one side around a wooded area. If they heard no sound, they knew that a cliff or ledge was probably in front of them. If they heard a yell, they knew they should turn and run. In a lot of ways, this was a primitive way of sonar and helped many people navigate through the dark and get to where they needed to be.
This is such an amazing illustration of what the Bible is and the role it plays in our lives. A common theme that we see throughout the Bible, is the idea that the world without God in it is represented by darkness. Jesus, as he talks about the reality of hell calls it a place of darkness, since it will be an eternity without God. Blindness is used over and over again to describe someone who is not following God and doing their own thing. When Jesus died, there was an overwhelming sense of darkness that covered the world that is recorded not only in the Bible but also by historians of the time. In the spiritual realm, evil and Satan are called the “powers of darkness.” Without God, we live in darkness as we try to navigate around it by ourselves – stumbling, grasping for meaning and purpose, looking for answers.
***Light candle during next part***
On the contrast, Jesus is over and over again in the Gospels, and God Himself throughout the Bible, is called the light of the world. When we begin a relationship with Him, we will see the world in a different light and see ourselves for who we really are as He provides answers and guidance to a true and joyful life. A relationship with God shines out of us as Jesus said that we become the light of the world ourselves when we have a relationship with Him. The light spreads from Jesus into us and we bring it throughout the world.
The Bible that we have today serves a similar function of that of the Jewish Torah. It is the Word of God and some people have called it Life for Dummies, meaning that it helps guide us through life as it sheds light onto ourselves and the world. There are two main verses that we have looked at a couple of times already that help shed light onto this idea. 2 Timothy 3:16 says that “all scripture is God breathed.” 2 Peter 1:20-21 says that, “No…Scripture ever came from the prophet’s own understanding, or from human initiative. No, these prophets were moved by the Holy Spirit, and they spoke from God.”
There are other Scriptures that have this view point as well. To combat the evil in the spiritual realm, Paul says that we should take hold of the “sword of the spirit, which is the Word of God.” Still, in Psalm 119, the writer says that God’s “word is a lamp to guide my feet,” which is interesting to think about considering this interpretation of the word Torah. When Joshua, took over for Moses in leading the Israelites, God told him to “Study this Book of Instruction [which would have been the Torah] continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do.” Over and over again, throughout the Bible, you can read stories of the Word of God being read to the people and a massive and powerful change came over the people, revealing to them the God of the Universe. Reading the Bible is so important to our relationships with Christ and will guide us to truth and to answers that we all are looking for.