Ecclesiastes 12: 9 And moreover, because the preacher was wise, he still taught the people knowledge; yea, he gave good heed, and sought out, and set in order many proverbs.10 The preacher sought to find out acceptable words: and that which was written was upright, even words of truth.11 The words of the wise are as goads, and as nails fastened by the masters of assemblies, which are given from one shepherd.12 And further, by these, my son, be admonished: of making many books there is no end; and much study is a weariness of the flesh.13 Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.14 For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.
Thank God we have a textbook. Anything and everything passes for scripture now days. Any and every belief is out there and acceptable to mankind, but it is not acceptable to God. The true and living God accepts no other truth. We’re studying about the Bible and its place. Without knowing it we wouldn’t know joy. It is the only source of truth. Without it things have no meaning. If we couldn’t believe what the Bible tells us about the gospel, where would we be? The author of the Bible is not just a rag-tag man. Jesus didn’t start a religion called Christianity. Christianity is salvation—not a religion.
The Bible gives us the way things are whether the reader agrees or not, believes it or not. When you read books of other religions you can tell there is a human mind behind it. In the Bible we see the mind of someone not human—the God of the universe. We can have confidence in the Bible because it is the absolute Word of God. He went to great lengths to describe the indescribable. The acceptable words are there for us to understand God and ourselves. Many of the great truths of life and God and eternity are written in parables so we can understand them. God has us pegged. We don’t have to read very long before we see ourselves to a t. The Bible is the upright word of truth and needs not to be argued because it continually proves itself. God is impartial; there is no respecter of persons. He is honest with us. I can argue all day long, but God will stand true. He doesn’t need to defend himself or his Word. It stands. The devil puts a lot of effort into destruction of the Word, but it is Spirit and life. With just a word God created all things. With just a word he’ll call the dead in Christ from the graves and transfer the living believers to a glorified body.
The Word is God’s personal gift to us. It wasn’t written to cuddle us. It’s straight and honest, written with love and care. Verse 11 says it is a goad to us. To plow a straight row, the animal was goaded—nudged—this way and that. In the same sense, the Word directs us. We need to let the Shepherd guide us with his rod and staff. When you go buy materials to build a deck, you don’t tell the nails and wood to make a deck. They will rust and rot. It needs the hand of someone who knows how to build a deck. The Word fastens our lives together. If all we do is simply read it for reading sake, forget it. We must put ourselves into it, into his hands. The Word is the nails that make our pile of debris something useful. We wouldn’t be here if not for God’s hand of mercy. Jesus made the fishermen, fishers of men—men catchers. Sometimes he has to destruct in order to construct, and it is by his Word.
He promises to be our Shepherd. There is only one Shepherd, not a variety of them. There are no generics with Christianity. There is one Shepherd, and it is not you or me. It’s Jesus. There is one Christianity and not anything can pass for it. Man has created religion after religion. Christianity was created by God, the ONE who existed before we did. He’s the ONE author of the Word.
Next week we’ll finish this up and look in James 3 before we discuss the conclusion of the matter. There are two schools of thought. There is secular wisdom from below and the wisdom from above. Let’s follow the wisdom from above. It can’t be blended. We can’t have sour and sweet or pure and impure from the same fountain. We must go God’s way or suffer the consequences.