Hope Chapel Blog
Learning and living the Way of Jesus!
Daily Devotional – Tuesday, June 29, 2021
“All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right.” (2 Timothy 3:16, NLT)
The idea struck me anew this morning, that God’s Word is not ‘G’ rated. I do believe that we do well to downplay some of the grittier portions of Scripture as we teach lessons to children. Esther is a wonderful story of courage and God’s deliverance, but our reducing the process of Esther’s being chosen as queen to a mere beauty pageant, leaves out some details of the actual process not suitable for a younger audience. Tamar’s tricking Judah into impregnating her is a story often left untaught—there’s just no way to tell it in a child-friendly way. Demon possession, murder, revenge, child sacrifice, enslavement, it’s all there in God’s Word, and more in fact. Some of these things are just too upsetting to children, and may be better left for a time when they have more maturity.
But here’s another reality worth considering. How many Christians rely on the Bible lessons from their childhood to guide them in their adult thinking about God—these water downed, sanitized versions of the people and events as recorded in Scripture? We are told that the whole of the Bible is useful for putting our lives under God’s righteous ‘spotlight’—correcting us and teaching us. As adults we may be able to recite the story of David’s incredible faith to take on a giant with nothing more than a sling and some stones; but do we understand the depths to which his relationship with God was threatened when he forced himself upon Bathsheba and had her husband killed in an attempt to cover up his guilt? Or what of Jesus’ disciples? When he said, “Follow me,” that did not eliminate the needed refining process of their characters. Peter, ever a brash individual, almost gave up his calling, under the weight of his guilt after claiming he didn’t know Jesus, and made plans to go back to fishing (John 21:3). James and John, nicknamed the, “Sons of Thunder,” had some temper issues (Mark 3:17). Thomas remained too dependent on physical proof for his belief (John 20:27-29). Philip still looked for further signs of God (John 14:9). And Judas, after following Jesus, still didn’t get it and sold Jesus out (Matthew 26: 14-16).
The Bible contains some graphic stories that should make us squirm; the stories of the Bible do not contain ‘and they lived happily ever after’ Disney-endings. God is unapologetic in His depiction of the human condition under the influence of sin. And while it may be good to soften the edges for children, to do so as adults leaves us ignorant. All of Scripture is inspired, is useful and is true; we do well to resist the temptation to set any portion of it on a back shelf while we focus our attention on the less disturbing, more affirming parts of God’s Word. Never stop reading, never stop learning, never stop the Holy Spirit from revealing further truths to you that you may not have grasped from your lessons when you were less spiritually mature. God still has much to say to us…His Word is not just a nice bedtime story…it should shake us out of all our self-made comfort zones.
~ Pastor Jane
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First licensed for pastoral ministry in 1994, Pastor Jane Peck has served in camp and church ministries in three denominations, five provinces and in a variety of roles. Her most recent position is that of Pastor at Hope Chapel which she began in 2020. She is excited to see what God can and will do in the days to come!