The Bible is old. Really old. Scholars estimate that the Bible is between 3,000 and 2,500 years old, give or take a bit. Some of the references are so old we don’t even know what they’re referring to. For example, we don’t know what some precious stones referenced in the Old Testament are in modern names. Some of the cultures that played roles in the stories of the Bible no longer exist; in a few cases, didn’t even leave a trace behind.
Knowing the Bible is that old, it can feel so distant or irrelevant at times. What did these ancient authors know about how it is to live in these modern, technology-driven times?
The first thing to realize about the Bible is that it isn’t meant to be a history book. The Bible is meant to highlight the transformation of people, both individuals and cultures, as they learn to trust and live with the Lord. The Lord is interested in calling His children to Him and the Bible is His guidebook on how we can know Him. God has given us examples of people who have come to know Him and serve Him – not for the purpose of understanding history, but for the purpose of seeing Him more clearly.
God Doesn’t Change
As we read through the Bible, it is important to know that God doesn’t change. He is eternal, from everlasting to everlasting, the Bible says (Psalm 90:2). Cultures change and even go away. Languages go extinct; languages change over time. But God, the one that the Bible is about and by, doesn’t change. Today, His business is salvation just as it was from the moment sin entered the world.
People Don’t Change
There’s an old saying: the only thing that never changes is change itself. People are the best example of this kind of fickleness; they change like the wind. People are people and have been for a very long time – ever since our creation, in fact. It’s easy to start seeing the fickleness in God’s word, but what we’re seeing is the trouble that people cause, not a failure of God’s word.
(If you remember, we are choosing to believe in God’s word as a standard of living and our guide for our choices.)
God’s Plan from the Beginning
The plan God has for salvation through Jesus and His return were planned from the beginning (John 1:1). The Bible keeps a reminder before us that God knows what He’s doing and has known forever. Life can feel random and purposeless when only looked at through our own personal frame of reference. When we take a step back and remember the long-term purpose of God, we can reconnect with the joy of living and find peace in finding our own place and purpose in life.