Psalm 19:8,10 – The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes. They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold; they are sweeter than honey, than honey from the honeycomb. (NIV)
The other day, I took time to finish reading a book that had lain on the coffee table for some time. As I did so, something else caught my attention. In the china cabinet, I saw a candy jar that I had been told was precious, made of Belgian glass. It had been my grandmother's, and my mother passed it on to me.
Over the years, we have moved three times, and each time, I carefully stuffed that candy jar with tissue paper, boxed it, and personally held it in my hands in the car, travelling from one house to the other.
This candy jar is lovely to look at, but I have never used it to hold candies, for fear it would get broken, so it just sits in the china cabinet.
Thinking about precious things that we never use brought to mind how many of us handle our Bibles in a similar fashion. Years ago, people used to keep a huge family Bible on their coffee table, but they never read it. Today, our Bibles are smaller, and although we may read them, do we really use them? Some people would never put a mark in their holy Bible, as if it would desecrate it. My Bible, dated 1996, is held together with four strips of tape, and it still goes to church every Sunday with me so I can make notes on the passages mentioned in the sermon.
Unfortunately in our church, we have pew Bibles, which don't necessitate our having to bring our own Bibles into the sanctuary, but I am finding that more and more people are bringing along their own Bibles to our Bible study to underline precious passages that have spoken to them, to make notes, and to write down things that have popped up that they don't want to forget. A Bible is meant to be "used" — even to the point of ending up dog-eared and falling apart!
Like my candy jar, the Bible is extremely precious, the very Word of God. It contains so many truths, and is filled with wisdom and messages which assure us that God has not forgotten us and which encourage us to trust in Him.
But unlike that glass jar, the Bible is not fragile and is meant to be used. What a treasure it can be!
Prayer: Most gracious heavenly Father, have mercy upon us that we may learn the difference between the things of this world that need to be set aside, and the true value of Your Word in the Bible. Enable us to separate the two and to look forward to that which awaits us in our eternal home. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.