The Bible is simple, but people make it complicated

Today’s verse is Psalm 119:130.

     The teaching of your word gives light,
      so even the simple can understand.

Why do we think we can find wisdom or truth from other sources than Scripture? Is it because our culture has convinced us that the Bible is just a book of stories that don’t matter?

I am always shocked at how people who claim to be Christians treat the Bible. If we say we’re believers, we need to be reading Scripture. If we have a question about life, we don’t need to ask Oprah or Dr. Phil or Dr. Oz or the news agencies. We need to look in the Bible. Because if it’s something we need to know about life, it’s in there.

I think the majority of confusion in a Christian’s life can be eliminated if he or she will just make a habit of reading and learning the Word of God. If we are daily — shoot, hourly — comparing events in our life to the truth of Scripture, we’ll know for sure whether what we’re thinking about doing is wise or unwise. We’ll know what God says about the future. We’ll know what God says about right now. We’ll know because everything we need to know is in the Bible.

And it doesn’t matter who you are or what your background is, the Bible is easy to understand. Granted, if the Scripture isn’t written in your language, there might be some confusion. So you modern English speakers need to get a hold of a New Living Translation version of the Bible, and anyone out there who still speaks Shakespearean English, you should get a King James Version. All of the Bibles we have here are translations anyway, so unless you speak Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek, you’ll have to read a translation. So you might as well pick one that’s in your language.

But when you read Scripture, God gives you light. He gives you truth. He gives you understanding. That’s what this verse says. God grants His light to people who read His word, and it’s not complicated. The truth in the Bible is very very simple. Profound, of course. But oftentimes I’ve discovered that the most profound truths in life are inherently simple. So easy to understand that even a child can grasp the concept.

So it doesn’t matter if you have a doctorate or if you’re some indigenous tribal person in a village in the middle of Guatemala, God’s Word is for you.

Don’t buy into the lies our culture tells that Scripture is just a bunch of made up stories about morality. What is written in the Scripture is alive. You can read the same passage over and over again for a week, and it will mean something different to you every day. Because as we grow in our walk with God, the Bible broadens and deepens for us . . . or maybe it’s better said that our understanding of Scripture broadens and deepens. The Bible grows with us.

And don’t believe it when people tell you that the Bible is hard to understand. Don’t think that only pastors and scholars can make sense of the Bible. Don’t read more into it than you think is there. The Bible is literal. Trying to make a figurative story out of a literal truth is confusing.

When the Bible says God created the world, it means that He created the world. When the Bible says that God destroyed the world with a flood, it means that He destroyed the world with a flood. When the Bible says that Jonah survived three days and three nights in the belly of a giant fish, it means that really happened. It means David really killed Goliath. It means Elijah really called down fire on Mt. Caramel. It means Jesus really did miracles. Now, are there figurative stories in Scripture? Yes, but you can usually tell those because the characters aren’t named. A good example is the parable of the Prodigal Son. Now, it might have really happened, but that is one of the stories Jesus told that was figurative–but He used it to explain a literal truth.

The Bible is easy to understand. It’s just us who make things complicated. And if you’ve had trouble understanding Scripture before, try reading it again. And if you simply can’t understand it, come find someone who you know does and ask for their help. If they’re any sort of mature believer, they will be eager to help you dig deeper into Scripture because they are still learning about it too.