While reading a book, have you ever skipped over parts of the story, or flipped through to the end to make sure everything comes out alright? I’m sure many of us have done it at least once, and sometimes knowing the end of the story seems to lessen the excitement. Think how confusing it would be if you were to skip around in a book, and sometimes miss entire sections completely! You would have created another story all your own!
• What would happen if Little Red Riding Hood had no grandmother to visit? She would be safe from the terrible wolf who dressed as an old lady in order to eat her up!
• Imagine if you didn’t read that Hansel and Gretel ended up in the woods, hungry, lost, and afraid, because the family didn’t have enough food or money to feed them. How would you understand the trail of bread crumbs that was eaten? Or how would you understand the joy that the children felt at finding an edible house?
• What if you failed to read about the tornado that swept Dorothy and Toto to Oz? You could make up many reasons why she and her dog (in a house) landed in such a bizarre place.
• Alice found herself in Wonderland after following the crazy, always-late White Rabbit down a hole. Imagine if you skipped the part about the White Rabbit. Why in the world would a girl want to jump into a black hole?
• What would happen if the Pied Piper had no special flute? Well, besides the fact that the Pied Piper would have to change his name, the children would all be safe with their parents and the town would be always overrun with terrible rats!
Although these are strange thoughts and it doesn’t matter too much if one leaves parts out of such stories, is it not what we often do with the Bible? Whether we’ve grown up in church, or have recently become believers, we’re taught the well known Bible stories and their morals, but often not the overall story of the Bible. Important parts are being left out of the most important story of all time. How do all these good stories connect?
• The story of Adam and Eve is often related to the need for salvation, but what about Cain and Abel and the sacrifices they brought to God? The take-away lesson is often on obedience, but what made Abel’s sacrifice acceptable and not Cain’s?
• What is the reason the popular story of Noah and the ark is in the Bible?
• Abraham was willing to offer Isaac on the altar, but why? And how does this relate to the overall story of the Bible?
• God wanted the Israelites out of Egypt and slavery, but why? And was the Passover a picture of something greater?
• How would the stories about manna, water and quail connect to the overall Bible story?
• Does the purpose for the Ten Commandments go beyond just knowing that “you shall not?”
• Is the Tabernacle an important part of the Old Testament? Why would God be so specific in the instructions of building it?
Some might be able to answer these questions and understand how important it is to know the whole story of the Bible, and others might be stumped and not know that there is an overall theme. I urge you to study it out. God had men carefully record specific stories to convey His message. What is His message?
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