My wife is enrolling in her masters degree program, so of course the university needs all of her previous transcripts. One university she attended in the mid-1980’s is the University of Alaska-Fairbanks. Recently she was on the telephone with a registrar worker who she guesses is in her early-20’s concerning how to get her transcript. Well, the young lady helped her establish an on-line account where she can request records and asked my wife if she could update her profile because they don’t even have her email address from when she attended. I wasn’t in the room, but I can picture my wife’s smile as she explained that we didn’t have e-mail in the 1980’s! They both had a good laugh and no feelings were hurt in this story.
My, how times have changed; my, how communication has changed. The phone call to Alaska was not a big deal because we have unlimited minutes through our cell provider—in the 1980’s you would strategically plan the lowest rate time to make a very expensive call. When I served overseas it could take up to a month to receive a letter from home—now our servicemembers only must check their email, Facebook, or look for a Tweet to know what is happening back home—instantaneously—that is great stuff!
Communication is obviously an important issue with God. Otherwise we would not have the Bible–He lays it out to tell us what He means. We don’t have to wait for a “like” or a “retweet” from God to understand that He is communicating with us. Prayer is a two-way communication channel in which we can ask Him about those things in life we just don’t understand–those things that hurt us–those things that disgust us–those things we might even blame Him for. But we need confidence in prayer, knowing that what we bring to God is heard, will be answered, and will impact our lives.
As a student of Bible history, I find it fascinating when I hear the argument that the Bible cannot be trusted as a source of communication because it is old and has been changed through the years. Well, let’s put that into some context by comparing the New Testament to some other ancient writings:
Writing Written Earliest Copy # Of Copies
Plato 427-347 B.C. A.D. 900 7
Caesar 1000-44 B.C. A.D. 900 10
Aristotle 384-322 B.C. A,D, 1100 49
Sophocles 496-406 B.C. A.D. 1000 193
Homer (Iliad) 900 B.C. 400 B.C. 643
New Testament A.D. 50 – 100 A.D. 130 5,600
What’s the point you might ask? Well, ancient philosophers’ writings are held in high esteem, but the New Testament is often disregarded as an outdated, unreliable writing. But look at the numbers—they are indisputable as far as credibility.
What does that mean you might ask? I think 2 Timothy 3:16 makes it clear “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.” Are we living our lives according to our desires or God’s plan? Do we seek the wisdom of ancient philosophers or modern day motivational speakers to guide us, or do we seek the Truth of God, through His Word, that has been tried and tested?
Personally, I all to often fall into the “self-help” attitude with situations, especially now that I can Google advice. God has communicated with us His glorious and timeless plan–it’s called the Bible. As for me, I am committed to seeking the tried and proven Scriptures for my life…I ask you to join me.