|Volume 19 Number 7 July 2017||
Russel G. Bell
I believe that more people would study the Bible if they knew more about it and where to begin. The Bible is a big book, and according to some people, it is a book on which no one can agree. However, I suggest to you that the Bible is the Word of God, revealing God’s will for man.
Instead of being one book, the Bible is a library of 66 books, written by about 40 different authors over a period of 1,600 years. The miraculous thing about the Bible is it all fits together to tell a single story of God providing a way of salvation for man. There are no contradictions in the Bible, for it is a perfect book. The problem of disagreement on Scripture is man. The Lord said through the apostle Paul in 2 Timothy 2:15, “Give diligence to present thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, handling aright the word of truth.” This demands that we open our Bibles and investigate for ourselves God’s will for man.
In our daily walks in life, we all need encouragement. Many Bible characters faced the same disappointing problems we face in modern times.
One had been selected by God to accomplish a task larger perhaps than any ever known to mankind. He was to lead people away from slavery, help to organize them into a nation and take them to a land flowing with abundance. The task was awesome, but God was with him. Unfortunately, the pressures got to him, and we read of him failing to give proper credit to God. Subsequently, he was told that he would not be allowed to enter that Promised Land with those he was leading. How sad to spend all of one’s life working toward something only to have it denied because of one failure. Yet, that was the verdict upon Moses!
Did Moses give up? No! He knew that there was something better after this life if he continued to carry out God’s will. Therefore, he continued to lead Israel toward the Promised Land and to encourage a new generation. He was especially encouraging to his successor. Before Moses departed this life, he stood before this new generation of Israelites and stated, “But Joshua the son of Nun, which standeth before thee, he shall go in thither, encourage him: for he shall cause Israel to inherit it” (Deuteronomy 1:38). What a wonderful attitude! How encouraged Joshua must have been to have this great leader, in a moment of extreme personal sadness, asking the people he was leading to encourage him. Although Moses did not have a formal human-style funeral, he had the best funeral director ever known. “So Moses the servant of the Lord died there in the land of Moab, according to the word of the Lord. And he buried him in a valley in the land of Moab, over against Bethpeor: but no man knoweth of his sepulcher unto to this day” (Deuteronomy 34:5-6).
What a great encouragement this should be to all of us. Even if we fail, there is hope if we determine that we are going to work for something beyond this life. We may lose many things in this life, but God’s promises still abide. We are encouraged by the statement, “If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable” (1 Corinthians 15:19). What better funeral arrangements could have been made for Moses? How wonderful to know that God will take care of things in due time.
Sometimes the burdens of frustration seem to overwhelm us. Yet, we also need not to be overly concerned about ourselves while trying to encourage others. How wonderful it is indeed to have encouragement come sometimes from unexpected sources.