An old time mountain preacher stood up one Sunday morning to deliver his sermon, but unbeknownst to him, some mischievous boys had glued some of the pages of his Bible together.
The preacher opened his Bible and began to read: “In those days, when Noah was 140 years of age, he took unto himself a wife.” The preacher then flipped to what he thought was the next page and continued reading: “She was 30 cubits broad and 30 cubits high, made out of gopher wood and dobbed with pitch inside and out.”
He then looked wide-eyed at the congregation and said, “Brothers and sisters, that’s the first time I have ever read that in the Word of God, but if it’s in there, I believe it.”
Kentucky preacher Seymour Wattenbarger told that in the middle of a sermon he was preaching not long ago about old time religion.
Seymour was talking about a time when everyone reverenced the Bible and believed it without reservation. Sadly, in these modern days, some people have begun to question the reliability of God’s word. I’m glad that’s not true for folks in our part of the world. I feel so blessed to be around people, like Brother Seymour, who reverence the Lord and believe the Word of God from cover to cover. That’s important because: “All scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” (1 Timothy 3:16).
You may have been around people who want to dismiss portions of God’s Word or who want to add to God’s Word. That’s dangerous business, considering Revelations 22:18-19, which reads: “For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, if any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book. And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life and out of the holy city and from the things which are written in this book.”
The Bible is the best-selling and most widely read book of all time. No others even come close. It is an amazing book, filled with amazing true stories that cover every genre you could find on the shelves of your nearest bookstore, whether action and adventure, biography, love and romance, comedy, self-help. It’s all right there.
I still remember the first time I read the book of Ester. I was absolutely amazed, thinking that the most imaginative Hollywood writers could never come close to the plot twists in this true life story of a woman who saved her people from slaughter. I was so excited when I first read about three little underdog boys named Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego who survived being thrown into a blazing furnace. Or the romance of a down-on-her-luck lady named Ruth who was swept off her feet by a handsome, wealthy man named Boaz, and they lived happily ever after, as happened in so many of the fairy tales that their story inspired.
The Bible is an amazing book, even when some mischievous boys glue a few pages together.
Roger Alford is pastor of South Fork Baptist Church. Reach him at 502-514-6857 or firstname.lastname@example.org