As we approach Valentine’s Day, I was thinking about a statement that I often hear people say. The Bible is God’s love letter to us. To be honest, I think I have made such a statement from the pulpit myself.
I don’t think this is true.
I have been reading through Leviticus and Numbers and I thought, this is a rather peculiar love letter. But it is not just these books that make me question this popular claim.
Try to capture the biblical message in your mind, everything from Genesis to Revelation. Does it really seem like a love letter? I think we would have to totally redefine the meaning of love letter to the point that the image loses its power.
So if the Bible is not God’s love letter to us, what is it? The first five books of the Bible are called the Torah. We translate Torah as Law but a more accurate translation would be instruction.
I see the Bible as our instruction book. It tells us who God is, who we are, what God wants from us, how to be reconciled through Jesus Christ and the hope that we have in eternal life.
I know that an instruction book does not sound very romantic. It is not the same powerful image as a love letter. But I don’t think it is right for us to misrepresent the nature of the Bible just have a feel good metaphor.
I hope you receive a love letter this Valentine’s Day, but the Bible is not it. Be thankful for Torah, be thankful for accurate instructions.
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