I love books! There is something magical about entering into the mind of people you don’t know or who may have already passed away, leaving behind only their thoughts and memories. The right words on the page can bring to life places that you’ve never been and experiences you have never had. These bound volumes contain messages that can warn, teach, encourage, and entertain. There are millions of books in the world, but there are only a few that can stand the passing of time.
Isaiah 40:8 “The grass withers, the flowers fade, but the word of our God stands forever.”
Every once in a while I like to shop at the Goodwill Store. It’s fun to peruse the shop, looking for treasures that may have been passed over by other more regular shoppers. While making my rounds the other day I came to the book section. It had been moved to the back wall of the store since my last visit, and the new location gave me a good view of the huge selection of discarded books. As I stood there looking, a sad thought struck me. Each book on the crowded shelves represented one of the many authors who had labored diligently over their writings. All of the hours spent expressing thoughts and stringing words together carefully had met a similar end. Time passes, new books hit the market, and the once talked about bestsellers end up dusty and discarded on a lonely shelf on the back wall of a used merchandise store.
Despite the depressing rate of book survival there is one book that has stood the test of time. It has been around for thousands of years, and is just as relevant now as it was when it was written. This book, the Bible, is the inspired Word of God. It was written by forty different authors from all walks of life over a period of 1600 years. The writers recorded God’s words as they were moved by the Holy Spirit and every word contained within its pages is useful for teaching, reproof, correction, and training in righteousness.
Over the years many antagonists have tried to destroy all copies of God’s Holy Book, but they have not been successful. Instead, today there are hundreds of English translations to choose from and numerous other language translations as well. Though not everyone reads this book regularly, it is very likely that a copy finds a residence in most homes. Its words have changed lives, guided decisions, provided comfort, and pointed readers to God and His plan for their salvation.
Most importantly, even if all physical copies of the Bible were destroyed, the message would live on in the hearts and minds of those who have received Jesus Christ, the Living Word of God, into their life. Though the grass withers, the flowers fade, and all other books will pass away, the Word of our God stands forever. It will never meet its final end on a shelf in the Goodwill store.