Someone once asked a clever question: “Are you having truth decay? If so, then brush up on your Bible.”
Many people wonder, “What is the purpose of life? Why am I here? Is this all there is? What is truth and does it really matter?” The answers to all these questions and more are all to be found in one place, our Bible. In the past it was more common for people to have some awareness of Bible teachings, but nowadays the Bible has been banned in schools and eliminated from public life. As a consequence many don’t realize that it is the source of knowledge about the big issues of life, the truths that we all need to know. Our world is suffering from truth decay.
If we believe in the Bible, we still can have trouble with truth decay. Every one of us can get caught up in the busyness of everyday life and forget about the important issues. We can neglect reading the Bible. We can drift away from our beliefs. If we want to know about the best way to live our lives and keep on track, it is so important to read God’s word every day. It is sad that so many, not just in the world, but in the brotherhood of believers, are not finding time to read their Bibles.
If we are too busy to read God’s word every day, then we are just plain too busy. Surely out of the 24 hours the Lord gives us each day we can find the time to listen to Him. God caused the Bible to be written as a love letter to each of us, and He rightly expects us to read it. He tells us how we came to be, the good gifts He wants us to have, what expectations He has of us, how we can live happy and fulfilled lives and the extraordinary measures He has taken to provide us a way to eternal life.
No wonder David was called a man after God’s own heart; he declared, “O how love I thy law! It is my meditation all the day.” When David said these words he did not have all the parts of the Bible we are blessed with today. Yet as busy as he was when king, or leading the army, or fleeing for his life from his enemy, King Saul, he still found time to meditate on the word of God.
We who want to live godly lives can actually be deceiving ourselves into thinking that we are doing all the right things. We may think we love God and may think that we are serving Him, but we need to have a close, hard look at what we truly love. There is more to it than just attending all the functions on Sundays and midweek. What we love is revealed by what we find time to do in our daily life. By our very actions we tell God how much we love Him. We may be fooling ourselves. How much time do we spend thinking about God, reading His word, caring for others and doing things just to please Him? When we have free time, what do we do with it? Do we turn to Bible reading and study, or do we turn to diversions such as computer activities, entertainment, or hobbies?
What often interferes with our free time is that we all have a lot of stuff, material goods, that need care. This in itself is not sin; but if our stuff takes up all our time so that we do not have time to read God’s word or do works of service for our God, then that is a problem. When Lot walked out of Sodom he had only the clothes on his back. When Noah and his wife left their home after living there 500 years, there no doubt was a lot of stuff of theirs left behind when they entered the Ark and God shut the door. They would never see that stuff again.
When the call comes that the Lord has come, we will need to walk away from all our stuff, never to see it again either. We have to make sure that all that stuff is not crowding God out of our lives so that we are not reading His word daily. The stuff might be our house, our car, our hobbies, our business, our computer or other things; whatever it is, we must not allow anything to take away the time we should be spending reading and studying and meditating on the word of God.
Not reading the Bible skews our understanding of God’s ways and can actually be offensive to God. David’s son, Solomon, one of the wisest men who ever lived, tells us, “One who turns away his ear from hearing the law, Even his prayer is an abomination,” which can be interpreted to mean we should not even pray if we do not have time to listen to God. Have you ever met someone who does all the talking and never lets you get a word in edgewise? Some people are this way with God — they pray all the time but never listen to Him. Their actions speak out that they are not interested in God’s point of view. Solomon’s words imply that God may refuse to listen to us unless we also open His book and listen to Him.
If we want to avoid truth decay we must truly love the word of God and make sure we spend the time focusing on it and acting on it. We will find the time spent to be a blessing to us not only now, but in the age to come, and we will agree with the Psalmist when he says, “Great peace have those who love your law, and nothing causes them to stumble.”
Robert J. Lloyd