I heard about a preacher who was talking with a man, and he asked him, “Do you know the Bible?”  The man said, “Yes, sir.”  He said, “What part of the Bible do you know the best?”  The man said, “The New Testament.”

The preacher went on to ask him what part of the New Testament he knew the best.  The man said, “Well, I suppose I know the story of the Good Samaritan best of all.”  The preacher said, “Tell me that story.”

The man said, “Well, as best as I can recall, there was a good Samaritan traveling down the road from Jerusalem to Jericho and he fell among the thorns and they sprang up and choked him and left him half dead.

“But a man came by feeding his swine and he said to the man, ‘I will arise and go to my father.’  So he took up his bed and walked.  But while the soldiers were chasing him through the forest, he got the hair of his head caught up in the trees and he hung there 40 days and 40 nights, and the ravens fed him.

“Just then, Delilah came along with a big pair of shears and she cut off his hair and he fell on stony ground.  But the good master of the house resurrected the man and he journeyed on his way.

“All of a sudden, he came to the wall of Jericho and there’s Jezebel sitting on the wall and she mocked him.  And he said, ‘Chunk her down to the dogs.’  And they chunked her down 70 times 7, and great was the fall thereof, and of the fragments that remained they picked up twelve baskets full, and whose wife shall she be in the resurrection?”

Now I would hope that your Bible knowledge is not quite as bad as that, but I think it’s safe to say that few of us know the Bible as well as we should.  In the last TFTD message, I spoke about three pillars of spritual growth — knowing, doing and becoming.  God has always stressed the fact that his people need to know His word.  And contrary to popular opinion, when it comes to spiritual matters, ignorance is not bliss.

In the days of Hosea, God said, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.  Because you have rejected knowledge, I will also reject you from being priest for me; because you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children.” (Hosea 4:6).

What was the problem?  It wasn’t that they didn’t have access to God’s Word.  They just simply didn’t care enough about it to listen to it.  Does it scare you just a bit to realize that God could possibly say the same thing about us – “my people are destroyed for lack of knowledge… because you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children.”  Folks, we need to once again become known as a people of the book, a people who study and know and love the Bible.  Throughout the Bible, God’s repeated command to the people of God is “learn, study, grow.”

92% of households in this country have a Bible.  We have the Bibles, but we don’t pay much attention to them.  A Gallup poll from 2000 shows that only 59% of Americans read the Bible at least occasionally. The percentage of Americans who read the Bible at least once a week is 37%.

Contrast this with the people of Berea.  We read in Acts 17, “These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they re¬ceived the word with all readiness, and searched the scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so.” (Acts 17:11)

May we continue to study and learn and grow in our knowledge of God and our responsibility before Him.

Have a great day!

Alan Smith

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