Is THAT in the Bible?
Recently, while perusing through Facebook, I came across a picture that looked to be taken from the pages of the Bible. The one who posted it thought it pretty, eloquent and held promise: “Behold, this is a choice land, and whatsoever nation shall possess it shall be free from bondage, and from captivity and from all other nations under heaven, if they will but serve the God of the land who is Jesus Christ…” (v12) WAIT! Not being a scholar by any means, but I don’t remember reading this. Sounds a bit Old Testament(ish) doesn’t it? After a lil research I found the verse to be from the book of Ether (2:12) and yes I spelled that right ‘Ether’ – it is from the book of Mormon. It’s the story of the Jaredites who were led by God to the Americas shortly after the Tower of Babel scenario (um…) pretty but not biblical.
How often do we refer to, strongly consider, even quote what is NOT in the bible, like “Pride comes before a fall…” although close, pride ends in destruction, “Pride goes before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall.” (Proverbs 16:18) And, “The eye is the window to the soul.” The eye is not the window, not even a door, but the lamp; “The eye is the lamp of the body, so then if your eye is clear, your whole body will be full of light.” (- Jesus, Matthew 6:22, Luke 11:34) How often do we hear; “Money is the root of all evil!” Head hung, shoulders slumped, condemnation felt. NO, it’s the “LOVE of money that is the root of all sorts of evil.” (1 Timothy 6:10, emphasis mine) My favorite, “This, too, shall pass.” Nope, not there either. Although misquoted, it is from a poem, ‘The Lament of Doer.’ “That passed away, so may this.”
Another, “The lion shall lay down with the lamb.” There is no mention of this in scripture, many would say, oh sure it is, in Revelations. Nope. However in Isaiah 11:6 (see also 65:25) it speaks of the wolf and the lamb will dwell and graze together, but no lamb and lion snuggling.
I’ve heard folks quote the ‘proverb’ – “Spare the rod, spoil the child.” It does paint a somewhat accurate picture, but the actual wording is even more potent, “He who withholds his rod hates his son, but he who loves him disciplines him diligently.” (Proverbs 13:24) Hate literally means to ‘be unwilling – to refuse.’ To refuse to correct is a refusal to love.
The next time something questionable is seen or quoted to us, sounding ‘good’ or perhaps giving reference to Hezekiah 4:12 or Proverbs 32, let’s take a moment to explore. May we not be easily swept away by pretty, eloquent or what sounds promising. Our very spiritual life may depend on it. The Psalmist did say, “I have hidden Your word in my heart that I might not sin against You.” (Psalm 119:11) Getting His word in us, so we can tell the difference between truth and …other.
In Him, DeDe (“Let us consider how we may spur one another on towards love & good deeds.” – Hebrews 10:24)