Your hands have made and fashioned me;

give me understanding that I may learn your commandments.

Psalm 119: 73

 

I have heard it said that the Bible is God’s guidebook to life. I have said that, too. Well, that just isn’t true. I wish that it were that simple, but there is no singular source to access to gain clarity and direction for all that comes our way in this world; at least there is none that is found outside of the more challenging realm of relationship. We need to know the One who made us in order to gain that sort of life-giving wisdom. Every person who has ever lived or who is to come in the future is different. We are the unique and wondrous handwork of the Creator God; so, no singular set of directions is perfectly matched to each of us.

 

God intentionally designed it to be this way. He does not want us to be able to go to a source that is outside of Himself in order to live in a righteous and a loving manner. God did not design life this way in order to control or to dominate us. It is my belief that the Lord established the nature and the order of this world in this manner because He desires to be in close and intimate relationships with each and every person on the earth. He already knows us to a degree and at a level that is beyond what we could ever apprehend about ourselves. Yet, God does not rest easily with just knowledge, for He delights in interaction and engagement with us.

 

So, where does this understanding that the Psalmist desires come from? Psalm 119 is written in celebration of the gift of God’s written word; so, in fact, the Bible is an important source of this understanding. Yet, it is not the singular one. If it provided all of the answers for life on its own, it would be too easy to just become a scholar of the text and not be a disciple of the author of that text. We know God through Jesus Christ as we accept His sacrifice and yield ourselves to His Lordship over our lives. Then the Holy Spirit enters us and speaks love and truth to our hearts and minds in the framework of intimate relationship. This same Spirit of Christ takes those written words of the Bible and transforms them into the living text that takes us deeply into a life-giving relationship with our Creator. So, in relationship with the three persons of God, we do gain this desired eternal understanding.