Daily Radio Bible Podcast
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Transcription begins here:
In today's reading in 2 Samuel and first Chronicles, we have two books and authors telling the story of David taking a census. And as you will notice, this is one of several occasions in the Bible where we are confronted with a contradiction in the information within the story. In one rendition of the text, God made David take a census. And in the other, it tells us that Satan made David, take the census. Well, Put simply, this is a contradiction. This contradiction doesn't mean that the Bible is not inspired or authoritative, and what it's doing are the factual and consistencies and contradictions in the Bible. Yes, we've just seen that. But the Bible is not trying to be a divine reference book, it's doing something else. This can be a problem for some people, because for some to acknowledge this is to put the authority of the Bible into question. I don't see it that way. And I want to encourage you, to not be afraid of reading the Bible on its own terms, factual contradictions, and all. If you're going to read through the Bible, you'll have to grapple with what it says, and what people say about what it says. And that's okay, that's just a part of growing in your faith. Many Christians simply don't read their Bible, and are content just to believe what they're told about the Bible. So let me commend you for stepping into deeper waters, and learning more of what the Bible is doing, and how it is used in our life as disciples. There are factual and consistencies that are obvious like in today's reading, and a divine reference book approach will see these as weak links in a chain that must be glossed over or explained away or ignored. Otherwise, the Bible's authority is undermined, and a crisis of faith awaits. That does not need to be the case. Because that's not what the Bible is doing. It's not being a divine reference book. And we could, and we can, and should read the Bible, on its own terms, we must understand the Bible for what it is doing. The Bible is pointing us to the God who is love. And the Bible is inviting us and the world, into the community and the story of the God who is love. The Bible has been recognized by God's people through history, because its words, its teaching its stories reveal what it means to be a part of the Divine community, and to live your life in relationship with God, and the story of his love. The Bible has authority because it tells us of the God who loves the world. each of today's contradictory accounts of David in the census, tell of a God who is merciful, and loving. In the end, I would argue that they do. Each author of these two stories has their own more specific reason for writing their account in the way that they did. And it was important that each one of these accounts was told the way that it was, to their specific communities. And God's people have recognized their larger role in speaking to us today. Even though these factual accounts differ, they are both driving us to a larger point, that God is merciful. And God is the authority and the source of life for his people. Christ is our authority. And he has authorized the Bible to tell his story of love. And may God lead us into His life of love. As we listen to his word each day, allowing the Holy Spirit to shape us and mold us to be more like him. That's the prayer that I have for my own soul. That's the prayer that I have for my family for my wife and my daughters, my son and that's a prayer that I have for you. May be so
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