The Nature of Stories in the Word

The poet Muriel Rukeyser said. "the universe is made of stories, not of atoms." In a sense she was more correct than I think ever she imagined. In part because God, the creator of the universe, used stories to reveal truth in His Word. Many of the most powerful teachings of Christ came in the form of stories. We call them parables. In fact, the Word of God is primarily a book of stories. Almost all of them, except for the parables of Christ, are stories about real people.

Consider this exercise. Ask any Christian what is the Bible, and you will most likely get the universal answer - the Bible is the Word of God. Ask for more details and you will get a wide range of responses from a set of rules to a book of theology. In reality, the Bible is a collection of stories about God's interaction with mankind. It begins with Adam and ends with the apostles. Stories about Noah, Rachel, Jonah, Sampson, David, Abraham, Mary and many others are found in between. Some are stories of great success while many are stories of tragic failures. However, they all have one thing in common. They are all stories of God working with, and through men and women to reveal His will to the world. To paraphrase the poet, the Bible is made of stories, not of rules.

God completed the work of writing the Bible with the Book of Revelations. However, He has not stopped working with and through men and women. While He no longer uses believers to create new revelation, He continues to use us to work His will and to highlight the truths found in the Bible. The Bible is real to us precisely because its stories never end. He continues to write stories through our lives. He continues to use us to work out His plan. To paraphrase the poet once again (and take some liberties) - our lives are made of stories of our interaction with God, not of random events void of meaning.

The point is, while the Bible is the complete revelation of God, He is not yet finished with us. He works through us every day. We just need to look at life with spiritual eyes to see Him at work. If we miss this important fact, then we miss much of the richness and joy of life.

Hence, one purpose of this series on stories is to remind you that you are still the clay and that God is still the potter. Just as Paul explained in Romans 1:20 that God's attributes, power, and nature can be clearly seen by examining what He created; it is also true that His grace, love, and beauty can be clearly seen by looking at how He works in peoples’ lives. Make no mistake about this - I am not claiming that the content of this series is anything close to the content of the Bible but like the Bible it is a compilation of stories of how God has used ordinary people in their everyday life to work His will.

This series illustrates that what God did since the beginning of time, He continues to do. Today, as with Abraham, David, and Paul in the past, we can see God at work in our lives. The truth is things have not changed much if at all since Biblical times. The people in Biblical times were just as messed up then as we are today, and we are just as blessed today as they were back then. We can see His grace and His love to the point where they are almost palpable, if we look at life through spiritual eyes. If you do that you will encounter God in your everyday life. And your walk with Him will be richer for it.

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© 2016 Richard Spillman

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