Friday, April 15, 2022

Pictures and the Truth

Listen to this devotional on my podcast Gleams of the Morning

“O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.”
‭‭Psalm‬ ‭34:8‬ ‭(KJV‬‬)

Growing up I saw numerous pictures and video of the Grand Canyon. I heard stories of people who had been there. Everyone described its deepness and vastness, its overwhelming sense of largeness. And indeed, I could see for myself in pictures and videos, it looked big and pretty impressive. I also heard stories of people who saw it for the first time were stuck dumb, they could not produce words for a few moments as the immensity of it washed over them. This part seemed a little exaggerated to me. I mean I had seen valley and canyons growing up. Some were very large and beautiful to behold. Of course I knew the Grand Canyon was bigger, but was it really that much more impressive?

In college I had the chance to take a road trip with friends across the Southwest. None of us had been to the Grand Canyon, so we decided to drop by and see it for a minute. I fully anticipated this would be like every other viewpoint or overlook I had witnessed. It would be neat, pretty, nice to see another valley from a high point. In short, I expected mediocrity. I had only ever seen a representation of the Grand Canyon in pictures. 

Let me tell you friend, I was in for a shock! As we walked up to the edge from the parking lot, the depth and breadth of the Grand Canyon just kept going. It never seemed to stop! As I stood on the precipice of that rocky valley, I was at a loss for words, just like the stories I had heard. I felt almost as if I had been lied to by all the pictures and video panoramas I had seen growing up. Not a lie of deception, but of omission. Pictures left out so much of the scale and vastness. A picture may be worth a thousand words, but seeing with your own eyes is beyond words. As the saying goes, you have to see it to believe it. 

The Bible is not truth in and of itself. Yes you heard that right. Many in modern times make the error of assuming that the Bible is the ultimate truth. The Bible is a stepping stone to the manifestation of truth. Definition of truth: “A statement proven to be fact” according to American Heritage Dictionary. The Bible is a set of statements. The Bible says, “your word is truth.” John 17:17 And what is the word? Is it just some statements in a book? No! John tells us what the word is, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was fully God.” John‬ ‭1:1‬ ‭NET‬‬

What makes that Word truth? That it is proven to be fact over and over. How do we know that? By testing it. The Bible also says “Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good.” Ps. 34:8 God is the living personification of truth. He is self evident. How? Because every statement that comes out of his mouth becomes fact. If he says something will happen it does, without fail. The Bible is just a pile of paper and ink on its own. Our salvation is not in the paper and ink. It is in the Personification of Truth. Once you meet the Personification of Truth for yourself, you will fully believe that the Bible points to the truth. A personal encounter with the living Truth is necessary to prove what it says as fact. 

There are some who place too much emphasis on the Bible. For them it has become an idol to replace the Author. Let me be clear here. There are some who can quote numerous verses. They spend much of their time seeking to prove this doctrine or that. They study the minutia of the text and original languages in detail. But they don’t spend time with the Truth Himself. This was the mistake of most of the religious leaders in Jesus’ day. They memorized the Books of Moses cover to cover, but as Jesus said, they didn’t understand what they meant. They didn’t know the Author. These people honor God with their lips, but their hearts are far from Him. 

The Bible is a record of the living Truth. It is the first stepping stone to knowing the capital “T” Truth. John 14:6 I am the way, the truth. The Bible was written by men who were inspired by God. But how do you know it is not just mens words? It is like those pictures I saw growing up of the Grand Canyon. The picture contained a representation, a statement about reality. How how could I be sure it was not just a fantasy or exaggeration? It was only when I stood on the edge and looked down over a mile into the rocky abyss that I knew those pictures were indeed true. It had been proved to me by fact. I saw and interacted with the truth personally. This is like the Bible. It is only when we interact with the living, capital “T” Truth personally that the statements in the Bible are verified as fact. 

Here is a question to ponder: We know even the Devil can read the words of the Bible. So how do you interact with the Living Truth Himself beyond reading the pages of the Bible?

Written by David F. Garner
Photo credit: Filio via