Getting the foundation right from the start.
Yesterday, I picked up my Bible to continue reading where I had left off: Genesis 4. I read the first verse about how Cain was born. Imagine the excitement – the first baby ever born!
Then, as I pondered this, I ran my hand over the page, smoothing it down. I paused and touched one area again. There was a bump somewhere under the page.
I hesitated. Chasing the source of little bumps in the thin pages of a Bible can be as pointless as chasing the wind. Evidently some speck of dust or what not had become stuck on one of the previous pages. Many a time I have spent far too long trying to locate and wipe off a speck of dust and ended up not actually reading much of the Bible because of this distraction. Was now a good time to ignore this bump in the page, or should I find the source and clear it out?
Because I was only at Genesis chapter 4, and the bump was towards the front of my Bible, I decided I’d try to find the source. Surely I wouldn’t have too far to go… unless it was in the many introductory pages. Besides, it was a bigger than average bump. If I left it now, it may continue to irritate all the way to Psalms, or perhaps even into the New Testament. I should take care of it now, before I get much further.
I turned back a page and ran my hand over the spot. It was under that page as well. I’d have to go deeper.
On the next page, I felt for it again. Still further.
I turned to the next page, and then the next. I still hadn’t found the source.
I’d reached the middle of Genesis chapter 1. Already, my time of Bible reading was being impeded. I was ready to give up the search, but I realized there was only one page remaining in the Bible. I may as well turn one more page. If I didn’t find it on the next page, the source would be somewhere in the many introductory pages. I didn’t have time to search those now. However, I would look all the way to Genesis 1:1.
I turned the final page and reached the beginning of the Bible. I swept my hand over the page. Bingo! I felt the offending speck of dust.
I swatted it away, and flipped back to Genesis 4. I ran my hand over the spot where the speck had been protruding. It was gone. Lovely.
I swept my hand over the rest of the page, but stopped. Further over, a bump of that same size had appeared!
Immediately I flipped back to the very beginning and felt the page. Sure enough, I hadn’t wiped the speck far enough. It was still on the page. I brushed it off, and ran my hand over the whole page again to double check. Back in Genesis 4, I ensured that it was all clear.
Yes, the protrusion was gone. Now I could continue on with my reading.
Before I continued, however, I paused to laugh at it. The speck of dust had been at the very beginning of my Bible: Genesis 1:1.
My laughter quickly sobered as I thought further.
In the past few days, as I slowly worked my way through the first chapters of the Bible, I had been reminded how utterly foundational they are to everything we believe as Christians. Indeed, I even listened to a sermon on Genesis 1:1 in which Pastor Glenn Nudd mentioned that if we reject the truth presented to us even in that very first verse so much of our worldview would be rendered foundationless.
If we do not accept and believe the Bible straight from the very start, we will find, when reading later parts, that something isn’t quite right. Just like that speck of dust would have continued to disrupt me had I not gone back to the beginning and straightened it out, so any misunderstanding or lack of accepting God’s Word at its foundation will greatly disrupt our understanding of other passages and our life of faith as a whole.
Am I saying that we need to understand every single bit of the Bible? No. There will always be more to learn. Yet there are certain utterly critical base beliefs that must be understood and accepted for the rest of God’s Word to be understood the way God intended it to be.
What are these core beliefs? Here are a couple of verses to get you started, but then I encourage you to read the Bible for yourself. You’ll quickly spot more.
“For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures…” 1 Cor. 15:3-4 NASB
“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” Gen. 1:1
Want to learn more of the foundational truths of the Bible? The first few chapters of Genesis are packed with them. I encourage you to read through the book, and perhaps listen to a few sermons or find other resources related to them. I recommend Pastor Glen Nudd’s sermons and David Guzik’s commentary as they teach verse by verse through the book.