We speak biblical language more often than we know…

But don’t get too heady just yet. As we drift from biblical literacy we relate less and less to the origins of the daily nomenclature we toss around. I’ll give you some examples.

A drop in the bucket…  
Isaiah 40:15 – Behold, the nations are like a drop from a bucket, And are regarded as a speck of dust on the scales; Behold, He lifts up the islands like fine dust.  The idea of insignificance isn’t something any of us are foreign to. Even though Israel was wedged between mighty pharaohs and the Mesopotamian empires, their breadth was reduced to a drop in the bucket when compared to God. The book of Isaiah offers up this level of comfort to us.

A Scapegoat…
Leviticus 16:8 – Aaron shall cast lots for the two goats, one lot for the Lord and the other lot for the scapegoat. As the Jews adhered to proper atonement in terms of annual sin cleansing, they offered up one goat to be sacrificed for God while the other was to be laden with the sins of the Jews and sent pushed out into the wild.

There’s a season for everything…
Ecclesiastes 3:1 – There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven. Solomon was pretty sharp. In fact as the smartest person on Earth, as it was written, he was only truly shrewd after he lost all he had. Wealth, wine, women, etc. All gone. As he accumulated everything under the sun, he did so without honor or respect to God. Which cost him dearly. As he reflected with a somber, “don’t do what I’ve done,” this is an easy one to remember. Typically people recall a crappy song titled, “Turn! Turn! Turn!” for this wisdom rather than the wisest man ever.

A house divided…
Matthew 12:25 – And knowing their thoughts Jesus said to them, “Any kingdom divided against itself is laid waste; and any city or house divided against itself will not stand.” This is simply a call to unity and togetherness. With great irony in the Western Culture, it is often attributed to Abraham Lincoln’s presidential nomination speech and not Jesus. Ugh…

The sweet kiss of life…
Matthew 26:48-50 –   Now he who was betraying Him gave them a sign, saying, “Whomever I kiss, He is the one; seize Him.” Immediately Judas went to Jesus and said, “Hail, Rabbi!” and kissed Him. And Jesus said to him, “Friend, do what you have come for.” Then they came and laid hands on Jesus and seized Him. This isn’t the antithesis of Judas’ “kiss of death” or even a way to give CPR to a lifeless guy having a heart attack. Instead, that kiss signaled Jesus to be the person captured and crucified. In a manner of thinking, that kiss provided us all life – not due to Judas’ kiss, but Jesus’ sacrifice. Think on that.

By the skin of my teeth…
Job 19:20 – “My bone clings to my skin and my flesh, And I have escaped only by the skin of my teeth.” Job has taken as much as he can take short of blaspheming God and exclaims that he’s become so unhealthy and thin that he’s just short of death.

It isn’t just catch phrases my friends. Sure, we use them but we don’t know we are. We speak richer language than we realize because our nation, and the whole of western culture for that matter, are steeped in stories from the bible. We have a responsibility to know and understand these stories. Not only because we use them unwittingly, but because we’re commanded to. Wouldn’t you rather know what you were saying and why as opposed to muttering nonsense? I’ve done both and I know what I prefer now. Biblical literacy is the difference between your child’s faith surviving and not, potentially. Think of it that way. Do you sense the urgency as I do? With biblical literacy comes many rich and precious things. I’m not sure I could even begin to list them all.

We are neck deep in a culture that thinks in the categories provided for us by media, politicians, academia, and so on. We should naturally resist that inherent flaw, and think, speak, and act in the categories He has provided us.

Be salt and light my friends. Please.

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