The other day I found one sheet of scripture, blown by the wind into my yard. This sheet, which had fallen from a 7” by 5,” thumb-indexed, King James Version of the Bible contained portions of I Chronicles 15-16, and II Chronicles 5-6. It didn’t contain a complete chapter. The I Chronicles passage concerns David bringing the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem. The II Chronicles passage details the dedication of the Temple by King Solomon. Of the four pages of scripture contained on this one sheet more than a full page is filled with names of Levites who participated in the parade bringing the Ark to the capital city.
I picked up the sheet, folded it carefully, brought it to the office, and put it in my desk. I could not bring myself to discard it. I cannot throw away a Bible, no matter how damaged it is. I have never discarded a Bible which was mine. Whenever I find one that isn’t salvageable I repair it as best I can and put it in the free bin at the public library. I could no more crumple this sheet and toss it than I could a drawing by my grand-daughter Noelle.
This single sheet of scripture captured my imagination. I wondered what truths I could find in it. “If I was living in some dystopian future,” I thought, “and this was all the Bible left to humanity, what could we learn from it?” Here below, I offer what I found in I Chronicles 15.3-16.5, and II Chronicles 5.12-6.24. I encourage you to repeat my experiment and find the truths I missed.
- There is a God, II Chronicles 6.4.
- God is good, II Chronicles 6.4-10.
- God must be worshipped, the entirety of both passages.
- God must be worshipped correctly, the entirety of both passages.
- God has a covenant people, I Chronicles 15.3, II Chronicles 6.14-15.
- God’s covenant people must worship Him together, I Chronicles 15.28, II Chronicles 6.3-6.
- God communicates to us in His Word, II Chronicles 6.17.
- God’s Word is our standard, II Chronicles 6.17.
- God listens to our prayers, II Chronicles 6.19-21.
- God keeps His promises, II Chronicles 6.4-10.
- God cares for us all together, I Chronicles 16.1-2, II Chronicles 6.4
- God cares for us each, individually, I Corinthians 16.3, II Chronicles 6.5
- God saves His people, II Chronicles 6.5.
- God will judge, II Chronicles 6.22-25.
I never expected to find so many foundational truths from two fragments of I & II Chronicles. The Chronicles have always seemed to me to be the driest part of scripture – filled with data, but lacking the story-teller’s art which so enlivens I and II Kings. I am ashamed of my prejudice. If all we humans had of God’s word was this one sheet of scripture – these fragments of chapters - we would have more truth than anyone could fathom in a lifetime.
We, however, are blessed with the fullness of revealed truth. We have the plan of salvation. We have the promise of heaven. We have the account of the beginning of all things, and the history of that first generation of Christians. We have four gospels which reveal Jesus in the fullness of His glory and grace.
Do we appreciate what we have? Have we tried to fathom even one page of God’s Word?