The Whole Story

Last night I was reading to my kids from their children's/beginner's Bible, something we love doing. Of course, I love to elaborate and make the story more dramatic and exciting. (Sometimes my kids like it, other times the despise that!) I was reading about the story of Moses from the time he was was a baby until he came back to lead the Israelites out of Egypt. We were having a great time reading, but I noticed something major was missing......I recognized something similar missing in the story of Noah as well recently. 

For some reason when we read about people and events in the Bible we have a tendency to forget, overlook or ignore certain portions of the story. We seem to leave out the messy, dirty or uncomfortable details. We have a tendency to believe that since it's in the Bible, we need to present the stories with heroes being nearly perfect, people always being happy and the processes of life being relatively painless.

In the story of Moses the missing details was the fact that Moses had killed a man. The story actually reads in my kids Bible that Pharaoh was a mean man and wanted to kill Moses, so he had to run away and hide. They leave out the fact that Pharaoh was looking for his adopted grandson Moses, who had killed a man, and was enacting justice. They forget to portray that Moses was just a man, with sin and imperfections, even great imperfections, like you and I often carry! In the story of Noah they leave out the reality that the flood resulted in every person besides Noah and his family being killed. They leave out the fact that the world hated God and God was angry. It is essentially presented as a fancy Animal Kingdom Cruise that lasted an extra long time. The reality is in both stories, we have chosen to only recognize the parts of the story that are easy, emotionally comfortable and feel good. 

The result of seeing only parts of the story, especially the parts we prefer, is that we are often disillusioned by the reality of who God is. If this is the limited scope of how we see the Bible and how we see God, we will be disappointed, confused and even angry. We will not understand when life gets tough, uncomfortable and even unbearable because we have come to believe through edited versions of the Bible that life is intended to be full of peace and happiness. We will struggle when we see great leaders, pastors and simply our friend and family fail, because we have been presented with leaders who don't. This can be dangerous, and very damaging to us as we choose to follow Jesus. 

The reality is people are not perfect and we know that. But, we often forget that people who follow Jesus don't have it all together. Philippians 1:6 says we won't have it all together until the day we stand in front of Jesus Himself! Life is tough, period. Life is messy. Life carries pain and struggle. But, like the Bible, if Jesus is the focus and the center, we will survive! It so important that we don't overlook the realities in the Bible. 

Last night I took a few extra minutes to explain that Moses made a mistake and sinned. I explained that He thought he was doing something good to defend somebody he cared for, but his good intention became a bad thing. As a result he was in trouble. But, I explained that God loved him anyway, even if he messed up and was imperfect! I explained that God used him for great things, even though he wasn't perfect. To me that small details makes the difference in understanding God's love and grace for you and me. I want my kids to know that part of who God is!

We must consider the WHOLE story, and the WHOLE Bible in order to have a proper view of God. It is essential in becoming the men and women God created us to be. It helps us worship, follow and love God more!

2 Timothy 3:16-17 says it best "Every part of Scripture is God-breathed and useful one way or another-showing us truth, exposing our rebellion, correcting our mistakes, training us to live God's way. Through the Word we are put together and shaped up for the tasks God has for us."