Remember the movie-series, Pirates of the Caribbean? The reruns have been on tv lately and I was watching one of them — I think it was the last one. Remember those two scruffy always-down-and-out pirates? Something bad was always happening to them and in this particular scene, they are adrift on the ocean in a little rowboat. One of them has a Bible — you can tell it’s a Bible by the big gold words, “Holy Bible” on the cover — and it looks like he’s reading it. But as the camera pans in, you see that he’s holding the Bible upside down. Right? The other pirate looks at him, shakes his head and says, “What in the world are you doing?” The pirate with the book says, “I’m reading the Bible.” The other guy says, “Whaddya mean, you can’t read.” And the pirate with the upside down Bible says, “Yeah but you get credit for trying.”
Well maybe we get a bit of credit for trying, but we don’t get credit for just opening the book! It’s not enough to just open the book; we have to open our hearts. Hang on his words. So what are some reasons why don’t open the book or our hearts?
Maybe you’re thinking, main reason for me is that it’s difficult. I read the Bible, once in awhile and I mean I can’t even understand it, let alone hear God. Well, wow. I didn’t realize that it was difficult, by all means if it’s difficult for you, you get a pass. I mean we should never attempt to do anything that’s difficult. Everyone knows that the best things in life are easy.
Listen, sometimes understanding the Bible isn’t easy. You’re not alone in this. Once Peter wrote these words about something Paul had written, “This is what our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you with the wisdom God gave him‑speaking of these things in all of his letters and… Some of his comments are hard to understand.” Peter had a tough time understanding Paul. It’s okay. If you don’t understand 90%, listen to the 10% you do understand.
I use the LifeJournal reading plan and I remember one day, the reading for the day was some really odd stuff about sex-rules in the book of Numbers and a really depressing Psalm and then a history lesson in the book of Acts. Some of it was hard to understand and frankly it just wasn’t my favorite Bible readings. But sandwhiched in the midst of all those words was this short little blessing…
May the Lord bless you and keep you, may the Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you. The Lord turn his face to you and give you peace.
Now I understood that. Those are the words I hung on. If you feel like you don’t understand 90% of what is in the Bible… if you will be faithful to hang on to his words and respond to the words you understand, God will reveal more to you next time around. Hang on His Words.