Let's admit it. The Bible, (which is free here) while being an amazing collection of books, is still pretty enigmatic to most of us. There will always be questions and what appear to be contradictions. And scholars will tell you that you must study it, yet those same scholars spend their lifetimes doing so.
But did you know your Kindle can help you? Okay, it won't explain the mystery of the Trinity, or what to do when your faith wavers, but the simple dictionary in your Kindle can do wonders.
I've decided to read through the entire Bible, the Contemporary English Version that is free for Kindle. I've done it before, but am doing it again. I'm in Joshua right now. (I'm a slow reader) and in chapter 24, I read this:
'Now, therefore, fear the LORD and serve him...'
Okay. I'm reading the Contemporary English Version, and when I read 'fear', I read it in a negative light. Fear isn't something we want to do.
But try this:
Touch the word 'fear' and its definition will pop up. You may have to touch 'full definition' so if that comes up, do so.
scroll down to read:
Archaic - regard (God) with reverence and awe.
Well! We need not dread God, but rather, we are to revere and be in awe of God.
Then, further along in Joshua 24, we read "...he is a holy God. He is a jealous God."
Again, a negative sounding word. So touch the word 'jealous', and go to the full definition.
-fiercely protective and vigilant of one's rights or possessions
- (of God) demanding faithfulness and exclusive worship
Take note that the word jealous comes from 'zelosus', a Latin word from which we get 'zealous'. Touch 'zealous'.
It means having great zeal, which means having great energy or enthusiasm in the pursuit of a cause or object.
So, God demands faithfulness and is enthusiastic in protecting us. Pretty good trade off for our faithfulness, I would say.
What I don't get is why the Contemporary English Version doesn't change those two words that have such negative feelings about them, to something like:
"Now, be in awe of the LORD and revere and serve him..." Joshua 24:1
"...he is a holy God. He is a God who demands faithfulness and exclusive worship and who is enthusiastic in his protection of us." Joshua 24:19
Hmm. Maybe that's a bit wordy. What do you think?
At least we have now, at a our fingertips, an opportunity to discover the real meaning of those sentences.
So, try it today, instead of being turned off by a wording in the Bible, use your Kindle to discover what it really means.