The Bible is 66 books, covering a wide range of stories from talking donkeys to bloody battles. It was written over two thousand years by 40 people on 3 different continents. And yet, it manages to be one coherent story. Can you guess who the main character of that story is? (Hint: It’s not you.)
The Bible is ultimately God’s story. It begins with Him creating the universe, tracks the history of His relationship with humankind, recounts the lengths He is willing to go to in order to rescue us from ourselves, and ends with Him bringing all His children into His presence to live with Him for eternity. The Bible is the story of God’s courtship of us.
This is very important to keep in mind, particularly when reading the Old Testament. We read many of the Old Testament stories as allegories. We need to believe in God’s promises like Abraham did. We need to follow God’s call like Moses. We need to have faith in God like David. It’s not wrong to want Abraham’s belief or Moses’ obedience or David’s faith, but Abraham, Moses, and David are not the main characters of their stories. God is.
Whenever you really want to figure out what is important about a story in the Bible, don’t pay too much attention to the human players. Instead, ask yourself what God is doing. God is always at work throughout the Bible. Sometimes He’s thundering from the top of a mountain and sometimes He’s healing a leper. Find what He’s doing in the section you’re reading, and you’ve found the heart of the Bible.
The Bible goes from eternity past to eternity future. If it’s going to have a main character, is has to be someone who has been around forever and will continue to be around forever. None of us meet that criteria. Only God does. And so the Bible, as applicable as it is to our lives, isn’t about us. It’s God’s story.