Read 2 Timothy 3:16-17
16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. (NIV)
Instruction manuals can be infuriating. They are supposed to tell you how to do something but end up confusing you as to just what needs to be done. If we see the Bible as a type of instruction manual, we may reckon it can be just as confusing. Parts of the Bible are admittedly hard to grasp.
But the central message seems clear enough: the God who made us loves us enough to bring us back to himself through the life and work of Jesus. And in so doing, he invites us to live a new sort of life modelled on Jesus.
The Bible is not merely human thoughts about God. It originated in God, not in human speculation or initiative. It is not just any book. And yet, it is a very human book, written by fallible human beings who lived in cultures rather different to our own. Little wonder we may struggle to grasp all the details.
The vital thing about the Bible is that it is written for a purpose outlined in our text. It was written so we would know how to live for God. How sad if we get bogged down with the hard bits that we lose sight of its basic function. Mark Twain was right when he said that it was not the parts of the Bible that he couldn’t understand that bothered him; it was the parts he could understand.