don’t do your math
Read Genesis 3:1-7 to see an example of the consequences of adding to God’s Word.
What are some ways believers in Jesus might subtract or add to the Word of God today? How are you consistently studying and applying God’s Word?
In the days before the printing press, the Old Testament books were copied by hand. The scribes developed a stringent set of rules to keep errors from occurring. First, they would count all the letters on the page. Then, after they had copied the page, they would count the letters on the copy to see if the numbers added up correctly. This would keep them from copying a word twice, skipping a line, or copying the same line twice. If the count was off, they would destroy the copy they had worked on so laboriously and start over.
The ancient scribes were careful not to add or subtract anything from the Word of God. They were following Moses’ instruction in Deuteronomy 4:2 to a “T.”
At Horeb, Moses stressed to the Israelites the uniqueness of God’s revelation and their responsibility. Human beings didn’t invent Israel’s law. A holy God had revealed it. It was special revelation. Consequently, the Israelites were to fear God and honor His Word.
We recognize that the Bible is the inspired Word of God for all believers. God spent more than 1,500 years writing, protecting, and preserving it for us. Through the ages, there have been numerous attempts to burn, ban, and systematically eradicate the Bible—but all have failed.
Philosopher Immanuel Kant claimed, “The existence of the Bible, as a book for the people, is the greatest benefit which the human race has ever experienced. Every attempt to belittle it is a crime against humanity.” And the English philosopher John Locke wrote, “It has God for its author, salvation for its end, and truth without any mixture of error for its matter.”
So don’t do your math when it comes to God’s Word—no adding nor subtracting. But with God’s help, study it and follow its teaching in complete obedience.
NLT 365-day reading plan passage for today: Psalm 1:1-6
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