[forthright] God's Library

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From: Forthright Magazine <forthrightmag@...>
Date: Thu, 29 Mar 2007 13:24:00 -0500
Forthright Magazine
http://www.forthright.net
Straight to the Cross


COLUMN: Fidelity

God's Library
by Mike Benson

"And I saw the dead, small and great, standing
before God and books were opened..." (Revelation
20:12).

This may sound a bit difficult to believe at
first, but God is a reader.  Although he knows all
things (Colossians 2:3; 2 Chronicles 16:9), he
owns an impressive library and pours over each
volume.  The Almighty is not merely a book owner,
but he is an avid reader and is minutely
acquainted with the text of every page of every
publication within his holdings.

You may ask, "What selections can be found in
God's library?"  Here is but a partial listing of
the more popular works:

1.  The Bible.  The most fascinating book in God's
library is the one that he authored (1 Corinthians
2:12; 2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:20,21) over a
period of 1400 years.  It is a perennial best-
seller and has been translated into more languages
and dialects than any other book ever written.
Actually, it is a library in itself although it is
only one book.  It is sixty-six books, but it is
one book in terms of its unity.  It contains "the
mind of God, the state of man, the way of
salvation, the doom of sinners and happiness of
believers.  Its doctrines are holy, its precepts
are binding, its histories are true, its decisions
are immutable...It is the traveler's map, the
pilgrim's staff, the pilot's compass, the
soldier's sword, the Christian's charter.  In it
paradise is restored, heaven opened, hell
disclosed.  Christ is its grand subject, our good
its design, God's glory its end...It is a mine of
wealth, a paradise of glory, a river of
pleasure...It involves the highest responsibility,
rewards the greatest labor, and condemns all who
trifle with its holy contents.  It is a book of
laws, to show the right from the wrong; a book of
wisdom that makes the foolish wise; a book of
truth, which detects all human errors; a book of
life, which shows how to avoid everlasting death.
It is the most authentic and entertaining history
ever published, an unequal narrative, a perfect
body of divinity, a book of biography, a book of
travels, the best will ever executed, the best
deed ever written.  It is the learned man's
masterpiece, the young man's best companion, the
school boy's best instructor, the ignorant man's
dictionary, everybody's directory..."  

It is noteworthy that God will open this
particular book at the Last Day and employ it as
the standard for our judgment (John 12:48; 8:32;
17:17; Acts 17:31; Psalm 119:172; Romans 2:16).
"So speak and do as those who will be judged by
the law of liberty" (James 2:12).

2.  Accounting books.  God's library contains a
three-volume series of books pertaining to the
life-details of all the people who have ever
lived, who are living, and who will ever live.
"So then each of us shall give account of himself
to God" (Romans 14:12; cf. Matthew 12:36; 1 Peter
4:5).  

Volume one records our deeds.  "And the dead were
judged according to their works, by the things
which were written in the books" (Revelation
20:12; cf. Matthew 16:27; Romans 2:6; 2
Corinthians 5:10; Jude 14,15; Revelation 2:23;
22:12).  

Volume two records our words.  "But I say to you
that for every idle word men may speak, they will
give account of it in the day of judgment"
(Matthew 12:36).  

Volume three records our secrets.  "For God will
bring every work into judgment, including every
secret thing, whether it is good or whether it is
evil" (Ecclesiastes 12:14).

Each of us writes our own biographical life-
history, and God acquaints himself with that which
we compose (Psalm 1:6; 44:21; 94:11; Luke 16:15).
"But he knows the way that I take..." (Job 23:10).

3.  The book of life.  This book is specifically
mentioned seven times in the New Testament -- once
in Philippians (4:3), and six times in Revelation
(3:5; 13:8; 17:8; 20:12, 15; 21:27; 22:19).  It is
also alluded to in other Old Testament passages
(Exodus 32:32f; Psalm 69:28; Isaiah 4:3; Daniel
12:1; Malachi 3:16) and is reminiscent of the
genealogical register which the Jews maintained of
their fellow citizens (Nehemiah 7:5,64; 12:22, 23;
Isaiah 4:3; Ezekiel 13:9).  As long as one was
living, his name was kept in this special record.
But following his death, the individual's name was
therewith removed.  In a similar way, the book of
life is God's roll of the righteous.  It is a
unique log of all of those who enjoy his special
favor.  Our names are added to this ledger when we
are born into the family of God and remain there
unless we reject this heritage (Revelation 3:5).

You might say that God is "book-oriented."  What
about you, dear friend (Revelation 1:3)?  

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