Friday, July 4, 2014

Bring us the Book!

The theme for this year's Gospel Coalition Women's Conference (TGCW) was "God's Word Our Story: Hearing from Nehemiah." Each of the plenary speakers addressed a passage from that book of the Bible, all thirteen chapters covered in order in the plenary sessions.

Nancy Guthrie taught Nehemiah 7 and 8, that beautiful passage of Scripture where Ezra teaches the book of the law to the people and all who hear understand. Nancy called our attention to Nehemiah 8:1 where Nehemiah reports that the people "told Ezra the scribe to bring the Book of the Law of Moses that the Lord had commanded Israel."

"Bring us the book!" Nancy imagined the people crying out and as she did so throughout the auditorium various women echoed the cry. "Bring us the book!" Nancy called out again and again the cry reverberated throughout.

It was obviously arranged beforehand yet striking just the same. As we called out for the Book, Nancy replied with the obvious application: O, that God would raise up women hungrier for the Book! Women invested in a right understanding of the Word of God, convinced of its sufficiency, committed to its authority--this, Nancy asserted, is what we need most.

Yes and amen. It's why I teach Bible study. It's why we do what we do here at Out of the Ordinary. We long for women to hunger for the Word of God, that hunger fueling a desire for knowledge, that knowledge prompting a greater love for the God of the Word, that love in turn creating a greater hunger, and not just a hunger for our personal knowledge of Him but for others to know Him too.

While at the conference I picked up a copy of Jen Wilkin's book Women of the Word. Reading the first chapter was like reading my own mail. It was surreal and a little eerie to see there on printed page my own thoughts and motivations for Bible study, thoughts and motivations that I offer as passionately and as emphatically as I can at the start of any study I teach. And by eerie I mean exciting. How I hope many women will devote themselves to pursuing the knowledge of God through His Word!

Wilkin writes...

Never has the phrase "to know him is to love him" been more true. As we grow in the knowledge of God's character through the study of his Word, we cannot help but grow into an exponentially deeper love for him. This explains why Romans 12:2 says we are transformed by the renewing of our minds. we come to understand who God is, and we are changed--our affections detach from lesser things and attach to him. If we want to feel a deeper love for God, we must learn to see him more clearly for who is. If we want to feel deeply about about God, we learn to think deeply about God.


The heart cannot love what the mind does not know. Yes, it is sinful to acquire knowledge for knowledge's sake, but acquiring knowledge about One we love, for the sake of loving him more deeply, will always be for our transformation.

Yes, Lord. Bring us the Book!

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