Do What the Writing Tells You to Do
Recently, I’ve been watching the BBC’s 90s made-for-TV series of the Chronicles of Narnia! I grew up on them thanks to my former neighbor and babysitter and now, friend, Diana. *smile* She introduced my sister, brother, and me to C.S. Lewis and his Chronicles so very many years ago. And about a year or so ago, I was blessed to find the four-part DVD series--boxed and with poster!--on Thriftbooks.com! (See the ads at the bottom of this page.) I’ve also found them on Youtube and often play them in the background while I work. This was such a week.
There I was listening to The Silver Chair, doing something completely different, when these words jumped out at me for the first time:
“You shall find a writing on a stone in that ruined city and you must do what the writing tells you to do.” (Aslan, The Silver Chair)
“You must do what the writing tells you to do.” As Christians, true Christians, Believers in the Word of God as written, we know that,
“It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’” (Matthew 4:4)
The Word of God is our Living Bread, the sustenance of our very lives. And yet liberals and non-Believers, even those who dare to call themselves Christians and theologians, do their darnedest to discredit the Word of God. Well, they try to anyway.
They say things like, “The Old Testament isn’t relevant anymore.”
So...you mean to tell me that ALL those references to the Old Testament in the New Testament are inaccurate? Unbeneficial? Outdated? NEWSFLASH: Jesus and the disciples had no other “Bible” to teach from; they had no New Testament to speak of because they were too busy living and writing it. The New had to be based on something and that was indeed the Old.
FACT: “There are 39 books in the Old Testament. Of these 39 books, only nine are not quoted in the New Testament.” (The Old Testament in the New Testament)
They say things like, “The Bible is antiquated; it needs to be updated to suit the times. We can’t be expected to follow everything it says.”
False. According to John 1:14, Jesus Christ is the Word made flesh. And since Hebrews 13:8 tells us that Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever as well as that the Lord does not change (Mal. 3:6), then there would be no reason for the Word of God to be changed or “updated” to suit modern times. It is timeless as Christ is.
FACT: “Some assume that the five books of Moses are obsolete, as they focus so heavily on laws supposedly annulled by Jesus Christ. However, these same five books are quoted at least 245 times and referred to many more. Paul, the apostle who some believe taught that the law contained in these five books is done away, quoted from those books between 70 and 110 times -more than any other New Testament figure. Jesus Christ quoted from these same books about 60 times.” (The Old Testament in the New Testament)
And my favourite: “It’s not the actual Word of God; men decided at the Council of Nicea what books would be canonized.” To this I’ll say precisely what I said in my other blogpost, “The Plan to Discredit the Bible”:
Okay, if that's your argument, then let's just think about this for a moment…
You mean to tell me that the Almighty, Infinite God Who never was not and always was,
Who spoke the earth into existence by His wisdom and hung it on nothing,
Who was slain before the foundations of the world for sins yet uncommitted by peoples yet uncreated,
Who sent this same slain Son to earth to be born of a virgin, heralded by angels, proceeded by a star, welcomed by Wise Men, greeted by shepherds,
Lived sinless, ministered to earthly and human perfection for three and a half years, effectively turned the world upside down, was crucified, buried in a borrowed tomb, evangelized Hell, rose on the third day--with all power in His hands, ascended to Heaven 40 days later,
Who wrote the end from the beginning and has already won the war that we still struggle with from battle to battle, was so shortsighted as to NOT inspire the right words in the right men to be selected by the right council to form the Word He commands us to live by?
I THINK NOT.
If you think the God who's accomplished AAAAAALL that is shortsighted then you don't know the God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and the apostles.
There are so many excuses people try to use to discredit God’s Word as the instruction for our life, but this takes me back to The Silver Chair.
“You shall find a writing on a stone in that ruined city and you must do what the writing tells you to do.”
At the beginning of the story, when the four Pevensies’ cousin, Eustace Clarence Scrubb, and his schoolmate, Jill Pole are thrust into Aslan’s Country, Aslan gives Jill a set of instructions by which she and “Scrubb” must complete their mission. The third instruction is the one mentioned above.
In the course of their journey to the North of Narnia, the two plus their companion and guardian, Puddleglum the Marshwiggle, by chance encounter the Lady of the Green Kirtle and her silent Knight. Puddleglum, being the sensible Marshwiggle he is, made sure they did not reveal their mission to this strange pair.
And just before the climax, the trio is in a rather forced meeting in the Kingdom of the Underworld with this same Knight where Jill spills the beans about the most recent instruction on their quest and this conversation ensues:
“We had been told to look for a message on the stones of the City Ruinous,” said Scrubb. “And we saw the words UNDER ME.”
The Knight laughed even more heartily than before. “You were the more deceived,” he said. “Those words meant nothing to your purpose. Had you but asked my Lady, she could have given you better counsel. For those words are all that is left of a longer script, which in ancient times, as she well remembers, expressed this verse:
Though under Earth and throneless now I be,
Yet, while I lived, all Earth was under me.
From which it is plain that some great king of the ancient giants, who lies buried there, caused this boast to be cut in the stone over his sepulchre; though the breaking up of some stones, and the carrying away of others for new buildings, and the filling up of the cuts with rubble, has left only two words that can still be read. Is it not the merriest jest in the world that you should have thought they were written to you?”
This was like cold water down the back to Scrubb and Jill; for it seemed to them very likely that the words had nothing to do with their quest at all, and that they had been taken in by a mere accident.
“Don’t you mind him,” said Puddleglum. “There are no accidents. Our guide is Aslan; and he was there when the giant King caused the letters to be cut, and he knew already all the things that would come of them; including this.” (The Chronicles of Narnia: The Silver Chair pg. 619)
Like many new, young, or other Christians unversed in the Word and thus, without a ready defense for their faith (I Peter 3:15), Eustace and Jill were stumped by the enchanted Knight’s argument. It was logical. “Under me” is only two words out of 17, yet Aslan, the Son of the Emperor over the Sea, already knew that. He was not surprised. That great Lion’s foresight spanned time forward and backward, and He knew precisely what he was asking of Scrubb and Pole. The Knight in this story is very like those in our world who are blinded by the god of this world:
But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them. (II Corinthians 4:3-4)
He, like so many of us, was blinded by the enchanted words of the Serpent and dragged down into darkness without even knowing or understanding what had happened to him. And in his happy enchantment, he sought to dissuade those from the truth they knew.
“Do what the writing tells you to do.”
It is something we must all do. And when this life is over and we stand before God, He will not accept any excuses about what others told us was or was not true because we knew the truth. Whether we decide to do what we are told is our own choice.