If you’re trying to describe a new food or book to someone, how do you do it? Maybe you use adjectives. A lot of times people compare it to something else the person knows about. The Bible does the same thing. There are several things the Bible says it is like, including an anchor, light, mirror, seed, and sword. Let’s look at a few of those symbols.
Have you ever been on a boat? We used to go fishing a lot when I was little. When we found a spot where the fish were biting, we’d try to stay as close to it as we could. The lake was so deep that we hardly ever used an anchor, so Dad would work the trolling motor constantly to keep us from drifting away. But if we were close enough to a tree or something, we would tie on to it to hold our position.
The Bible can do that for us. It keeps us in place. Life has a funny way of never being the same two weeks in a row. There’s always something new we have to adjust to, whether it’s a friend moving away, a new rule at school or work, or a new pet that won’t let you leave charger cords unattended. (I’m looking at our latest rescue dog on that one.)
This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast… – Hebrews 6:19
God uses an anchor as a symbol for His Word because it’s not going to move. It won’t change. As long as we keep ourselves attached to it, we won’t drift.
I don’t like the dark. I had this fear as a kid of the long hallway in our house. I never went down it without turning on the light, except for that one time there happened to be a spider sitting in the middle of it, and I almost always ran down it. It’s not so much the dark itself that bothers me as what might be in the dark.
And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts; – 2 Peter 1:19
We can’t really trust most things in the world. Benjamin Franklin said the only two things that are certain are death and taxes. Apart from God, there aren’t guarantees, but the Bible never fails. Following God’s Word doesn’t mean life will be easy, but in the end we will get where we need to be.
Just like the Bible shows us where we need to go, it also shows us who we really are. That can be kind of scary. The lighting in my bathroom is, well, forgiving. If I see my reflection in a mirror somewhere else where the lights are brighter, yikes! Left on our own it’s easy to have a rosy self-image. Physically that’s not so much of a big deal.
For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. – James 1:23-24
To me, one of the scary parts of being an adult is the need to self-evaluate. When I was growing up, although I was taught to be aware of my actions, I knew that my parents would let me know if I got out of line. I know my husband would tell me now too, but it’s not really his job. I need to be constantly keeping myself under control. But my own opinion isn’t trustworthy – I need a standard to go by, and the only perfect one is the Word.
I’ve been planting our garden, and the most recent things I planted were cucumber and squash, both of which I planted as seeds rather than buying plants to start from. My family always plants them in hills with seven plants to a hill, but I didn’t just plant seven seeds. You see, I want to harvest fresh squash and cucumbers. Really badly. So I planted fourteen seeds in each hill, and I fully expect at least some of those seeds to sprout into squash and cucumber plants. Whether they bear fruit depends on the weather and how good a job I do at taking care of them. I’ll keep you updated.
But he who received seed on the good ground is he who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and produces: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. – Matthew 13:23
God’s Word is like the seed for Christians. We need to share it freely and often. When someone hears it and wants to follow God, they become a Christian. Some people won’t want to hear it, and some want to live for God for a while and then get discouraged. We just need to keep planting the seed.
I have never hunted, but I can shoot a gun and a bow. Thankfully, I’ve never had to do either to defend my life or my country. I’ve never seen combat. But I know people who have, and I appreciate them. Arguably the most valuable thing for a soldier is their weapon.
And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; – Ephesians 6:17
As verse 12 of the same chapter says, our fight isn’t against people. It is against Satan and the powers he has set up against God. In fact, the only weapon given in this list of the Christian armor is the Word. To recognize evil and stand against it, we must practice with our swords. We can’t afford to let them get dull and rusty.
So the Bible is like an anchor that holds us steady, shows us what is around us, who we are, lets us change the world, and is what we use in the fight against Satan. It’s our anchor, light, mirror, seed, and sword. Let’s appreciate the Bible for the truly remarkable Book that it is and make full use of it. God went to a lot of trouble to get it to us – let’s use it well.
How do you see the Bible as one of these or another symbol in your own life? Chime in!
May the Lord bless and keep you,