FUNERAL FOR TORAH SCROLLS
I recently ran onto an older story about how vandals broke into a synagogue in Israel, and vandalized five scrolls of the Torah (the Old Testament). They attempted to destroy them by burning them. The local rabbi and citizens of the city were mortified, and, at first, accused atheistic elements within Israel of the crime. The rabbi said that such actions speak loudly of the state of religion in Israel today. He and the citizens of the village are mortified that anyone could do such a horrific thing.
To properly dispose of the scrolls, since according to tradition they cannot use them any longer since they are damaged, the village had a funeral for the scrolls. They took them to a local cemetery and with great dignity and solemnity they buried them. Almost the entire village turned out, it was reported, and there was great sadness over the occasion.
Now, this might strike you and me as a bit strange. However, the fact that the villagers held the Torah in such high esteem, and were so outraged by the vandalism, speaks pretty powerfully to the power of the Word. I am reminded of the words of David long ago “Oh how love I thy law!” (Psalms 139).
In stark contrast to this attitude of respect and honor for the Torah, consider how we normally treat the Word today, you know, our Bibles! Mind you, I am not suggesting that it is a horrible thing if the pages of your Bible get worn out, the cover scratched, and there are lots of notes inside. I am not suggesting at all the we should keep our Bibles in pristine condition, or even bury them if they get damaged. But, I dare say that far too many Bibles in far too many homes are in fact in pristine condition!
How long has it been since you studied, much less read, your Bible? Do you have any notes in the margin, to remind you of special meanings and thoughts? You have had that Bible for how many years now, and it still looks brand new? Hey, where is that thing, anyway?
The greatest thing you can do to a Bible is to wear it out with use! Paul urged Timothy to put the Word to use, “study (which means give all diligence, DKP), to show thyself approved of God, a workman that does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of Truth” (2 Timothy 2:15). God’s wisdom is found in His Word. His plan for your happiness and eternal destiny is there is well. From God’s Word flow the issues of life itself! Learn God’s word and treasure it up in your heart, and live it in your life. It will give you peace, contentment, and happiness.