In the United States House of Representatives is Thomas Hudson Jone’s sculpture of Hammurabi. His Code dates back to 1754 BC:
It is one of the oldest deciphered writings of significant length in the world. The sixth Babylonian king, Hammurabi, enacted the code, and partial copies exist on a human-sized stone stele and various clay tablets.
It was used as the legal authority of what happened to those who broke that code.
The United States has such an authority, the Constitution. Created in the 18th century, it must be applied in 21th century cultural activities though there are thousands of new words in dictionaries that were unable to be considered when it was written. Still, it is used as the authority of this nation’s existence. At times.
While in a doctor’s office, I picked up a TIME magazine from February of this year, the article about the measles epidemic/dispute. One line struck me as going way beyond that one subject:
"In a culture upended by diminished authorities . . ."
What absolute truth is included in that statement!! Where do we see authority? I must tell you that my bottom line authority is God’s word. I believe what is written in what I believe is God’s word to mankind, and I believe it is our Holy Bible. Please do not begin an argument over what is a true Bible. That question actually diminishes God’s message.
There are 53 verses referencing scripture(s) in the KJV. The Good News Bible has 162. Some might see that as discrepancy - until looking at specific verses:
Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. (Matthew 4:10 KJV)
Then Jesus answered, "Go away, Satan! The scripture says, 'Worship the Lord your God and serve only him!' " (Matthew 4:10 GNB)
So, if we add “it is written” as well as “scripture”, the numbers are much, much closer. Each translation tells us that the people who heard Jesus recognized scriptures as such. What was found in Qumran confirms our expectations that they were scriptures then and are scriptures today. From those writings that Bereans checked was was preached to them to be so.
They searched documents of authority to verify a tremendous change to what they had been taught. They discovered for themselves, based on an authority they trusted. Not the people who told them what the authority said, but by personal searching. If they had no authority, they would be as we are today – wondering what to believe and where to look for it.
Yes, I am concerned about a lack of authority in our government – at all levels. I doubt I am alone. I am more concerned about denominations doubting scriptural authority, relying instead on cultural desires. I am also concerned that some pick out scriptures that sound good, but ignore what Paul preached:
For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God. (Acts 20:27 KJV)
We will find what we seek. If we seek God, He will be found. If we seek our own desires, they too can be found. Remember, Satan tempted our Lord with scripture that lack all the counsel of God.
Be aware of authority. Use it wisely.