The Beauty of the Bible

Jeff Munroe

Read: Psalm 23

The LORD is my shepherd. (v. 1)

American novelist and theologian Frederick Buechner says that reading the Bible as literature is like reading Moby Dick as a whaling manual. Although there actually is a lot about whaling in Moby Dick, ultimately that’s not what it’s about. Likewise, there is a lot to admire literarily about the Bible, but ultimately, that’s not why we read the Bible.

The Bible has peaks and valleys, and while all Scripture is useful and inspired, for each of us some parts inevitably soar higher than other parts. We will spend the next two weeks at high altitude, looking at selections I’ve made of some of the Bible’s greatest passages. We’ll pause to appreciate the writing, but in each instance we’ll also pause to consider what these beautiful passages are saying about God. I’m going to be using the King James Version of the Bible and would encourage you to do the same. Nothing matches its literary splendor.

Is there a more beautiful passage in the Bible than Psalm 23? Much of its power comes from its simplicity and brevity. Using the metaphor of God as shepherd, this psalm packs a lot into six verses. Verse 4 takes a deep turn, and brings death into the conversation. The psalm ends on a note of hope, affirming eternal life in the house of the Lord. Life, death, provision, restoration, comfort, goodness, and mercy are all included, and all are in the hands of our dear Shepherd. —Jeff Munroe

As you pray, thank God for the gift of his Word, and for the ways the Bible helps us know God.