The Dullest Pencil
By John P. King
"The dullest pencil ... remembers better than the sharpest mind." My co-worker, and friend, Ted Cramer, says that all the time, and it is very true. We all like to think we can remember whatever it is we are supposed to remember without having to write it down. If we are honest with ourselves, we know better than that.
I have made enough trips to the grocery store at this point in my life to know that if I go, I better write down everything I need to pick up. Having a written list saves the embarrassment of needing to call my wife before I get in the checkout line to make sure I got everything, because I know I missed something (I hate that). Having a list is also the only absolutely, positively, 100% way to be sure I won't have to make a second trip (I really hate that). And so, I write things down because my "forgetter" works a whole lot better than my "rememberer" does.
There are so many people out there who remember so much better than I do. It makes me praise the Lord that much more for the way He understands me. You see, the Lord has provided the Bible just for me! He knows there is no way I will remember everything He wants me to know. Not only that, but He wants to be sure that when I relay His truths to someone else, I will have something to reference just to be sure I say it right (Ever played telephone? Yeah, I don't want to do that with God's great message of love). And so the Lord used in the neighborhood of 40 different people and took approximately 1,600 years to put it all together. Then He put it in the hands of various men and women over the last 1900 years to make sure it finally came to me. THANK YOU LORD!
My sarcasm is showing, isn't it? Sorry. I just find it amazing that people question the need for and validity of the Bible. They say things like:
"If God wants to tell me something, He can just tell me."
"The Bible is an old book with nothing new for today."
"The Bible? Really? If God is God couldn't He come up with a better way of communicating to man than a book?"
Not only does the Lord understand me, He understands all of us. The Father has a lot of great things to tell us. He knows the best way to get His message to us is to write it down. Glimpses of this understanding can be seen in the Bible. The Lord Himself wrote the replacement 10 commandments for the ones Moses shattered (Exodus 34:1). He then went on to tell Moses to write down the words of the covenant that He was making with Israel (Exodus 34:27).
In looking forward to the days when Israel would ask for a king, the Lord gave instructions in Deuteronomy just for the king.
"When he sits on the throne as king, he must copy for himself this body of instruction on a scroll in the presence of the Levitical priests. He must keep that copy with him and read it daily as long as he lives. That way he will learn to fear the Lord his God by obeying all the terms of these instructions and decrees." (Deuteronomy 17:18-19).
The king needed his own copy of the law. He had to read it daily and remind himself of who he was before God and to be sure that he obeyed the Lord. Without daily reflection on the Word of God, the king would easily stray from God's path for his life and rule.
The prophet Habakkuk received one of the most famous "write it" directives. In his own frustration and brokenness, he challenged God with some very serious questions about judgment and righteousness. Habakkuk waits for God's answer and the Lord begins with this phrase:
"Write my answer plainly on tablets, so that the runner can carry the correct message to others." (Habakkuk 2:2)
God wanted the answers to Habakkuk's questions to be disseminated to everyone. How do you do that? WRITE IT DOWN! Write it down in plain language so that it can be taken to everyone.
These are just a few examples of times when God told someone directly to "write it down." Of course, the Bible as a whole is God's inspired message to all mankind. Like the kings of old, we all need our own copy to read on a daily basis. The Bible shares God's plans, dreams, and directions for our lives. We need to know and have the plain message of the love of God so we can run with it. Read it. Re-read it. Re-re-read it. Fall in love with the wonderful text on those sacred pages. And as you find verses and passages that speak to you, write them down and carry them with you. Because the dullest pencil…
Copyright 2012 John P. King. Used by permission.
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John P. King is an ordained Assemblies of God minister and works as a prayer team coach at CBN's National Prayer Center in Virginia Beach. He has a Bachelor's in Bible from Valley Forge Christian College and an M.A. in Practical Theology from Regent University. John authored the devotional book, Don't Smoke the Newspaper and Other Lessons Learned by a Pastor. He and his wife, Genevieve, have two grown children. Send John your comments.
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