Today, I flipped open my Bible to Genesis chapter one and read the verse that everyone knows so well. I stumbled across chapter 1 and verse 1: “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth”. For some reason those words struck me hard today, almost like the incredible first line you read in an exciting novel that grab your interest in the story. I got stuck on thinking about what people read today, and also about what I read as well.
Here are some statistics I found about the “world-changing” book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows which has captured the attention of everyone for several years now. Since its release on July 21, 2007, The Deathly Hallows has sold 8.3 million copies. If you think that is something, listen to this. According to The New York Times, the first book of the Harry Potter series, The Sorcerer’s Stone, has sold 325 million copies worldwide. Today, it’s rather rare not to run into anyone who hasn’t read the entire series or at least one of the books completely through. The total number of pages of the Harry Potter series is 3,407 pages. That’s incredible!
Than another figure hit me. My copy of the Bible is only 759 pages long, and I don’t know if I feel confident enough to say I have read half of it! So, I tried to come up with a list of excuses for myself to justify why I haven’t read the Bible. For a moment, lets strip the Bible of the fact that it is the living word of God, and compare it to any other novel we would find. Let’s compare plot structure and elements. The more and the more I thought, I couldn’t find a book that had better examples of adventure, revenge, love, bravery, redemption, treachery, sacrifice, bitterness, battle, action, etc. When I came to that conclusion, I kept asking myself why I would still rather read Harry Potter than the Bible. And that’s only comparing them as novels! Let alone looking at the Bible as God’s words to us and His absolute truth! It scared me. I wondered how fallen and deprived I must be to not have read the Bible. Are we really not focused enough to read the letters of our Father, who found us and adopted us?
It’s time for us to stop acting like children and live in the real world. The Bible is the real world. It’s past, present, and future. It is living and breathing. If we can’t snap out of our Hogwarts world long enough to see how exciting and important the Scriptures are, than we are in desperate trouble. By doing that we are saying that we would give up knowing God, in order to know Harry Potter. Now, please know that I have no problem with the Harry Potter books. In fact I do enjoy the series and believe they are very good reads. But if we are not careful, enjoyment can turn into obsession and idolatry. This same principle applies for all literature from The Chronicles of Narnia to The Lord of the Rings. Let us never grow tired of the Scriptures. It should truly be a book that “grabs hold of us”.